Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mullets and coops: getting our backyard ready for spring

I don't know if I mentioned it yet, but our lot size is tiny. Like less than a quarter of an acre tiny. Being a narrow lot with basically no front lawn, we do get to have a decently long backyard. It's like the mullet of the yard world :)

I whipped up a quick blueprint of our house and yard to give you an idea of what we are dealing with. The main yard (grassy part) is a perfect size for entertaining, playing with Leela, or lounging. There is room for a table on the cement deck that sits above our shed and a nice little pathway leading down to the garden.

The garden has been a mess for a year. We bought the place with grand ideas of fixing it up and like typical eager beavers, thought we could tackle everything at once. I had a small garden last summer with little success. I was out there weeding every day and tried to keep everything watered (anyone else suffer a drought last year?) but sometimes love isn't enough. I'm trying to come up with a game plan for this year that will include raised flower beds and organic fertilizers.

After measuring several times and redrafting our plans over and over, I think the husband and I have come up with a plan for our garden area. One of the big problems that we ran into is the chicken coop. We had a great plan to put it in the back corner, but after reviewing our city's ordinances for birds, we found that the coop had to be ten feet away from any property line. Being on a lot that is only 30-some feet wide, we had to be very careful with where the coop gets placed.

This is a quick sketch of what we probably will do. Right now we are working on clearing out bushes and stumps and grass and anything that shouldn't be in this garden area. Then we will mark out where everything is going. Finally, a fence will be constructed around the garden and the garden beds and coop will be put up.

There is a lot of work to be done this month. We need to get the set-up done quickly so we still have time to plant a garden before it's too late and get the chickens moved outdoors by six weeks at the latest.

Anyone else making some big changes to their yards this spring/summer?