Friday, April 17, 2015

Planning For Spring Planting

Given the fact the all of Nova Scotia is currently snowed under it might seem odd that we're thinking about planting in April and May. But we don't want to grow just the typical vegetable starter plants, we have some specialty ones we want to grow. So we grow most of our own plants from seed for several reasons. Firstly it's much cheaper, and second we can source organic seeds of varieties that grow well here or some exotic strains that we want to trial.And the snow is finally melting so I have a renewed sense of purpose now. Regardless of what's on the ground right now, in 6 or 8 weeks it'll be very different and we'll be planting in a hurry. So for me starting some of my seeds now is both a way to get a jump on the season and also a way to spread the work over a few extra weeks before wwoofers come to help out. I'm also making a plan of what gets planted where depending on my crop rotations, amount of shade and companion planting. It's more involved than you'd think.

My new Mantis tiller is ordered. While we still believe that a no till system can work, I'm going to use it to get the beds and rows all set up and also to start new flower beds around the front of the property to give us a little more colour and privacy. Picture sunflower and sweetpea hedges. The animals will be confined to the back 4 acres of pasture although we'll see if that really works or not, some chickens are wily.

Here's a video of our new tiller, well one like ours since ours is in the mail. Looking forward to being able to incorporate lime and compost easily and weed between rows if needed. We got the wider model so that 2 passes will result in a 30" wide bed. That's a good size for our use. Although many different options for attachments exist I'm just excited to see how the basic tiller works before committing to paying more money.

The other exciting thing happening is that Steve and Jordan are framing up a lean-to greenhouse for me at the  moment so I'll have somewhere to put my seeds and also some extra heat in the end bedroom of the mobile. I'll let you know when it's done and get some photos.

We're still working on our wood supply for heat and so far so good. We'll have burned just under 5 cords this Winter when all is said and done I think because we're still keeping the fire lit in the mornings. The plan is to cut 2 years worth of wood this Spring and dry it over the summer then store it in a wood shed. Every year we'll cut more, but use the wood stored the previous year so we never run out and so it's seasoned properly. Having a supply of good dry wood is essential to having a comfortable home for us. And it's like having insurance to have extra wood stored.


  1. Let me know how that tiller works out for you, as sometimes they make it look smoother and easier to handle than it really is.

    1. We've used it a fair bit so far this year and here's the verdict. In already dug over soil it's terrific but that little engine packs a whallop so you'll definitely build up your muscles. We've used it to break sod and new ground and OM it'll just about shake your shoulders off every time it bounces up off a rock. You almost need one person to hold on and the other with a hoe to remove the rocks it kicks out. Still loving it though!