Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Homesteading Projects...

Yesterday's weather was sunny and beautiful! The high was somewhere in the vicinity of 68 degrees. We had received an email from the nursery, stating that our raspberry canes would be arriving this week. After months of trying to figure out where to plant them,I finally had to make a decision. After consulting with TheMartianMan, I decided that the best place was near our second driveway. It was important that the raspberries not be too close to our chain link fence as they can become entangled in the links. But it was equally important that they not be able to spread willy-nilly all over the yard. We wanted a controlled bramble patch!

I hauled out the edging bricks that I got at the Habitat Re-Store and arranged them in an arc, right at the end of the driveway.Then I tilled the space and pulled out any rocks that I found. I added some maple leaves and tilled again. A topping of mulch completed the task. We are supposed to get some rain this week, so the soil should stay nice and moist until the plants arrive. It looks a lot nicer in person. I waited until today to take the picture and our weather is fairly gray, rainy and dreary. When I plant the raspberries, I will also add some companion flowers to brighten things up and attract bees and other pollinators. My neighbors are used to my yard always looking neat with lots of flowers. I don't think that they'll be disappointed with the outcome in a couple of months.

The tiller that I used was the Mantis tiller that I picked up on Craigslist last year for $150. It wasn't even one year old at the time of purchase. For anyone who is not fond of equipment that makes a lot of noise, the electric Mantis tiller is a very quiet option and does not require a lot of muscle power to keep it under control. It really does a good job for such a small machine!

I also finished the Quail Jail! Well, sort of... We have all of the pieces cut but assembly is not possible for two reasons: 1) We need to buy longer screws to hold it together and 2) There is a truck in the way of the stairs that lead to the 2nd floor of the carriage house. The truck was a freebie from my dad. It needs a new transmission and does not move on its own. Unfortunately, it is in the wrong parking bay and blocks the only access to the 2nd floor. So, if we put the Quail Jail pieces together now, we will have to carry it in one piece to the second floor. Although it won't be extremely heavy, it would be pretty awkward to carry.

The good news is that TheMartianMan and his friend should be pulling the truck out of the carriage house and replacing the transmission. A working truck will make it much easier to haul firewood that we find at the curb after people have had trees cut down and reduce our firewood expenses.


Daphne said...

I try to keep my bramble patch under control, but I've always found them a bit uncontrollable. In our neck of the woods they are veritable weeds. Look away for a week and they've taken over the blueberry patch. Mine are next to my driveway too and the blacktop really helps to keep them where they belong - on that side at least.

TheMartianChick said...

I'm really counting on my driveway to do the same, Daphne. Maybe I should just pave completely around all of the raspberries!LOL

ChristyACB said...

They are a bit like weeds here too but your driveway may do the trick! Be sure to post a pic when you get them in so we can admire them. :)