Taking Advantage of the Short Thaw

Walkway lined w grasses

These grasses were cut down this weekend to complete our fall garden chores.

I was up with the chickens this morning and washed a load of perma-press clothing, fed the chickens, posted a story on our blog about our homestead and baked a black raspberry crisp to have with our lunch today. The crisp is a special treat for my husband for our 18th anniversary that we celebrated on November 30th. In addition to making him happy, there is a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that these tasty berries are our own black raspberries from our garden patch that I picked and froze last summer.

Pool house east side and grasses jpeg good

A December snapshot after the grasses have been cut down at the pool shack.

Gene shoveled the driveway while I cleaned out the chicken coop and began our lunch. I am making Alaskan salmon patties to have with left over sweet potatoes and a tossed salad today. Gene popped Sassy in the truck for her run and combined a trip to the recycle stations while I swept the floors. Our plan is to get to work on the outdoor project this afternoon that was delayed due to the snow.

Gene trimming garden cart

Taking advantage of the snowmelt to cut back the ornamental grasses.

With winter coming on so early this year combined with our two-week long get-away trips we did not finish all of the outdoor garden work. So today when the weatherman predicted a 30 to 40 degree warm up with sunshine we decided we had better get right on cutting down the last of the ornamental grasses.

Pool shack row of grasses cut down USE jpeg

The side garden at our simple and basic farm-stead type swimming pool.

I know some gardeners leave the grasses up all winter for interest and for the birds to eat their seeds but over the years we have found it works best for us to cut ours down in the fall. The songbirds have plenty to eat at our year-round bird bed & breakfast bar!

cart in front of wire bin USE

This is our big compost bin where we toss the tougher grasses to compost. They often take two years to break down. Our Vermont Cart is indispensible for such garden clean up projects.

Here in the land of 6 ft. snowfall the grasses tend to get beat down anyway from the heavy snow fall. While I am more of a cut them down with your hands kind of person, Gene prefers to saw them off with the electric hedge trimmer.  It’s a guy thing! He wraps them in a rope, saws the canes off and I toss them into the Vermont Cart and haul them off to the larger compost bin.

Chickens =logs-straw USE

The chickens free ranging in their fenced in pen.

I let the chickens out to free range and we began the garden project.

Chunk of grass stones in frnt USE

Micanthensis Sinsethisisa favorite type of ornamental grass.

Small House Homesteader, Donna

5 thoughts on “Taking Advantage of the Short Thaw

  1. Pingback: Taking Advantage of the Short Thaw | Small House Under a Big Sky

  2. Hi Donna, I’m popping in from Community Chickens. Oh my do we have some similarities….my husband and I just celebrated 17 years of marriage on November 29 AND black raspberry pie is my all time favorite – I even requested it as a child instead of birthday cake 😉


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