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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Solar Power

It's amazing how a day of sunshine pushes you out of the house and into the garden.

We're having the first nice day in quite awhile here in Atlanta, and Dominique and I ran outside as soon as possible to make hay while the sun shone.  (Unfortunately, it's already starting to cloud up.)  Dominique staked out the space for our chicken yard while I finally ordered our chicken coop from etsy.  It won't ship until March 15 but that's ok, the chicks will need to be inside where it's warm and we can keep an eye on them for the first few weeks.

Then I started on the beds in the lower 40.  The earth is really improving; much less of that horrible red Georgia clay and much more of the dark loamy stuff.  Result:  we seem to be getting a better class of weeds.  Used to be very tough, tall grass; now it's more of a ground cover that would actually be nice if it weren't where I'm planning my carrots and potatoes and basil and and to be.

Made a small experiment.  In 2 beds I hoed then pulled out the weeds; then covered the entire bed with a deep layer of mulch.  In the third bed, I only hoed and mulched, leaving the weeds where they were.  It was a lot less work, so if the result is the same - i.e., weedless beds, I hope - then I can continue doing it that way.  Unfortunately I won't know the outcome until April, when I prepare the beds for actual planting, so I'll have to decide what to do with the rest of the beds in the meantime.

A very big toad jumped out the leaves in one of the beds.  Quite a surprise.  He didn't seem at all bothered by me and in fact I had to give him a gentle poke to make him move so I could see if he was ok.  He was.  I yelled for Dominique to come down, which scared him (Dom) to death, but eventually he brought his camera and we got some great shots.  He (the toad) seemed a little dopey; do toads hibernate in winter?

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