[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
I have to find the software before my camera can attempt to upload photos to this temp laptop, so this is a pathetically picture free entry, which is why I've been delaying it.

I really hate talking gardening without inundating you with pretties.

Maybe I can come back and add the pictures later and it will look like a real entry. ;)

Lucy has been spotted multiple times in the neighborhood. If there were some way to catch her I would, but alas.

The chicks are grown enough to be in the pen now, but so tiny compared to Top Chicken, who is still my most reliable layer despite being a year older than anyone else in there. The bantams, Fluffy Buffy, Tiger, Nana, and Raven, are adorable in their difference, and absolutely frightened of everything except people. Rooster is huge, but has not yet crowed, so we'll see. Rooster thinks sie is a duck; plays in water and walks on the female ducks. Little Red thinks that Rooster is the bestest thing EVER. They are inseparable, they even sleep together. 0.o

The ducks need their own entry, because watching multiple marriage, fowl style, is just hysterical.

The tomatoes are doing well. I've gotten four large tomatoes off the Patio tomato, the Roma has a ton of fruit on it, several of which are starting to ripen, and the various heirloom tomatoes are looking good. I have baby tomato plants doing fairly well in my kitchen window, taken from the...thing...the little branch that tries to grow that you pull off...I forget what that is; I've been putting the ones from the heirloom varieties in seed starter mix and seeing how many want to become new plants. 8 so far are looking good. No idea whether they are Mr Stripey, Homestead, of Black Krim though, because I don't label things sufficiently. ;P

I think I have proven the fact of companion planting. One bed has two tomatoes, a Black Krim and a Homestead (I have four Homesteads, two Black Krims). Those two tomatoes are INSANELY tall. I've had to tie up the cages, because the plants were tipping over the cages and crushing the other bedding plants. Why are those two so tall and such a darker green then their compatriots? I strongly suspect it is because there are two basil plants and a tansy in that bed. Tansy to keep away insects, Basil to make nightshade happy. There will be more basil here soon. Oh, no! Don't throw me in that brier patch! Anything but that! (A reference the current generation of children will not get-along with clapping to save fairies).

The peppers are doing well. I've harvested several banana peppers already, and have lots of bells on the plants getting big. The beans have a few *tiny* little beans growing out of previous blossoms, 4 or 5 that I noticed today. I'm still harvesting some arugula, though it does keep blooming in the heat so it is a bit more tart than usual. Fortunately I like that.

The blueberries are suffering. .The rain barrels are empty now, so they are getting hose water. They do not like it ("or it gets the hose again" just floated through my head). Our water is EXTREMELY alkaline. :( Various suggestions and internet searching has me now putting the hose water into an empty rain barrel to about half full, letting it sit for 48 hours, then dumping in a bottle of apple cider vinegar just before I water via soaker hose. That seems to be helping a bit, as they have some tiny new leaves coming in again. ~whew~ May be able to save them yet.

The squash and zucchini and the volunteer plants have TONS of blossoms all over them. I really hope things get fertilized so we can see what the volunteers are. :P

The potato plants are finally starting to peek up a bit. I have some more to throw in and then it is time to cover them again. :P

Mental note for for future: Do not plant anything next to the chicken pen that you aren't growing to feed *to* the chickens. It just does not work.

Other problem seems to be spider mites and some sort of tiny white mites which are attacking the tomatoes and *decimating* the marigolds. I have made up a garlic and pepper tea, and we'll see if that helps. ~crosses fingers~

Strawberries are doing well, though now that the tomatoes are high they are very much shaded. :)  Okra is just sad. Like a lot sad and very tiny. And the beans by the back are being eaten by something...I suspect something that roams the night since I've now had several mornings of "huh, I now have one less plant than I had before, how annoying is THAT!?!".

We bought mallard deritive ducklings at Easter. Yes, that was dumb. Dang they are fun though. It has yet to be determined whether they will go straight to the freezer at adult weight, get their wings clipped and go loose in the yard, or have a ramp built and be encouraged to enjoy the creek while still considering our yard for nommy treats.

They really are fabulously fun. We have the play yard set up and a casserole dish has been temporarily made into a pond so we can sit in with them and laugh at how ridiculous they are.  Looks to be a Mallard (Jane the Strange-Peaches duck), a Peking (Sunny, Monkey's) and a...something that looks like it is a mix of both, with pink AND black on both bill and feet. That would be Peepers, my duck. Monkey likes to hunt pillbugs so that Peaches can hand feed the ducklings. I prefer to sit until a fly lands on me then lean slowly forward until the mallard, Jane the Strange, notices... she eats the fly right off me. I find this amazingly satisfying for some reason.

The whole thing strikes me as odd...like adopting a kitten when you don't want a cat. At least we can eat them when they get bigger though. Try that with a kitten and you get in all sorts of trouble. ("If you're so evil: Eat. This. Kitten!")

The lack of rain has been hard on just about everything. I do not enjoy living in the Sims game.

rosebud;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!
[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
Not bad, really, for so early in the season. Thank heaven for poultry though. :P

Best flavor today: mint squared/sweet herb tea (it was better after steeping and cooling, I've been drinking it constantly today)

Thing most missed: cheese!!!!!
more, plus pics )

For those who would also like to eat petals, I recommend this site as a good beginning. I like their chart and reference it often. :)
[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
Today, K came over and helped out. This, coupled with the help from Big Event and the random tree removal folks, means that despite my plummeted mood (hello, Depression, who invited you?) things are still toddling along.
cut for pics and such )
[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
Mostly because: omg we need rain and the trees need to stop mating so enthusiastically.

I just want to be able to breathe and open my eyes all the way. Also, constant-multiple-day-long headache is uck.

So I'm still making progress but much much more slowly. ~sneeze~
picture proof. :) )
[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
With the help of much research, I have settled on this year's straight run of "refill the flock and fill the freezer" birds as Black Australorps. Dual purpse, hardy, don't mind being penned up during the predator times, and sweet. Of course, this means that the Wyndottes will likely beat them up. So the Wyndotte Gang is going to either stay in the smaller pen, or get moved into the yard.

Also on our list, picked by the kids with veto power from me, a smaller straight run (because that is how they come) of Partridge (a coloration) Cochin (breed of chicken) Bantam (meaning mini-version).

I wanted Buckeye's, cuz awesome, but they seem happier in cold than heat. and heat is the bigger issue around here.

This will be my first time picking up chickens at the post office and teaching them to eat, so I'm nervous, but I've done my research on reputable hatcheries, and while I'd prefer to go with a smaller, family run one, I think this time will go with big (experienced) business. McMurray is getting our business this time, since they have both breeds we want available in the time frame I was hoping for.

Since most of the companies I can order Turkeys from are doing seperate orders, I think I'm going to wait on those a bit. I can add them later in the season, or next year. Part of my issue is that I haven't fully decided whether I want to just get fast growing turkeys to butcher, or get a heritage breed pair and let them make us some meat. Pets or produce? That is the question. ;P I figure I have no business bringing an animal, even an edible one, into the picture until I am sure of that decision.

Now I just need to get the weather to cooperate (and my bank to deal with its issues) long enough to get set up, and then we'll get on with this.

Oh, and further research has me deciding against ducks. Yard small, creek near, and they need a different feed than turkeys/geese/chickens (who can share, as long as it isn't medicated). So...yeah. No ducks. This makes me sad...sad enough I may change my mind later, but for now...I don't need that added complexity.

This year's further goals in the fowl department: find a source of reasonably priced, reliably available, organic feed. Get their hutch set up for better winter protection before next winter. Continue the seemingly never-ending process of trying to outsmart the raccoons.

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