More Spring Preparations and Making progress on the Bee Traps
Spring is here and sadly we are not quite ready for it. The garden still needs work, raised beds are still under construction, bare root plants still have bare roots. However, we persevere and continue to do what we can to keep up. This weeks spring preparations include pig relocation, garden preparations, and swarm traps!
Moving the Pigs out of the Garden
We love our pigs. They do a lot of work for us on the homestead. For the past several months they have actually been in the garden. Their first garden job was to root up most of the grass that has plagued that space. Once that was done they moved on to sealing the pond we recently dug in the corner to help irrigate the garden.
It has taken some time but they have sealed the pond, it holds water and we barely had to do anything other than dig the hole. The pigs took care of the rest. So, now that the grass has suffered massive casualties and the pond is sealed, it is time for the pigs to move on. To the other pond we dug that needs sealing!
Moving pigs is fairly easy. First we had to setup the new paddock for them. Then fence in a corridor they could walk down without straying too far. Finally we grabbed some feed and lured them to their new home. River, our son, loved helping guide the pigs down the corridor shaking a bunch of feed in front of them. He thought it was great fun!
Now the pigs can take their time sealing up this pond before we move them back to clearing up underbrush to make room for some pasture around the homestead.
Spring Preparations in the Garden
Last year we got very little done on the garden. So this year we are almost starting over with barren dirt. Our goal is to set up our permanent planting beds that we will use for years to come. This will save us tons of time in future years and allow us to focus on targeted soil building in the garden.
Our first step is to mark out where we want each bed to be (we are mostly making 4′ beds with 3′ walkways between). For this we pound sticks into the ground and connect them with twine. Next we break out the hoes for the walkways. Using the hoes we pull the top 1-2 inches of soil out of the walkways and mound it up in the garden beds. This help kill off any grass that survived the pigs. The mounded soil also gives the garden bed some of the raised garden bed benefits, helping with drainage. With any luck we will be able to do some double dug beds again this year as well!
Once the walkways are hoed out then we come through with tree mulch we got from the power company to fill in the walkways. They mulch layer will help prevent weeds from getting started in the walkways and spreading into the main beds. The mulch will also help the garden be less of a muddy mess during certain times of the year.
The garden is nowhere near done but at least we are getting started on it during our early spring preparations!
Bee Swarm Traps
This week I once again got together with Adam from Piney Creek Farm to work on bee swarm traps. Unfortunately we did not make as much progress as we wanted to with the traps. But they are painted now. All that is left is for us to build piece together the frames that go inside the traps and we will be able to set them out early next month to start catching some swarms.