March Homestead Update

Ah, winter in the South. It’s been hovering in the 60s and 70s here for the past two weeks or so, what we like to call “false spring.” The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and we’re supposed to get snow and temperatures in the teens this weekend.

Super fun.

Not.

Today, I’ll likely be mulching our poor peach tree, which has started to bloom this sultry March. We’d prefer no repeat of last year, where we got not a single fruit because of a late freak frost that kill every. Single. One. Of the possible fruits. [insert angry face]

Anyway, that’s today’s news. I’m here to update you on what we’ve been doing for the past month and a half or so.

Seed Starts

We’ve started some seeds, yay! I started some of my longer-germinating herbs back in February (namely, parsley), and did a much bigger seed start at the beginning of March.

We’ve got the following basking under the grow light this month:

  • parsley
  • Genovese basil
  • Thai basil
  • dill
  • tomatoes (Mr. Stripey and Cherokee Purple)
  • sweet bell peppers
  • hot peppers (poblano, banana, jalapeno, and habanero)

As usual, the peppers are just starting to sprout, while the tomatoes did so a little less than a week ago, with the herbs coming up somewhere in between. Parsley has some true leaves and is taking its sweet time, which is good as far as transplanting this or next month.

We’ll be starting some other warmer plants later this month (squash, moonflowers, and other flowers), since we had good production from transplanting these plants last year.

Planting

For the most part, it’s still too cold or unpredictable to plant yet, with some exceptions. Since the ground is workable, and these plants are cold-hardy, I finally got my carrot, parsnip, and radish seeds in the ground in our front cold bed. If you squint hard enough, you still won’t see the seeds.

I’ll likely be doing my early spring container plants – lettuces, bok choy, and other cool-hardy plants – within the next week or so, since I can bring those inside if the weather gets too crazy.

Moving and Prepping

A few weeks ago, we finally moved our strawberries to their new side bed, huzzah!

As a side note, what’s nice about having an older, only slightly mobile baby is that we can work outside while she hangs out on a blanket. Sure, she tries to eat the occasional leaf or blade of grass, but who hasn’t? It’s called exploring, and she’s loves being outside. Plus, we get so much more work done this year than the last.

Anyway, I’m super glad to have our strawberries out of that horrible crabgrass-infested bed where I can actually see and monitor their growth, as well as let them spread better. Here’s hoping we actually get to taste a strawberry or two (or more) this year!

Otherwise, our winter chores include cleaning and organizing the storage space, pulling up landscape fabric to create new beds, and making sure our chickens are happy and healthy. Speaking of which, we’ve been getting quite the egg production these cold months. Hmm.

That’s about it. Until next time and warmer weather, happy homesteading, y’all!

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