I’m starting to come out of my flare, not 100% yet but feeling 100% better! I’m still a little weak but the worst part is recovering my stamina. It will just take time for the stamina to come back but now I can get some work done.
I finished up the big weds in the rose beds today. I cheated a little bit and started on the weeds that were easier to pull/dig out compared the grass mat of weeds that I started digging out via the pick axe. It went better than I thought, probably because I loosened the grass/weed sod mat with the pick axe before I gave up for the day. New weeds are starting in the bed but I should be able to keep up and I’m adding a thick layer of wood mulch to help the soil/plants with water retention. The weed fabric cloth made weeding the bed more difficult so I’m skipping the cloth for this bed and going straight mulch.
The back yard grass area is looking great. I had a couple of weeds and the grass needs to fill in some places but over all I am pleased with how it looks after mowing. The grass got tall before mowing and some of the soil got a little dried out but I think regular watering and adding some compost through the summer will finish up the backyard grass area.
I’m starting to see a few weeds start to pop up in the corn garden area. Not bad so far but I was hoping I got most of those weeds dug out. I need to direct sow the squash and beans next and once those plants get some growth I can use straw to mulch the beds. That should help block most of the weeds and retain water in the beds this summer.
The potato towers are putting out green leaves at the top and through some of the straw sides. The towers still have some space at the top I can add a little more dirt and straw to mound around the leaves. At least I know the towers do work growing potatoes. Almost all of the onions have put on growth. Though one of my onion planters was dug up and bulbs were scattered. I suspect my cats decided that was her planter box and not mine. Overall loosing one box out of six is not to bad for the garden. Once I water more regularly and add straw mulch that should take care of some of the critter problem.
Mom got here raised garden beds planted though I have some starter plants for her to plant around the end of the month. Mom asked about planting root crops like parsnips, beets and turnups and I think it is to late for a summer harvest but she has plenty of time for a fall harvest. planting the seed in July. Now she can plant quick growing stuff like radishes, lettuce and other fast growing crops in that space. We missed some prime time planting because of life and we are not unique that life can make all your plans go to crap for a multitude of reasons. You can adapt and still have a garden even if life or Mama Nature throws you a curve ball.
I am excited to start the squash and bean plants under the walnut tree area. If you don’t know walnut trees put out “something” that keeps many plants from growing but beans, squash and melons are not affected by this “something”. I don’t think melons will do good in this area as it is on the NE side of the yard and somewhat shaded. But I have a grape vine that grows along the fence so some sun is getting through the trees. I want to try squashes and beans in this area to add to my garden space. The area is a bit of a weed filled disaster right now but I’m starting to pull weeds and then I’ll add some new soil. to this area and make a garden bed around the walnut trees. If you live in an area and want to create a food forest type garden. Growing squash as a ground cover and adding beans for a nitrogen fixer would be great for your food production. If my idea works I will add the equivalent of two raised beds to my backyard garden for food production.
The strawberry buckets have been a little crazy as I have 2 buckets that are growing like crazy putting on leaves the size of my palm along with flowers and two buckets that small little plants not growing much, but are a healthy looking green. All strawberries are Quinalt plants and all buckets are next to each other. All of the raspberries and black berries and putting on good green “bushy” growth. I don’t know a lot about growing berries other than it takes a year or two for new bushes to produce berries and learning the happy place in the garden/yard for the berry plants to grow. So far the berry plants are putting on nice green growth so I’m happy with my berry progress.
I saw a little humming bird at the backyard feeder and I’m so excited to see the little bird. I think it was a female as it had drab feathers but that is all to the good as that means a long term feeder as males tend to arrive early in my area and get territorial. If a female is feeding I may get more birds coming in this spring/summer. I’m getting a few birds at my feeders this spring but not like in winter. Mom was a little disappointed the birds did not flock to her new bird bath but it takes time before birds feels safe drinking and bathing at a new bird bath. Mom’s bird bath is in a great spot as the birds have plenty of trees to escape to and or observe before taking a drink.
Solar Energy: I order solar cable adapters for the new Anker 757 power pack. The price for the cables was $10.99 for each solar panel. Not a bad price but annoying not to have a solar panel standard MC4 cable connector. I’m sure Anker wants to sell more of their solar panels and other power packs do the same but it is still annoying. How about a company ask the customer what type of cables they want after the pay a grand buying your battery generator. Just as a customer service.
The 757 Anker seems to be around the mid range price of $1000.00 and provides enough power for an RV/camping or a house backup for some electricity. This is not a home solar energy system! It is at best a backup electric supply during blackouts/brownouts for a reasonable investment.
It looks like the Anker 676 + battery pack might cover a home as a battery backup depending on your energy use. I don’t know because I can’t say what is (average energy use) for most folks. I’m going to try out a few scenarios running my swamp cooler, running my A/C and running my fridge and freezers off the 757 Anker and 300 watts of solar panels. I think at a minimum I need to add another 757 power pack and hook up another 300 watts of solar panels to do what I want but this is a start to reduce my dependence on the grid.
It is just a step at a time that you take to become more independent. But you must take that step!