Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To Do List (Before Spring):

My to do list before spring.  Gotta love that little widget.  Before spring meaning, in my world, before it's time to start the garden.  March 20th is totally irrelevant as far as marking spring goes around here.  Heck, our frost free date isn't until June 8th!  Although it is definitely warming up out there and the snow is melting fast, we're a long ways from seeing anything green yet.  And it's snowing!  So I still have a few weeks to get the last of my winter chores and projects done before we dive into spring- gardening, yard clean up, fencing, firewood and what not.

-clean out & reorganize basement
-fix the wood slide/basement window so it will close properly
-refill firewood from wood shed
-clean out #3 & #4's room
-remove carpet
-wash & polyfill walls
-put in new carpet
-get ready for the tax man
-clean out the feed room
<-buy new feed bins> DONE
I bought really big rubbermaid bins for feed.  And the squirrels chewed through the lid of the oats bin THE FIRST DAY!  Little buggers.  5 squirrels have met their doom in the squirrel trap since then.  I never minded when they stole from the bird feeders.  I don't mind when they clean up the stuff we spill.  But the ungrateful little buggers that are causing damage are on the hit list.
-clean out chick brooder box
<-test heat lamps/buy new bulbs> DONE
<-order chicks> DONE
I decided on 50 non-sexed Columbian Rock X Reds  
and 25 Bronze Orlopp turkeys.

They'll be arriving May 11th.  I bought corn crib wire to fence in the garden, and we'll be building the new chicken coop/turkey pen at the end of the garden.  With it all fenced in, I'll be able to open the gate between them at the end of the season/next spring, and let the birds browse, scratch, dig, fertilize, and control pests in the garden.  Since I spend tons of time in the garden all summer, I think it'll deter the foxes and other predators.  I'm hoping anyway.  I've also got plans to make use of human urine.  It's supposed to work well to keep deer and other animals away from the garden, so why not?  Once the fence is up, the boys can start marking our territory.
<-get greenhouse ready> DONE
<-put plastic on roof and sides> DONE
<-put wood on sides> DONE
-build & install door
The greenhouse has plastic.  Lots of plastic.  

We used 1X3s at the bottom of all four sides to hold the plastic down.
I put my digital thermometer inside last night.  It tracks the lowest and hottest temperatures, as well as the current temp.  Last night it dropped to -1.7°C (28.9°F)  That's not bad, considering it was late afternoon by the time we got the plastic done, and there wasn't time for the heat to build.  Today it's at 10.4°C (50.7°F) even though it's -2°C (28.4°F) outside.  It feels nice in there.  It shouldn't take too long to defrost the ground at that rate, and all we've done is plastic.  I have some black 5 gallon pails to fill with water and place inside yet.  The black will absorb the heat from the sun faster, and the water will help to moderate the temperature inside longer.  No garden hose yet, so I'm waiting for rain.  I should have filled them with snow before it started melting.  We didn't build a real door, after all.  Just hung plastic with a board for weight.  Since the pig in the greenhouse plan is out the window- and the entire garden will be fenced to keep out goats- a solid door isn't required now.
 All done.  Awesome.  Getting excited to plant.

-start seeds
-spring cleaning

In other news- none of the eggs hatched from the electric frying pan.  I'm too much of a wimp to crack them open to see how they were coming along.  They already smell.  There is a significant weight difference between some of them.  I'm not sure what that means.  The little gray hen is still broody and has managed to lay/steal more eggs than she can cover.  I would think they should start hatching soon if they're going to.

No trees tapped.  I've been procrastinating.  Now looking at the weather forecast, I may have missed the opportunity.

Hubby got a new toy, an Arctic Cat 650cc quad.  That should haul some serious firewood.  We might be taking the pick up off the road- still not running.  We'll see, I guess.