My Small Farm Blog

small time farming in the city or country

Month: July 2015

Planting Time

Hi everyone.That time has come to plant your garden. Drawing a plan of your garden will help make sure your garden is a success. grouping plants together can help  when planting early or cold crops as oppose to those that do better in slightly warmer conditions. An example of cold crops are lettuces,onions,peas etc. Tomatoes,sweet corn and peppers are examples of warm crops. Check you seed packets for planting times and number of days till harvest. Some short day crops can be planted again before the season is done. Spacing of plants is important for proper growth for your plants. Now do you plant seeds directly in the garden or do you purchase plants already started. You can also start seeds indoors.We’ll cover that in another article.Thanks for stopping by,hope to see you next time.

 

Preparing your Soil

Last time we talked about turning the soil by hand.In this session we’ll touch on a couple of different ways of getting your garden ready to plant. When I was growing up on our farm,after the threat of frost had passed and the ground was warming up,we would start getting equipment ready to till the ground to plant crops. Some fields we would till in the fall if possible.The thought behind that was  the soil would be more mellow in the spring. This same approach can be applied to your home garden. two ways I’ll be covering is plowing you garden or using a rototiller. There are pros and cons to each. A tiller can be a all in one tool meaning you don’t have to have several different to get you garden ready. The tiller, there is the front tilling tiller or the rear till tiller. There are the type you walk behind or the type you attach to a tractor. Well what you use may depend on the size of your garden. Then it may also depend how much you want to invest in your garden project. When we tilled the land on our farm,first we plowed our land.You want to make sure the furrows  rolled over ,so just like digging by hand so the top of you soil get mixed in with the fresh soil you just plowed. You can do the same for your small garden. You can hire someone to plow your garden for you or you can purchase your own equipment. Same rule of thumb,make sure you plow to  at least 8 inches. Unlike with plowing, Tilling is a all in one thing.Meaning you don’t have to use any other equipment to get you gardening ready for planting.Tilling your garden can be fun if you follow a few techniques. One is never till when soil is to wet. Never till to much. That is just enough to work you soil to 8 inches or more deep and have mellow soil when you are done. Usually you want to till in more than one direction.That is lengthwise one time then maybe crossways the next. Your final pass should be in the direction you want to plant your garden. This pass should be only the top 6 inches of your soil.Well I hope this gives you some ideas,about preparing your soil.There are lots of books and even garden clubs that have more ideas to make sure your garden is a success.Happy gardening everyone. Thanks for checking out my blog.

Preparing Soil for gardening

Preparing your soil properly will go a long way in keeping you from getting discouraged when your crops don’t meet your expectations. Depending on the ground you are working with, you may have to add several things such as compost,sand and wood chips.First you should have a sample of your dirt analyzed to see what is lacking.Your local Cooperative Extension can advise you as to what you need to do to see exactly what is lacking in your soil.  Our soil here has a lot of clay in it. Compost is a good way to provide nutrients essential for growing great plants and help to mellow out the soil. Good drainage is a help in making sure your plants don’t get water logged. Sand in soil will help with drainage maybe some wood chips.Ph balance also is important.Ok now lets assume you have a good idea what your soil needs  to grow great plants. First we need to add compost. Its said that you can’t put to much compost on your garden. Three or 4 inches of compost will go a long way to have good medium for your new plants. Till your soil deep eight inches or so .That will get your compost mixed in and broken down for use in your garden. How you go about tilling your soil has a lot to do with what equipment you have available.Some people like the hand method.There are several approaches so I’ll cover one approach and in your research you might find something else that will fit your needs better. if you decide your going to hand dig your garden,one way to do this is to get the proper tools. Always get good quality tools. A spade.fork spade,round pointed shovel,maybe even a pick axe. You can use as few or as many as you need to do the job. Start by digging a trench 8 inches deep,maybe about 12 inches wide.You can go more or less.The point is to loosen the soil to 8 inches or so and turn the soil and mix your compost into the soil.There are many ways to acomplish this,I’ll talk about one. Dig your first trench as I said,then pile the dirt up beside your trench. Then when you have gone as far as you want to make a row.Now rake your dirt back in the trench you dug and keep doing this until you have your garden dug and soil turned over. Next time we’ll look into other ways to prepare your soil and get started off on the right foot. Thanks for stopping by,have a great day.

So you have some dirt.

Hi everyone,its been sunny and humid this week. I thought we might explore gardening on a larger scale. If you have a piece of land you think would be perfect for a garden,then here are some ideas you might want to try.I usually try to give out pointers that will help everyone. I’ve been gardening for many years and still like to ask the experts in the field to fine tune my skills of gardening. There are many sources that can help you begin your garden with less hassle. The first thing is breaking ground.When deciding where to put your garden,consider the amount of sun the garden will get. Eight hours would be good for most things. Next is the soil.How dose you soil meet the requirements of the plants  or seeds you want to have in your garden.Nitrogen,Phosphorus and Potassium those are the essential ingredients needed for you plants.There   are usually three numbers on the fertilizer the first being Nitrogen,the second being Phosphorus.The third Potassium. Nitrogen is for strong leaf and stem growth and the dark green color wanted in Some Vegetables.Phosphorus is for early plant growth and root development. Also essential for seed formation fruit and vegetable growth.Potassium is added to promote root growth and reduce stress and resist diseases. There is a variety of sources that you can use to get you what is needed for  great vegetables and fruits.003next time we’ll looking into Soil preparation.Enjoy your day thanks for stopping by.

