This week on the Homestead
This is the week where we prune all our fruit trees and berry bushes. It took us few years to learn to prune trees and quiet honestly its still little sad to cut off so many beautiful branches that are loaded with buds. Pruning is needed for healthy tree growth and bigger fruit size.
Fruit trees should be pruned in late winter before the buds open up. We try not to cut more than 30% of the tree at any given year. Any shaded and diseased branches need to be pruned. This is also a great time to plan how you want the mature tree to look. We want our trees to be spread out wide with lower branches so harvesting is easier.
Pruning berry bushes is very similar to fruit trees. Berry bushes will produce bigger berries if pruned properly each year.
This is also a great time to fertilize your fruit trees and berry bushes. We use a tree fertilizer we bought from stark brothers which is water soluble. Its a lot of work especially when you have fruit trees spread out all over the yard but our hard work will be rewarded with healthy and strong trees.
Spring is also a great time add chicks to your homestead! We bought 12 chicks from a local store and unfortunately 7 died within 24 hours. We have never had such high mortality rate so we called the store and they said we could have replacement chicks. Unfortunately, they were sold out when we got to the store (it was the next day!). Now we aren't sure if we should get the replacement chicks since the 5 that survived will be bigger and stronger and we don't want the 1 day old chicks to get trampled on. We still haven't decided what we will do.
Potato planting time is here! In our zone 7 we can plant potatoes this week! I bought 3 different varieties from the local co op and we cut them up last week so they could dry before planting. The garden beds are prepped and the potatoes will be planted today! I plan to use the lazy gardener method this year since our clay soil makes it difficult to hill up the soil around the potatoes. The lazy gardener method is basically you bury the potatoes 2-3 inches in to the soil and than place a thick layer of dry leaves, hay or straw on top. When the potatoes are ready to harvest you just push the mulch aside and harvest. I hope its as easy as it sounds!
All my spring seedling are doing amazing and I am so excited! I did have to reseed some cells but overall we had great germination rate! I also up potted all the cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and lettuces. Its extra work but I don't want the seedlings to be root bound and become weak.
I hope all your spring planting and preparation is going well!