Monday, February 6, 2012

our homestead: raised beds filled and gojis planted

My husband shoveling compost out of the truck
My husband and I planted our goji berries today. On Saturday, my husband built two raised bed frames out of pine boards for them, so all we had left to do to get the berries planted was to fill the frames with soil and compost. After breakfast, my husband and I set out in our truck to a family farm in our area that runs a compost business. When we arrived at the farm we were surrounded by steaming mountains of black compost. A worker came over to us and we told him to fill up the truck bed. He hopped in his construction loader, scooped up a big pile of compost and dropped it in the bed. We watched our truck suspension at work as the truck instantly dropped six inches down as it was filled with compost. We also saw the beauty of our V8 engine as we hauled the load on home.

Once we were back in the yard, my husband and I set about filling the beds. He shoveled compost into our wheelbarrow and then I would push the loads down to the bed frames (we put them near the bottom of our yard where they'll receive the most sunlight). It wasn't too hard to roll the compost down the hill as the weight of the wheel barrow and the tilt of the hill made for some nice momentum. Banjo also enjoying frolicking beside me as if he was racing me. Anyway, we ended up with some extra compost, so I spread some in the greenhouse and underneath the hardy kiwis and the honeyberries. 

Once the raised beds were filled, I dug three deep holes in them; two in one bed and one in the second. We're anticipating the arrival of three more goji plants in April from a different nursery, so we'll have to build another bed. Our plan is to plant two gojis per bed. I loosened the soil at the bottom of each hole and added lime (to raise the pH of the soil as gojis prefer alkalinity). The lime smelled very sweet...almost like  Lucky Charms cereal as weird as that sounds.  I then tossed in a few handfuls of compost, followed by soil and more compost and planted the gojis. I was starting to get a bit tired at this point, so I made a quick bamboo  pole and bird-netting fortress for the double goji bed and just tossed the extra bird netting on the single goji bed. I'm not going to lie...I did not enjoy working with bird netting. I seem to have a knack for tangling it. Hopefully it will keep the deer away from my vulnerable goji plants as they spend their first night in their new  home. I plan to build a more functionable enclosure for the gojis soon. I'm happy we were able to get them in the ground before they break their dormancy and I'm looking forward to seeing how they grow this spring.  Now I'm off to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea with honey and read about soil microbes with my sleepy pups at my side. Aww, the life! 

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