Container Gardening

Good day everyone. After a week- end of rain,we are seeing some sunshine today. If you are new at gardening,container gardening is a good way to get your feet wet. There are a lot of different items you can use for growing plants. Buckets, unused planters or maybe something with used wood. Caution should be used,if you are using old used garden containers. A good rinsing with water and a dip in some chlorine and water should do the trick. one idea that might work is even a garbage bag. The dark ones would be a good choice. lets say you would like to grow a few tomatoes for your table. first you need a growing media. You research what tomatoes need to grow.A fertilizer balanced in what will grow your tomatoes is essential. Fertilizer has 3 major elements.You will usually see three numbers on the fertilizer. The first being Nitrogen,Phosphorus,the second and Potassium the third. The middle number and the first number are the ones to look at. Nitrogen,will give your plants lots of green leaves and growth. You want to get more fruit than growth so the second number phosphorus,should be higher to promote fruit growth.Check with your local  Cooperative Extension for more information on fertilizing your plants.Ok assuming you did a little home work you are ready to try to put together a bag to plant some tomatoes in. First of all you need a balance of good top soil and compost. Compost is composed of scraps you have from the table,lawn clippings,leaves etc. In a later discussion we’ll talk more about compost.Most are ok except for oils,dairy and meat products. Once you have your bag filled with soil and compost,tie off the end.Now you need to find a place to put your bag for planting your tomatoes. Lay your bag down.Depending on the size,of your bag,you may be able to plant two or three started plants in you bag.leave two or three sets of leaves on your plant.Put a little Epsom salt in the hole,cover with a little soil,plant your plants and bury them deep on their side and gently work the top your plant up  so that it is straight up with maybe two sets of leaves on them.Epsom Salt isn’t a salt at all but rather hydrated magnesium sulfate. Epsom Salt helps in producing chlorophyll,it helps plants take in Nitrogen and phosphorus and sulfur for fruit setting and good plant growth. Now just water them,give them a little fertilizer and watch them grow.

Gardening

Hi everyone. We talked about chickens as a thing for a small farm. Maybe they aren’t something you are interested in. How about Gardening. Gardening can be approached at several levels. Container gardening,raised beds or maybe a plot of ground you have that might make a perfect spot for a garden. We’ll break this down further  and give you some ideas and pointers,that will get you started off on the right foot. Once you have had fresh garden grown fruits and vegetables you’ll really enjoy having a garden. You can use one for growing things you want to market.Maybe you just want to have fresh food for your table and maybe donate to a local charity group that helps the needy. There are organizations like Cooperative Extension,that have tons of information on the best crops to grow for your area. Soil tests to see what amendments you’ll need to grow fabulous crops. There are articles at the Library and of course your Computer can help you locate information on seeds and tools to enhance your gardening experience. Until next time,enjoy your day.Thanks for stopping by. next time we’ll look into planting containers.002

Chickens need to eat

Hello;So far we’ve talked about shelter for chickens.What about food. Its always helpful to read all you can about your chickens  to be assured that you are getting started off on the right foot. if you purchase chicks,they are usually day old chicks. They need special attention to get them started off on the right foot. Where you buy the chicks, the associates there will be able to give you information on what foods chicks need until they start laying eggs. Chick starter is one thing you’ll need for the first 8 weeks.Water of course needs to be available. Some grit can be introduced to your chicks but basically if they are only eating stater they don’t need the grit..Now in about 8 weeks or so,your chickens will start to lay.Now the timing depends on the breed and the chicken.So give or take a few days maybe weeks for the event to happen. I’ve fed some cracked corn to our laying hens and they enjoy the treat. I have a run for the chickens there I feed them table scraps such as greens,bread,but not dairy or meat products. Chickens can be a learning  experience for whole family.So have fun and enjoy your small farm. Take care.Thanks for stopping by. Stop again as we explore more aspects of small time farming.Chicken Run 001

Shelter

Hello;Well as we said before, you need shelter for your chickens. now you can buy everything for you chickens. A shelter,watering containers and nests for your laying chickens to put their eggs. If you are like me and would like to save some money you can build a chicken coop yourself. There are plenty of sources where you can get your material for little or nothing. Locally here our local newspaper gives away wooden skids.They also have sheets of Aluminum they use for printing that you can use to cover it. The main thing to keep in mind is that they need a place to be warm and dry in the winter. Rough cut lumber can be used.Its a little cheaper and if you get  to know someone who has a saw mill,you can tell him what you want for lumber and he’ll cut it out for you. pretty reasonable price. Warmth;around here winters can be quite cold. So how do you keep your chickens warm in the winter.Well try to avoid artificial heat in your coop.First of all you start a trend toward having to provide supplement heat for your chickens when  its cold. The best way is to let them adjust to the cold on their own. Mine did very well through the winter.Next time we’ll discuss other points about raising chickens.So I hope your are enjoying my blog and stop back. Thanks for viewing my Blog. Enjoy your day.Happy farming.

Happy Fourth of July

Hi everyone.Thought I would take time to acknowledge independence day. That was a day like no other as far as setting us free. The Declaration of Independence was signed. So to all of you who celebrate our independence,have a great day and happy farming. Tom

Lets talk chicken

Hello everyone,we’ve been talking about chickens. There is a lot of things to consider so hopefully you have done some research in to what to expect when having chickens. So you get yourself some chicks,well you could get some that are already laying. Look at a chicken as you would yourself.Shelter ,food,water and food are a few basics. Lets start with shelter. When we got our chicks it was in the cold weather. They were day old chicks and of course they needed extra care. First they needed a place to call their own.You can always buy what you need but I wanted to save a little money so I had some 1 11 plywood and simply build a box using simple tools. I built my box according to how many chicks we had and how long they would be in the box.I considered what they needed for food,bedding,water and warmth. The place where you buy your chickens will bChicken house 14 004e able to give information on all these things and more to get you off to a good start.

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