In today’s update I’m sharing the progress of our front, back, and side yard, lots of pretty flowers and veggie pics, the chicken retaining wall, how to kill weeds effectively, and some funny stories in there too. Welcome to farmhouse garden update #2.
We want to do a lot with our little homestead. Why wouldn’t you? Sometimes when I look at a piece of land no matter how big or small I immediately picture the potential. The flowers, the veggies, the animals, etc. I think I’m cursed LOL 🙂
So we’re trying to use our space the best we can at our farmhouse. We have a front yard, side yard, and back yard. There are flowers in all three yards, and we’ve got an assortment of veggies growing in the back.
Farmhouse Garden – Front Yard
In the front, we have some flowers and a little bit of landscaping that happened before we moved into the house. We have the retaining wall and of course our farmhouse front porch.
But, the weeds were so extreme that we had to start with those before we could plant flowers.
It’s like cooking dinner when there are still dirty dishes from breakfast and lunch. No thank you!
For some reason, we have A TON of weeds out here. The backyard isn’t this bad, just the front. Anyone know why the weeds are so much worse?
How to Kill Weeds Naturally
I’m not an expert in this and am still learning too, but here’s what I’ve learned about weeding so far. First, it seems like weeds are inevitable no matter what you do.
We are anti-anything “artificial” going in our yard. With the chickens in the back, we pretty much don’t use any fertilizer other than their own chicken poo because we eat their eggs every day. We also would never put weed killer or anything of the sort back there.
There is a solution that I make up that helps with weeds. I mix water, vinegar, and dish soap in a spray bottle and spray all over the place. It’s helps the weeds from growing and kills the small ones if you use it often enough.
For this front garden I just used my hands to pull the weeds out. If you’re going to do this, I suggest using a shovel to get deep enough to break the roots. I was using my hand shovel so much that I actually snapped the handle off, LOL. Time to get a new one.
It was about the same time I snapped the handle off my hand shovel when my husband came outside and said let me help you.
That’s when he grabbed the blow torch and torched the heck out of the weeds. If you’re an experienced gardener I’m sure you already know about this method, but for us it was our first time.
Did you know that you can use a blow torch even after you’ve planted seeds? It just kills the weeds on the surface, so you can blow right over the seeds so the weeds don’t get in their way. Great way to blow off any steam from the day’s workload, too, LOL. At least that’s what my husband says.
Flowers, flowers, and flowers
We have a lot of rain here in the spring. But when that sun comes out, it gets warm and the plants thrive.
In the front yard we have peonies, zinnias, calendula, dahlias, baby’s breath, and nasturtiums. Only some are blooming so far, and of course I brought them in the house right away! 🙂
I pulled these peonies out this last week and have so enjoyed them being on the counter. Peonies are one of the most beautiful flowers in my opinion. I also planted 9 peony bulbs in the front yard with hopes they would come up this year but I think that was a bit of a long shot.
If you know how long it takes to grow a peony plant, let me know.
Here are some pretty pics from my garden 🙂
Watch: Farmhouse Garden Front Porch
Watch: Farmhouse Garden Tablescape
Pumpkins, tomatoes, and more
In our backyard, we have a garden bed that we grew excellent tomatoes in last summer. This year, we planted more tomatoes, in addition to peppers, squash, herbs, onions, and kale.
Our kale plant was so big that I had to cut it back because it was falling over in the wind. I feel like the soil in this bed isn’t as good as the trough planter box because we haven’t seen much success with the seeds we planted in the spring.
That might also be because our chickens got into them for about 10 minutes when I turned my back though.
They do that.
The pumpkin, tomato, onion, and pepper are all starts we got from our local farm stand. We have had a hard time growing from seed in this bed because of slugs and I think there are cats that come around at night too. Every time the seedling pops up it disappears 🙁
These starts are looking pretty good though. Now we just need some heat and sunshine and they’ll be on their way!
Trough Planter Box
We built this trough planter box a few months ago and it’s been doing great!
In this box we planted beans, carrots, winter squash, bachelor’s buttons, calendula, dahlias, and a few others. A lot going on here, we’ll see how it all turns out.
Here’s a little before and after for this garden bed:
TROUGH PLANTER BOX: BEFORE
TROUGH PLANTER BOX: AFTER
Of course these aren’t even bloomed yet! But just a little update 🙂
DIY Retaining Wall
We had this retaining wall in the backyard when we moved in, but the yard is slanted at an angle. Long story short, it isn’t effective at “retaining” anything on one side of the yard.
The chickens love to kick up dirt and we love to let them do that. Because that’s how they get bugs and all sorts of yummy treats and they make great eggs.
But we just had a french drain installed in the winter time and brand new rocks put in on top. Aren’t these pretty?
So we went to Lowe’s and got some new bricks to add to the retaining wall. Now chickens can do their thing and the rocks stay clean.
Retaining Wall: BEFORE
Retaining Wall: AFTER
Side Garden – Dreams? Ideas?
I will leave you with this – what do I do with this side yard?
We have this long portion on the side of our house that is mostly grass and a little dirt too. While we were at the weed killing, we tried to clear this dirt out the best we could.
I had leftover seeds from the spring so I thought what the heck, let’s just throw them in there.
If they don’t grow, I won’t be disappointed. On the other hand I planted my entire stock of bean seeds because they were going bad, so it’s possible the next Jack and the Beanstalk will take place on our side yard.
Hope the neighbors don’t mind!
I’m thinking a big trellis for future tomatoes, maybe a few pots, and a bird bath.
Let me know in the comments what you would do?