2018 Garden Plan

It’s always a delight to plan the garden in January and February, letting your mind wander ahead of the seasons. Taking stock of what you have, what you want, and what you need to realize that. Considering the successes and failures of the year before (every year has them) and deciding your next steps.

We’ve had squash bugs the last two summers so I’m calling it and not planing zucchini, winter squash, or cucumbers. It’s hard to hold myself back but it also makes more space for things I love—like beans, peppers, tomatoes, flowers.

This might just be my first season of simplicity.

I’m excited. I think I might be able to pull it off this year.
Last year my flower game was strong, and I even kept up on the weeds pretty well.

So this year there will be a lot of haricot vert bush beans, two colors of basil, two colors of kale, Asian eggplants, lots of zinnias. Lots of tomatoes. Lots of COLOR.

Ordered seeds from Fedco. Have you heard of them? I love their selection, their prices (!), and even the volume—because I definitely don’t need as many seeds as I get most, especially when I like to shake things up year-to-year.

And for the peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, cabbage (and kale! maybe basil!) I’ll buy starts from the local farms and grocery. We have some great selection in town and I’m done with the risk. Too many mistakes, too much waste.

This year we’ll plant a ‘hedge’ of sunflowers, amaranth and other flowers along the fence too. It will provide a little privacy from the neighbors and attract birds. And we love birds, so if we really make it happen I’ll be a happy kitty.

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A rabbit hutch.

Rabbit cages are small, and unattractive.
And rabbit hutches are either too expensive or poorly constructed.

So I decided to build my own.
I really wish I could have avoided this—because basically all my attempts to build things have been frustrating, imperfect, and expensive (sometimes).

What I planned to do, and what I did, started to vary after the first day of work.

I made a larger hutch for our mama bunny, a shorter one for our fella.
The dimensions of our mama hutches was 30″h x 3’w x 6’l—with about 2′ with a solid bottom and sides, a cozy space for nesting and in the colder months.

They are both 3′ off the ground—easier to grab rabbits.

I used salvage and what I had around as much as I possibly could.

My process:

  1. Build the frame for the floor first.
  2. Cover 1/3rd with OSB board cut to fit. Cover the rest in 16-gauge double-galvanized wire with 1/2″ x 1″ holes.
    Sixteen gauge is stronger and more supportive on our rabbits’ feet.
  3. Build the frame of the hutch off the base. Simple screwing A to B.
  4. Cover one side with 16 gauge wire mesh with 1″ x 1″ holes.
  5. Use OSB board to cover the other side, and the back.
  6. Create the door frames. Cover one with OSB board. Cover the other with 18 gauge wire mesh with 1″ x 1″ holes.
  7. Attach door at the bottom of the frame with 2-3 hinges. Install latch on opposite side to hold door closed.
  8. Attach legs to outside of the frame.
  9. Add the roof. I intended to use salvage, but bought more OSB instead.

For the doe’s hutch I put in two doors, a solid one in the nesting area that opens out, and a mesh door for the larger open area that opened up.

These are three webpages I found to be most helpful:

Mistakes I made:

  • Framing off the base and adding the back and roof last, meant there were small gaps running along the base and top. I consoled myself with the idea that this will allow some circulation, and I can use hay as a stop-gap.
  • Tried regular staplegun staples to hold down the wire mesh.
    Had to upgrade to heavier staples from the nail/screw aisle.
  • This thing is heavier than all get-out.
    Somehow when I build things, they weigh incredible amounts.