Turning on garden water

During the winter months, I turn off the water supply to the gardens, to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting. Once the overnight temperatures are safely above freezing, I turn them on again, which I did yesterday.

This year, I didn’t have any burst pipes… but I did have one broken tap to repair, that was probably kicked by a landscaper or deer:

An easy repair:

I could then turn on the water. For the east side, I have a valve box that I installed last year, that lets me individually control the water to the chicken coops, veggie garden & shop, and pond/gazebo areas (plus an underground tap that I used over winter to refill the chicken water):

For the west side, there’s another valve box. The boxes tend to fill with dirt, which is fine as it protects them from freezing, but has to be dug out a bit:

I then added water timers to the various garden beds. Large areas typically have automatic timers like this:

Here’s the repaired tap again, with a manual timer attached. We use these manual timers for lower-priority irrigation areas:

I then started filling the fountain. Here’s the frog that lives in the center of the fountain:

The fountain nearly full. We plan to remove the flower girl statue part of the fountain at some point:

I also scooped leaves out of the small pond at the end of the stream. That took a while; it was pretty much chock full of them. Here, you can see the pump:

Then I turned on the pump, and the stream started circulating. So nice to have that running water again, and I’m sure the cats will enjoy it too:

Finally, I mowed all of the lawns and the field:

Mowing selfie:

A busy day of garden maintenance!

Mower & beehive

It’s raining today, and the canopy is rather out of commission, so I spent some time today replacing the blade drive belt on the big zero-turn mower, and assembling one of the two beehives.

The belt had become derailed and damaged while cutting really long grass on the field — we’d left it a bit longer than we’d liked for the first mow, due to the lack of sunny days recently. So I needed to remove the damaged belt, and feed in a replacement. Not a trivial operation, but I’ve done it a few times before; takes about an hour.

(I also cleaned off the mower, of course.)

Next, I started assembling one of the beehives. I didn’t have time to finish, but I got the two brood boxes and the honey super done. Some other day I’ll finish off the frames and roof, and set up the second box.