Garden Journal: May 2017

I tried a classy little moleskin gardening journal a couple of years ago, meant to track my garden layout for rotation planting, list what seeds I needed to order, and make notes on what worked and what didn’t work for me that season. I ended up storing the journal with seeds in the shed and I didn’t get much use out of it. Since I’m really consistent about using this blog, I’m going to try this format. I hope my readers don’t mind the deviation from purely two-mom family stuff, but gardening and self-sufficient lifestyle stuff is an equally huge part of who I am. 

For anyone interested in our urban backyard homesteading projects, we have a 100′ x 50′ back yard in zone 5. Unfortunately it’s North facing, but we work with what we have. 

Tasks done this spring


  • Started chicken coop design, started to source materials
  • Ordered seeds (a little late…)


  • Started kale and herbs indoors. I started a bunch of perennial herbs this year. Perennial is where it’s at.
  • Started scavenging materials for the chicken coop. Waited for the snow to melt to start building…
  • Searched for ready-to-lay hens.


  • Topped up gardens with fresh compost (store bought because my compost bins are slow acting right now) 
  • Started tomatos indoors
  • Transplanted kale and cold hardy herbs (winter savoury, lemon balm, chives) outside. Hope to never have to do this again thanks to cold frame plans for this fall/winter… 
  • Pruned last year’s old growth out of raspberry bushes
  • Construction on the chicken coop commenced! I should be clear – I played NO part in this. It was all my wife. Someone had to watch the baby…
  • Ordered chicks after giving up on finding ready-to-lay hens in the breeds I wanted. They’ll be ready for pick up mid to late June.


  • Transplanted everything else to outside gardens after last frost date (we had frost mid May this year, so it’s good I waited).
  • Harvested some fiddle heads – they really didn’t do well this year and I have no idea why. They’re native, they’ve done well here in the past, and they’re supposed to be prolific. Need to do some research into why they are struggling.
  • Harvested morels! After trying and failing with mushroom logs for the past 3 years, this was a big win. And that’s why I love wild edibles and native planting. It’s there for you when agriculture fails.
  • Harvested asparagus – also not doing well. Need to bite the bullet and dig it up in the fall to move to a better location.
  • Chicken coop nearing completion, but still need to build the run and get all the chicken husbandry supplies.

General To-Do/Goals List:

  • Have a more perennial vegetable garden. Give more space to things that come back every year and minimize the amount of seeds I have to start inside and transplant.
  • Build raised bed covers out of framed hardware cloth (i.e., heavy duty welded wire mesh) to keep the squirrels out of my freshly sowed seeds next spring.
  • Build a mini hoop house for over my herb bed/kitchen garden so I can harvest kale and herbs through the winter and start greens really early next spring.
  • Move asparagus this fall to a sunnier location.
  • Improve composting methods (maybe trade in black bins for an open-air heap in a pallet frame for easy turning) 


3 thoughts on “Garden Journal: May 2017

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s