Monday, April 7, 2014

Planting Pine Seedlings, Prepping The Gardens, And A Baby Donkey

It has been a busy few weeks for Mike and I.  We had some back and forth things going on but we finally closed the "re flip" in Florida.  Here in TN we have been getting things ready for the store, we got the truck fixed, and we have been planting as the weather allows us to.

My square foot garden is in need of cleaning:

My poor strawberries need a cleaning out also:

Playing in the dirt…one of my favorite things:

All cleaned up…now it just needs some compost and it will be ready for planting:)

We have been using our wood stove and it has been keeping our house very toasty.  Mike adds more wood from up top to our wood stack down by the house…he missed his tractor:)

We picked up our granddaughter a couple of weeks ago to spend the night.  On our way home we stopped off at a neighbor's farm to see the animals.  They have a New Year's donkey named Homer:

Homer is such a cutie:

Two weeks ago we got our last, hopefully:), snowfall.  I love the snow on the tree branches:

Looks like we will be staying in today:

And of all things…the next morning we got a call from our Forestry department.  Our 500 seedlings are in so we had to meet the man in town to pick them up.  Sadly…we will not be able to plant until the ground thaws:

Luckily a few days later it warms up enough for us to start planting.  We loaded up the jeep and headed to the area above the barn and close to the property line:

That round we got about 30 trees planted.  It is a slow and not fun process when dealing with mountainsides, lol.

The next day we ventured out to a new location and planted about 30 more on the front ridge near our house.  Mike digs the holes and I follow behind him to plant the trees.  Niki is just happy to be out:)

Me planting the seedlings:

Looking back towards the house…yeah it is pretty unique:

A few days later we make it to the back hill.  Mike digging again:

The back view:

Again we planted about 30-40 more.  There is no way we will plant all 500 seedlings.  We keep the seedlings in a big plastic bucket with a lid and keep them moist.  So far they are holding up very well.  We will continue to find spots and plant what we can. After we are done we will give the rest away to our neighbors at the Farm Supply.

Taking a break from planting.  I talked Mike into letting me have a small "big girl" garden:):)  He is tearing out some of the grass so I can prep the spot:

Ooh…a real in ground garden:)

You can see where it is in reference to the house:

I am so excited.  It will be a small garden to get my feet wet.  I plan to compare both my square foot garden and this garden to see how things grow differently.  I will also be able to plant the bigger things in the in ground garden like more zucchini, squash and for the first time cantaloupes:)

Later on Mike helped me get my squares laid out for my square foot garden:

OK…back to planting trees.  We decided to add a line of trees behind the barn.  On our way down we spotted one of our resident deer:

Again…Mike dug the holes and I planted the seedlings.  It was a good round with some good dirt.  We planted about 60 more.  We did find something curious.  While Mike was digging he found a sneaker.  He asked me if I was missing a shoe…uh no, lol.  It turns out it was an old work sneaker of mine that was in the top of the barn.  We were pretty far from the barn so we have no idea what was big enough to get up to the top floor of the barn and then drag the sneaker at least 200 feet away…..and why???

At least the digging was easier:

Mike working his way back down:

Ooh…while we were down at the barn I spotted gold, lol.  Under the hay on the floor of the barn was some prime cow manure:):)  For decades the cows have been taken into the barn to get their shots.  Well under that hay was some beautiful garden compost:)

Mike scooped up a couple for me and dumped it into my garden:

I am a happy woman.  Since I don't have a tiller I and turning the dirt using a shovel:

Thankfully it is a small area, lol:

That's all for now.  Today we are getting a steady rain which will make our seedlings very happy.

I will keep you posted.  I will write an update each Monday to let you know what we are doing.  Have a great week:)



  1. Looking forward to seeing your garden!


    1. So beautiful and what views you have....have fun digging. Thanks for sharing

      Deb Cheever

    2. Thanks and you're welcome:)

  2. when I planted pines, I just drove a pick into the ground and stuck the tree / stick in that little one stroke pick-hole. No shovel, not much re-fill except mashing the hole closed around the tree. a little quicker, a lot easier, and much less effort per tree. just fyi, for every two planted, one dies, so about a 50% success rate. Plant accordingly - twice as many in the same space. Fertilize in the late fall.

    and that deer is looking forward to that patch you're preparing; use some of that space up inside the fence.


    1. Oh to be able to drive around to plant, lol. Yes we are expecting a low success rate. We planted about 3 rows staggered in the areas where we planted.

      I plan on adding some electric fence around the garden.

      Thanks for the FYI:)

    2. lisa young - Im not talking about driving around and planting, I'm talking about a common laborers' second favorite tool - a pick. I carried a bucketfull of seedlings in one hand and a pick in the other. good lord...


    3. Oops…yeah I know about picks, lol. Sorry sometimes I skim too fast.

  3. Good update I'll be particularly interested in comparing your 2 gardens. Are you having any trouble with the deer eating off your seedlings? Niki made it up that hill all by herself? :) Jaxson

    1. I plan on trying all different things…in ground vs sfg, plastic vs straw, and different additives as I water the plants. It should be interesting.

      The deer ate some f my fruit trees during the winter. I'm hoping they will leave the planted things alone since they will have other food here…I know wishful thinking, right, lol. We did have something pull out some of the seedlings but the rest were fine. Tomorrow we will go up and check the ones by the barn.

      Niki only made it to the front location by my new garden. That's as far as I want her to walk…and to the back garden but that's all. She did enjoy laying in the cow compost…grr!!

  4. Nothing beats springtime in the mountains. Maybe try some cold frames sometime; it sure gives you a head start. Good to hear you closed on your old place. Planting trees sounds like a good 4-H project for the local kids, I used to do it in HS for the forestry service. How’s the store coming along?

    1. Hmm….maybe I can check with the school next year. Actually the Forestry service will plant them for you for a price.

      The store now has a shed in front…I'll tell you about that next week. Oh and we now have a motorcycle to sell.

  5. Soon as you three quitcher gallavantin around the Country, flippin houses, ya gotta think about settin up some livestock for that farm of yours!
    Some chickens, goats, few cats for the barn, and some livestock, such as horses or cows yourselves :)
    Sure give us something to chew on LOL...
    I wish you well...


    1. We would love to have some animals. We just have to make sure we are ready to stay in one place, lol.

  6. Hi Lisa

    I have been following your stories since the beginning. Just wondering why Mike never constructed a garage to house all your equipment? Or is this another project in the works?

    Have a great summer.


    1. I'm not really sure. We did have the one shipping container from the beginning and since they are very secure we just got another one. Now that we don't have the cows we can park the tractor in the barn…or Mike can start a new project, lol.