Friday, March 30, 2012

sowing our (garden) oats

Goodness, how did April sneak up like that? This coming week is a big one for planting! The remaining tomatoes and peppers will be started indoors, and some of the cool weather crops can be sown outside. I'll do this in a trickle-like fashion, as is my slow-but-steady way these days. For the next couple months, I'll gladly shun any and all social obligations in favor of spending quality time with my dirt. I'll hover like a fretting mother over my new seedlings, and check the weather reports more often than the weatherman can change them.


I'm a couple weeks late getting these little oat seeds in the ground, but I'm not too worried - we've been having a bit of a warm, dry spell, and as far as I know oats prefer to have a little wet, cold snap for starting. The nights are still very cold, and we'll likely see more cooler days (snow, even) in the next couple months. This weekend we'll till some compost into a 100 square foot area, and plant our little oat patch.

The oats are part of our experiment with a garden for the chickens, which I hope will provide a large part of our flock's food supply at the end of the year when their pasture is covered in snow. It's also our first time growing grains, and I'm really excited about that!


I'm having the chickens accompany me in the garden area these days, and they're doing a fine job helping me get the soil prepared.


Are you planting, growing, or harvesting right now too, friends?

22 comments:

  1. Yes! Getting ready to start some seeds indoors this week too. But it has been rain, rain and more rain here. Too wet to do much outside. Happy weekend to you Jamie!

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  2. Oh, Jaime, you really are doing what we all talk about doing, aren't you? Beautiful life...

    I am not a good gardener. But yes, we are planning, on a very small scale, in that we bought some seeds and a little seed-starter pack. Basil, nasturtiums, marigolds, sunflowers. Tomatoes to come. Am considering planting a blueberry bush. Collecting advice regarding that! Have any to share?

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    1. Hi Jeannine! Well, blueberries need acidic soil, so you may want to test yours to see if they'll do well in your area. I think you may also need two bushes so they get pollinated. Our soil is not friendly to blueberries, so I'm going to try growing them in big pots filled mostly with peat moss and a little compost. Good luck with your planting!

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  3. Oh - LOVELY! Your hens look positively radiant out there in the grass and sun :) Our poor dears are wading through the mire of the snow melt... It's gradually better each day with more dry ground for them to frolic on as we creep into April. Yes, April well and truly snuck up on us! Have a great weekend :)

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  4. I love that you're planting oats! I'm definitely going to try some this year too, but would you believe I should wait until fall because around here they're a cool weather crop. I hope this is a very successful experiment. Will you feed them to your goats as well?

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    1. We keep the goats on pretty much a grass diet, so maybe just as a treat :) They're pygmies, so they're good at putting on enough fat for winter just from munching pasture!

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  5. Hi Jamie...I have not tried oats. I'll be anxious to hear how your experiment turns out. Do oats need cool weather to grow? Just curious if it is too late for me to try a small area.

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    1. From my understanding they like to germinate at cooler temperatures. I have a couple links for growing oats near the end of my "2012 grow list" page if that might be helpful. You know, though, I've grown quite a few things over the years that technically weren't supposed to do well here, so you just never really know until you try ;)

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  6. Such an exciting, busy time of year for gardeners, is it not? I started a few seeds indoors last weekend. I'll hopefully get some spinach in the ground this week. Trying to scale back a bit and nurture a few veggies rather than overextend myself. I love your chickens! That's next on our home "to do" list!

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  7. I'm experimenting with hull-less oats this year too. Haven't gotten my into the ground either. Good luck with yours!

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  8. Your posts never fail to make me want a tree change.
    We are preparing our little plot for some winter growing...we're still learning through trial and error but it's fun all the same :)

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  9. Your chickens are beautiful ~ I just bought four Barred Rock at Thanksgiving and they should be laying eggs soon...they are so pretty and I did not have that breed. My favorite are the Ameraucana because of their eggs, but I like the Barred Rock becauase of their coloring! And, yes ~ this weekend...I am planting. My garden it tilled and ready...so I am excited! I wish I could let my chickens free range, but we have too many critters that will kill them...but they do have a nice big chicken coop and I bring them lots of greens and scraps. Happy Weekending!

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  10. just getting things ready for our growing season. got some seedlings planted. now it needs to warm up and be spring again. not winter!

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  11. First, I love the last photo! We have a lot of starts inside and I can't wait to get them out. It sounds like you'll get a jump start ahead of us, because here in the mountains I have to wait until after Mother's Day. Eek. I completely agree about social obligations. I'd rather be in the garden.

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  12. So jealous of your chickens! Our little town allows them, but has such strict requirements that we can't meet them (must be 40 ft from the house...which would be in the neighbor's yard).

    We started our tomatoes 6 weeks ago, and they'll be ready for transplant soon.

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  13. Your chickens are going to love "their" garden I'm sure!! :)
    My seedlings are coming along nicely in the house but I need to wait another month at least before putting them out. I did plant a second batch of radish seeds and had sprouts but something ate them all. I will reseed Monday and cover them this time until they get a little bigger.

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  14. Oh, Jamie, your photos give me hope that spring is really coming to Prince Edward Island one of these days. : ) You have green grass! Wow. Anyhow, we are trying a cold frame this year, so we got it built from scraps of wood and an old window, and I am going to plant it tomorrow. It is an experiment but we'll try spinach, green onions, rocket, not sure what else. Can't wait to see if it works!

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  15. This is always such a busy time of year. I had hoped to have all of my cool weather seeds in the garden by now (even though it has been far from cool), but it doesn't even look like I'll have them in this week. I'll get the tomatoes and peppers planted soon in the peat pots to transplant mid to late May, but even that seems like a tall order of business! And I need to prune the roses that have totally leafed out but it isn't really time to prune them yet! What a crazy spring!

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  16. Love the oats idea. I was pleased to see our chickens scavenging from the cows last winter. We had to supplement with calcium when the shells got a little thin. Do your chickens get along with the goats?

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  17. I've just added your blog my follow list. I've really enjoyed reading your archive!!

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    1. Hello Erin! You're too sweet :) Wishing you a wonderful growing season for your organic garden.

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  18. "hover like a fretting mother" - i love it! the temperatures got too warm here and our broccoli bolted. our winter veggies aren't doing very well, but the tomato and basil plants appear to be thriving! always love to check out what's going on at the Ngo Family Farm!

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