Yesterday, I filled the final raspberry bed. Before I put the last three plants in, I installed almost the rest of the trellis (sans 3 pieces of wood). I then painted it all red... well, at least until my fingers were so cold as the sun was going down that I had to stop. Maybe finish today... In all? 12 raspberry plants, though some have separated, so it's more like officially 13-14 plus sprouts.
I have 2 mix cherries, 2 corinthian cherries, and 1 yellow plum in the ground. I also have my 2 dwarf apricots, but I think I'm going to pot those up and put them on the deck. I can do that because they're dwarfs. I bought a peach and an apricot (large) yesterday, but they're still in their buckets. That will give me enough room for one more peach and an asian pear. Then DONE. The woman I bought the corinthian cherries from may have Italian fig suckers for me in the spring (free), so if that happens, I will have to find a place to put them. Hmm. I have my dwarf peach and my gooseberry in one of the fruit tree beds. I haven't decided what to do with those two yet. Pot them up? Hm. I'm hesitant to do so with the gooseberry because it has these annoying thorns. Maybe just the peach, and hten I can pot it up and put it on the deck with the apricots, leaving space for figs. Hmm. That might work.
They're still waiting to be planted. Luckily, I got a lot of root ball on them, and it has been temperate weather with some rain. Ok, I can delay the planting. They're next to go in, and I have 3 of the 4 necessary boxes made. The raspberries have taken a long time due to their trellis. That's fine, but. I also sacrificed one of the raspberry beds for a chicken cell, so I had to make another one. They're doing just fine, but I want to get them in asap so they'll begin to bud.
They, like the currants, are waiting to be planted. SIGH! But, they're all cozy with their roots, so we're golden. In fact, they're beginning to bud. Eek. That means I need to get them planted soon so that I won't knock off a bunch of buds when I do plant them. They go in the ground after the black currants. I have them spaced out so I can add a couple of other plants of another variety, to increase the pollination rate. Most pollination occurs by wind, so I've accounted for that.
Other items soon arriving:
A slew of plants will soon arrive, but specifically, my 2 goji bushes will soon come, as well as my other red currant. Both reds are going in one planter, as well as both gojis. I've spaced out the arrival of any other live plant (sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions) so that I can put them in the ground soon after their arrival and it will be around the time when they are SUPPOSED to go in the ground. I do have the build the rest of the beds, but that will be nice since it will mostly NOT be on an "eek! The plants have to get in since they're already here!!!" basis. After all the berries, tomatoes are next, then beans and peas and cucumbers, then potatoes, etc and other low-lying stuff. Our garden orients N-S, so the tall stuff goes in first and then marches downward to the low-lying carrots progressively. Herbs will be near the deck for easy use, probably in pots so that they can be moved easily to the greenhouse in the winter. Speaking of which....
Greenhouse (well, kinda):
Well, my cold frame hoophouse took a beating in a windstorm a few weeks ago. The covering blew off one side and I just can't anchor it down again. Plus, PVC? Not the greatest structural support. It bends. Then it takes a while to bend it back. But, we were using what was already present in our yard, so for $20 we figured all that out. Plus, the $20 was only for the sheeting, so that can be reused on the new-and-improved greenhouse. Basically, since lumber is CHEAP right now, I want to build a greenhouse that has about 3' of solid walls up the sides. Then it will have a framed roof where I will glue and staple-gun on the plastic sheeting! We're hoping that will provide enough warmth, especially since it will be MUCH more wind-proof than the hoophouse. If it works, we can improve it next year to a clear coroplast roof. It should have 3 u-shaped racks for plants!! That's a lot of space for starter flats. That has to go up asap, so that I can start my starts in mid-March. That will give them 4-6 weeks of growing before it's "officially" ok for them to go outside (late April/early May here for me). But, I also have to build....
The fluffy ladies are growing fast, and they will need an outdoor coop relatively soon. They're 2 weeks old and can go outside when they are 6 weeks, so I have 4 weeks to build this thing. I've already acquired 2 shutters and a roof vent from a neat recycling place, and those cost me next to nothing. A guy on craigslist has some chainlink fencing. The backyard has a lot of chicken wire. So I'm going to use chainlink for the fencing, but it's also going to have chicken wire. Chainlink adds strength, chickenwire is small. It's easyish for a raccoon to rip chickenwire, but not if it's backed in chainlink. Woo. I have the plans for the coop, now it's just a matter of BUILDING it. I want to get all my plants in the ground first (see above), so I really have to get to it.
I need to plant some flower bulbs and build some beds along the back walkway and the front of the house. I haven't really decided what to grow there. Well, I do know that the shady area will get the astilbe (I think that's it), which can grow in full shade. But I have some callas, a peony, and a bunch of dahlias. hmmm. To be determined. I need to cut back a number of plants, so I may just build a quick bed under the rose bush or something and plant my dahlias in there. They can be a bit gangly, so I have to allow space for them to go all nutso on me. I think the callas would be pretty in the front bed by the laundry room. They can be relatively compact. Hmm. But yes, much to do!!
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