Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Flower Farmgirl Update!

Forsythia in bloom
Dear friends, Happy Tuesday! Here's hoping you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday and a restful weekend surrounded by your loved ones and good eats!

 Last week was a productive week as I continued work to make my dream of being a backyard flower farmgirl a reality! 

I visited my favorite local agricultural/nursery center to pick up Chicken Feed and low and behold they had a beautiful selection of Dahlia's to choose from. I had done some research online and made a wish list. Turns out, they had a terrific selection so I went ahead and purchased my first 19 bags ( two and three tubers each ) of Dahlias!

The range of colors and petal sizes is staggering!

I chose a variety of Decorative, 
Dinner Plate and Semi-Cactus. 

I researched what would be the best soil for filling my raised beds and got a good lead on where to get a nice mix of  organic mushroom compost and top soil. Dahlias can be planted two weeks after the last frost date. If you want to know your probable last frost date check out this fun site by Farmers Almanac!

Here you can see the inside of the stone tiles leaning against the wooden frame. You have to visualize with me! Imagine it filled with flowers and surrounded by a picket fence! 

 This bed is filled with organic matter from my yard. It's a mix of partially decomposed leaves, pine needles and some compost which as been laid over cardboard sure to bring worms to the surface! I am in the process of adding the bottom layer ( 3-4 inches ) of organic matter to all of the raised  beds. I'll then add the top soil/compost mixture then I'll top all beds with chipped wood to keep weeds at bay and moisture levels even.

 I also ordered my Greenhouse

Image from Shelter Logic
After much reading and debate about what and where to add a cold frame, hoop house, or greenhouse in our backyard we decided on the 10 x 10 x 8 greenhouse made by shelter logic. We got a great price from Tractor Supply but Shelter Logic also has theirs priced well at 35.00 higher than what we paid. I read mostly positive reviews. I had my heart set on a hoop house, but I think this little baby will serve us just as well for the cost, type of use and the space we have available! It is a backyard after all! It will be perfect for starting seeds early, and extending the season for some veggies as well. I still need to buy shelving, seed trays and organic potting soil.

 Next year, I'll be able to get an earlier start on planting seeds, but, I still think I'll have plenty of blossoms to share come summertime! Once we have completed expenditures for the first season I'll do a breakdown list of materials and costs.

 What's new in your backyard farmyard this week? I'm sharing this post with Heidi and friends over at her Country Garden Showcase Hop! Come meet the others!

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