Had a good rain and the weather is going to be a bit unsettled all week. Another wind storm is coming through should finish off all of the tree shedding stuff. The rain barrel and cistern added more water.The cistern is over 50 gallons and the last rain barrel is about 3/4ths full. Once the windstorm passes I can clean out the gutters again and trim off all of the dead tree limbs. Mom can’t wait to break out the little chainsaws and get to work on trimming up the bigger stuff in the backyard. The weather forecast this week looks good for more cleaning up of the grape vines.
I’m going to pull down the temporary fence around the container garden since the chickens seem to be happy in the small fenced off area that includes the compost pile. I can’t believe how much work the birds have done “turning over” just by scratching around in the compost pile a couple of hours per day. This a win/win as the birds get what they want in bugs and I get the piled turned over with minimal physical effort from me.
I’m going to add a some sod to the grass areas I have already prepped with soil and steer manure. When I pulled the little stone pavers for the back gate entry way I noticed that earthworms were starting to migrate to the mulch areas. I have also noticed the water retention of the bad soil areas seems to be getting better as there is not as much puddling of water. I will be moving a few things around as I’m trying to be flexible enough to work with Mama Nature. I have been surprised by how my dogs use the mulch pathways, compared to the sidewalks or just dirt areas for getting around and where they poo. While I have not walked across the mulched pathways with bare feet. The difference compared to walking across concrete or even soil/ hard pan is significant. If you fear falling for what ever reason. I would recommend adding mulched path ways to your yard. Plus once you lay out a basic layer of wood mulch topping it off every year of two does not cost a lot of money. Like most things the startup costs can be a little high, but maintaining it is low cost. Especially considering all the benefits you get on improving soil and water retention immediately.
I’m adding some “Dragon’s Blood” sedum ground cover to the alley way garden area along with some sun flowers. My hope is adding these new plants will start to overwhelm the “cheat grass” that is sprouting up. I see the sun chokes are starting to put out new growth when I planted them last year. At this point of time I’m not harvesting the sunchokes as I want them to spread and help choke out the weeds. I have to say the “black walnut leaf” killer mulch did a great job but I did not have a good plan for replacement plants this spring. The low growing sedum and hopefully the mossy rose will re-seed this year. That is my alley way garden replacement plan for the weeds this year.
I dropped the ball on how well I expected the compost pile to add to my yard but overall I think Mom’s chickens will make a big difference this year in the quality of the compost. I’m doing a lot of work and investing in products for the backyard but I’m seeing some results though it is slower than I anticipated originally. Overall I’m pleased as I am making good progress on a sustainable system despite a few setbacks.