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Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Outside To Do/Wish List

This has been a full week of sport evenings for Ethan since Monday - 3 nights of softball games, a soccer game, and umping tonight before his game. Next week slows down a bit and then softball is done - which will most likely be the end of my blogging spurt, if not before.

The ground is also starting to dry up a bit outside, and I was able to do some mowing during nap this afternoon. It's still wet enough that I sink down in the garden, and I couldn't really think of much else to do outside this evening that wouldn't create a mess.

While I was mowing, however, I thought that maybe I should make a list of non-farm related projects that I would like to get done outside - both things that should be done and things that would be fun to have done. I will probably keep adding to the lists as things pop into mind (I already added to my house list in my last post) and then try to highlight things off as I get them done. Sometimes it seems there is so much to do that I just think about what needs to be done yet and forget about what has been accomplished. So although looking at the lists can seem a bit daunting, I think it will end up being encouraging as I see things highlighted off.

So here's my list of outside projects (some of them will double from the list before) and a picture of what I have somewhat envisioned the property looking like some day:Things that really should get done:
* Get the kids' play tower and swings set back up.
* Get a clothes line up. ( fall 2012 - put a cheap round one up.) Put a long clothes line up.
* Bring in field rocks from one of our farmer friend's rock piles to line the walk to the porch from the drive and the walk from the mudroom door to the porch.
* Bring in a load of river rock for the walkways.
* Have Ethan use the loader to move some more dirt on top of the storm shelter. (I mentioned earlier that I spent about 5 hours balancing the dirt out on both sides by using a shovel, but we need to add more dirt since the layer is so thin in places the cement shows.)
* Plant some viney/ivy plants on the storm shelter that will develop a good root system to hold the dirt in place. (My mom has more than what she wants in a flower bed at her house that I'm going to bring. Don't know what they are called yet.) (Decided to use marigolds 2012)
* Seed muddy areas of the lawn where the ground got torn this spring or we just missed with seeding last year. (spring 2013)
* Put up bluebird houses. (My mom made me a bunch of homemade bluebird houses for my birthday when we first moved here to put on our property since we have bluebirds around.) (Fall 2011)

Things that I really hope to get done:
* I have a friend about 7 minutes away with 200 or so railroad ties in a pile. I would like to bring over a load or two to put a border around the garden, around the wood pile, and a few other places. :: Scratch that one - hadn't thought about them being treated with creosote.
* Decide if I want to put border around the garden, what I will use, and then put the border of whatever around. (Spring 2013 Tilled up a boarder around the garden fence to plant annual flowers each year. The yearly retilling of this area will keep weeds away from the garden.)
* I would like to put a walkway (gravel or grass) through the middle of the garden from the hydrant to the orchard. (Decided against this one.  I am now mulching the garden well and create a walkway with mulch.)
* Set up the picnic/fire pit area. (Spring 2012)

* Plant a few larger fruit trees in the orchard. (We were blessed by some friends with an orchard of seedlings. They are doing well, but I left a few places to plant some maturer trees that will fruit within 5 years or less.) ** Hy-Vee had trees 75 % off so I bought and planted 2 apple trees for $15 each.
* Make a designated strawberry bed behind the house. (Placed it in the garden in an area that is rotated every 3 years to keep nematodes at bay.)
* Bring up some more blackberry and raspberry plants to have berries by the house. (Fall 2013)
* Finish conditioning the garden so that it can get going in full swing. (Right now we have pigs on half of it for fertilization purposes. The quarter that had hogs on it already does inconceivably better than the quarter in use that didn't) (Spring 2012 - The full garden is finally ready!)
* Get perennial flowers and asparagus/rhubarb/etc. planted in the front of the garden. (Spring 2012 - planted asparagus from my brother's yard.  Changed perennial area to a rotation with strawberries and melons.)

* Figure out what I want to plant in the triangle of the walkways to the house and plant it. (Fall 2010 - small ever greeny shrubs. I forgot the name. Have to check the tag!)
* Replant some trees that didn't make it from the ones that I planted this spring. (The nursery said it ended up being a bad spring for planting trees.)
* Decide if we want a walkway to the storm shelter and make it if we do. (Spring 2012 - Decided against)

Things that would just be nice to do:
* I would like to build a raised fire pit. When Hannah was 2 she tripped by a campfire and fell straight over it. I was even being the on the edge of the seat "stay away from the fire, sit down, walk BEHIND the chairs" parent that night. She just got off her chair to walk behind and mis-stepped. By God's grace
her hands landed on a rock at the edge of the fire and instead of her hands or face going in the fire she was able to hold her head up just long enough for me to pull her away without any burns. With having little ones here and friends and family with little ones, I would feel much safer having campfires if they weren't at ground level.
* I would like an arbor built over the hydrant area that I could plant a flowering vine on.
* Seed/plant some pampas grass and ditchy type flowers in our ditch - starts all from my parents' place. (Spring 2012)

So there you go. There are my lists for now. I'm sure I will add some things as I think of them, but for now I am going to go hand trim some grass around the beehive that didn't get mowed (didn't want to mow too close with a busy hive) since the bees are probably most all going to bed now.


cd0103 said...

Quite a list. Good Luck!

FYI- please don't put the railroad ties around anything edible. They are creosote covered and it can leach into the ground.

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Thanks for the information about the railroad ties. I didn't even think of that! We had them around our garden growing up and I know a lot of people use them for raised gardens and they work so well. :( Any suggestions or ideas that don't cost much?

TheBee said...

We went to our local tire shop and got used tires to make a raised bed for our garden. We stacked them 2 high, like laying brick, filled them with dirt and sand. We made a bed of sand in the middle of the rectangle we created with the tires and then filled it with topsoil. The tires were FREE. I grow my strawberries in the tires and plant squash at the corners along with cucumbers.

Nance said...

All that sounds like a lot of fun -- but know you are busy with three little ones. If I didn't have to work for a living, I'd come help! What program did you use for the layout of your homestead? That is pretty cool. Nana

BackwoodsMama said...

Hi! I'm so glad I ran across your site. This post is exactly what I've been wanting to do with my on've inspired me!

Don't feel disappointed with your garden. I have 3 little ones too and with the amount of rain we've received here in the midwest (I'm in central IL) it's been impossible for us to keep up!

BackwoodsMama -

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