When we first moved here, much needed to be fixed. The house and barn had some issues, and the garden space and surrounding land had even more. I’m sure many of you can empathize with renovations and even tear down and start over issues with homes or farms you have purchased. It is never easy, and sometimes the worst part is knowing where to start. Everything clamors for your attention and weather can often be the deciding factor. It was for us. We moved in in October and winter was nipping at our heels. So, we worked on painting the house and resolving minor issues inside the home. The outdoor projects would have to wait.
When spring finally rolled around we set to work outside. All winter we had been planning, scheming, and figuring what we had to do when we actually could so we were raring to go. The barn was a complete disaster, but it was workable so we set our sights on the growing areas.
We definitely wanted a big garden space that was expandable as we were aiming to one day have a productive and organic market garden. We had no idea whether the previous owners had used pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers so we wanted to totally rework the garden space. The decision wasn’t hard as their “garden” was nothing more than a weed patch with some vegetables struggling to exist.
Our previous garden at our last home was in the ground, but I had always wanted to try raised beds. As our climate now is much colder than where we used to live, I hoped the raised beds would help the soil to warm up faster in the spring. I also wanted beds that might attract less weeds and be easier to maintain.
We removed all the old plant matter which was not easy. I’m not sure whether the previous owners had ever weeded, but the ones they had left behind were extremely determined to stay exactly where they were. However, I am also a very determined person, and I wanted a clean garden so out they went.
Once we finally had a clean space to work with, we set up pathways and put up the beds. To make it easy as far as cutting the wood, we used 8’ boards on the long sides and 4’ boards on the short sides. That wasn’t the best size as we are not tall people, and a 4’ wide bed makes it hard to reach the middle to weed or harvest without stepping some in the bed soil. 3’ wide is a much more comfortable distance, at least for us.
All the work paid off, and the garden looked great. It was neater, more efficient, and more attractive than the previous weed party. Project 1 could be checked off the list. Only about a million more remained!
I uploaded this video to my YouTube channel (Shieldmaidens of Shiloh) today, but I also wanted to share it with you as it is such a great way to start seeds without spending a lot of money. After all, who doesn't have Christmas lights lying around somewhere in their home or garage!
I have only used this with the first set of seeds I planted this year. The next seeds to be planted are cabbages, squash, tomatoes and peppers. I often have trouble getting my cabbages to grow fast enough inside so they are ready for transplanting outside so I am hoping these heat trays will help. Tomatoes and peppers love heat so I am very confident they will really enjoy the extra heat from below as well as the heat from the lights above.
I will keep you informed as to how they work. If I discover any other helpful tips regarding the use of these quite ingenious heat mat hacks I will pass it on to you as well.
Happy seed starting to all.
Have a good one!
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds at meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you have learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.
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