Time To Start Prepping The Garden

by Tammy Taylor

A week or so ago I pulled down my indoor greenhouse and planted some of my heirloom seeds.  I wrote about my indoor greenhouse system and how easy it was to use and store.   It doesn’t take long in that moist environment for them to sprout.

Taylor-Made Ranch Inside Greenhouse

It may be a couple of weeks until I can actually plant them in the garden but I need to start prepping the beds now.  They have laid dormant all winter and are pretty messy.  No award-winning garden eye-candy here!

Taylor-Made Ranch Overgrown Garden

These weeds blanket the garden area.  They’re called  Henbit, but our youngest daughter always called them “Bunny Flowers” because it looked like it had the purple eyes nose and ears of a bunny.  Awwww…  Sweet memories.

Taylor-Made Ranch Bunny Flowers

And as I pulled these weeds out of my raised beds and wondered what to do with the mountains of them accumulating beside me, inspiration hit.  I hauled armloads of them to the fence and called the cows – they loved it!   So I’m moving this stuff out of my garden and the cows get a treat – win/win!  (yes, I think I’m clever!)

Taylor-Made Ranch cows eating weeds

And although these raised beds originally started out as a patch in a cow pasture, over the last several years I’ve painstakingly amended the soil.  I was pleased to see lots of earthworms occupying the beds this year.

Taylor-Made Ranch earthworms

And the soil in these beds is now rich, dark and productive.

Taylor-Made Ranch garden gloves

I still have lots to do, but I have completely cleared out some of the raised beds and they’ll be ready for planting soon.  C’mon spring!

~TMR~

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21 thoughts on “Time To Start Prepping The Garden

  1. Jamie (@va_grown)

    We get heaps of that stuff and throw it over to the sheep! I wonder if it’s call that because chickens eat it too? Ours always run right over when they see us tossing it. Isn’t it nice to see your soil improving year after year? Growing…everything farming…is such a long term process.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Jamie, you’re ahead of me with throwing this stuff over the fence to the animals. It was a DUH moment for me but they’ll be getting this treat from now on. Not sure where henbit gets it’s name. Hummmm… ~TMR~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I still text her with pics of ‘bunny flowers’ when they start to bloom each year to let her know I’m thinking about her. LOL ~TMR~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I know Gretchen. I’m lucky to live in Texas where we can start gardening early – I’m itching to get out there & get it planted soon. I’m still growing my seeds in my “indoor greenhouse” (post is here —> http://bit.ly/Y6kZUb ) and as soon as the danger of last freeze is gone in about a week or so I’ll start hardening off the plants. 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  2. Hannah

    Can’t wait to dig into some warm soil.. still cold around here. Thanks for sharing with us! I hope you stop by again next week at Eco-Kids Tuesday!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Hannah, I had to pacify my urge to plant several weeks ago by starting our indoor garden. I’m now preparing a few items from the “indoor greenhouse” to be planted outside. Aaaaahhhh spring – one of the joys of Texas! ~TMR~

      Reply
  3. Beth

    Dang, I just dropped by your blog from the blog hop, and your header picture made my jaw drop! How gorgeous is that! I secretly wish we lived in a place where we could have cows, but I guess I’ll have to settle for a backyard garden and a rowdy cat. We pulled out our trays to start planting today too. It’s our first garden (always lived in an apt. before)…feeling pretty nervous. How’d you “amend” your soil?

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Wow, thanks for such kind words, Beth! Don’t be nervous about starting a new garden, just take it slow. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and burned out if you try to start your first garden with too much to keep up with. To answer your question about soil amendment – COMPOST! It’s black gold. I use manure in mine of course since I’ve always got that within easy reach 😉 but you can use kitchen waste, grass clippings, newspapers, etc. I have a compost tumbler which has been one of the best compost purchases I ever made (see it here –> http://bit.ly/Y6kZUb ) But you don’t need to spend money on a tumbler if you’re just starting out. Check the internet for containment options, or just a corner in the yard will do – just make sure to turn it regularly and keep it slightly moist. Good luck! ~TMR~

      Reply
  4. Lisa Lynn

    I’m so looking forward to working in my garden too! Your soil looks so lovely and rich 🙂 Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop! Hope to see you tomorrow night at: http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/03/the-homeacre-hop-11.html

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thanks Lisa. My garden area was previously just cow pasture so it’s amazing what compost can do for your soils. (of course I have plenty of manure to amend my compost with, so that helps!) Love the hop! ~TMR~

      Reply
  5. Molly

    Your soil looks so wholesome and dark. We have thick clay here and it is currently totally water logged Mollyxxx

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thanks Molly, thankfully we have sandy loam soils here. But before I moved from the city we had thick black clay soils and I know it takes some time to get those soils conditioned but it’s worth the patience. I had some amazing backyard veggie gardens even with those soils. ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. Heather May

    Gorgeous site and ideas! I have 5 children and live in the city but we are planting a garden this year so you will be a great resource! Thanks for sharing and for joining my linky party!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I agree Jennifer – this time of renewal delights the senses as well as the heart! 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  7. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

    Joan, there’s just something magical about sticking your hands in that deep rich soil after a cold winter and dreaming of that summer produce! You’re apparently ahead of me with regard to what to do with the garden weeds. (slaps head) I gave the cows all the green and then the rooty-stuff I pulled with clinging soil will go into the compost. Hoping for more garden time today! ~TMR~

    Reply
  8. Joan @ The Chicken Mama

    Beautiful soil! I’m looking forward to heading out to my garden this weekend. I planted seeds indoors just last night. My weeds will go to the goat. Here’s to a bountiful crop this summer!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thank Jane. Dreaming about that bountiful summer produce is what makes the drudgery of bed prep and weed pulling worth it! 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply

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