It’s Spring Time in Southern California!

I bet your seedlings are beginning to peek up from the soil, your catalog orders are placed, and your gardening books have a hundred colorful tabs sticking out from between the pages.

Mine aren’t.  Well, that’s not completely true, but I have much less done that I wanted.  I swear I was so much more productive when I worked full time.

We gave the plum a good pruning this winter, removed a couple brush cherry trees the wind tore apart, and made some preliminary plans to redesign the flower beds.  Since I’m not working and my only paycheck comes from etsy, we’re extremely limited on what we’ll be doing in the garden this year.  Veggies are worth the expense, replacing roses with regular bushes is not.   I also want the flower garden to be more chicken-friendly, which means bigger bushes and stronger perennials – they can devour a flat of alyssum or pansies before you realize they’re out of their yard!

Buff orpington, light brahma, backyard chickens, urban farm chickens in the garden
The Girls

Fred and his dad remodeled the greenhouse this month.  It is now down to just three bays and two aquaponic ponds (YA!!)  We’ll start rebuilding the raised veggie beds this weekend, using CMU blocks instead of 2x4s.  The blocks are less expensive and termites won’t eat them.  I’m concerned about the extra heat the concrete will generate, but since the veggie garden is on the east side of the house, it shouldn’t be too bad. (NOTE we removed the blocks the following year and replaced with 2×4 boards)

It’s tempting to line the beds with pond liner to help conserve water and keep the gophers out (maybe!), but it’s a huge expense for an experiment.  We had originally lined the wooden raised beds with chicken wire and white plastic sheeting, but the plastic degrades pretty quickly (and who knows what kind of chemicals it leaches into the soil), and the chicken wire eventually rusts away to leave behind tetanus-laden splinters for unwary hands.

Happy Gardening!


An Hour to Garden


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