Since my last post we have lost another of the original chickens: goodbye to Speckles; we're glad you came to us, and we'll miss you. Our chicken cemetary is beginning to get a bit crowded.
My tulips are in full force now, like vibrant goblets, and Franklin wants to open them to see what's inside.
A couple more cheap acquisitions from the local garden center: a redcurrant and a ceanothus (not edible, but lovely flowers and nitrogen-fixing).
It's about time to start planting out new seedlings--I have about five trays on my patio and the same amount in the garage. I sheet mulched one of the the big veg beds--it was full of dandelions and to be honest, I can't be bothered weeding. I'm over it. I chopped and dropped some of the dandelion foliage, covered the bed with grass clippings, then covered it all with some big paper feed sacks. I wet the feed sacks, and threw some weed clippings and sticks on top. Ideally it should have a couple inches of clippings/mulch on top, but I used what I had at the time. Partner promised to cover it with the next batch of grass clippings, which ought to do it. When it's time to plant, I'll move aside a tiny patch of top mulch, puncture a small hole in the paper underneath, fill it with compost and plant a seedling in it. Or I could sow a seed there.
The paper should smother the weeds, and also break down over the course of the year. This keeps the soil structure intact, reduces compaction, adds organic matter, feeds my worms and other soil critters--and requires almost no labor from me. Win-win!