[identity profile] gryphynshadow.livejournal.com

the chickens in the side yard, doing chicken things.

In the picture above, you can see our lovely chicken ladies running around in the side yard, doing chicken things. They've managed to eat everything except the rosemary bush, and I'm wondering how much longer it'll be before they go after it, too!

Spring is definitely in the air, and I've been feeling it hardcore. Last week I spent a lot of time in the yard getting ready for planting. It looks great, at least out front, and I can't wait for the current rainy weather to stop so I can start in the backyard.

In the front yard, [livejournal.com profile] gailmom and I spent a day weeding, trimming and cleaning up after the cold icky winter. The jasmine around the maple tree got trimmed back, the area that's been set aside for the brick patio has been cleared, and the weeds in the yard all got pulled. We also trimmed back the pampass grass, and in the process, found where the crickets have been overwintering. (ew)

This got very picture heavy, so in the interests of not clutterin up your friend's page with tons of pictures of our awesome garden and chickens, I stuck it all behind a cut. Click the cut for awesomeness! )
[identity profile] gryphynshadow.livejournal.com
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] gailmom went on a weekend trip to Austin, leaving me all alone in the house. Mwah ha ha... er, uh, I mean, oh, goody, I can clean!

Anyway, I went to the superstore of doom, and picked up a few things. I got 2 cubic feet of organic compost, 40lbs of organic humus, a grape tomato plant, a Roma tomato, a jalapeno, golden bell and sweet banana pepper (that's three plants,) six marigolds and nine spinaches. Also, some seeds for lettuce and peas.

Today, I got up rather early (for me, anyway), and started doing a little work in the yard. I pulled some mystery weed from the side and front yards. You see, the city easement along the fence is full (!) of mystery weed. I call it sticky weed, cause I don't know what the frell it is! It sticks to your clothes, shoes, hands... gloves. Everything. It propagates like crazy, grows super fast, and likes poor soils. If it's edible, I'll be really happy, cause at least then it'd have some use. The problem is, I don't know what it is.

If you know what it is, please tell me!

mystery weed
The easement, along the side yard. Full of the stuff! Also, it's creeping into the neighbor's front yard, our front yard, (all the way up to the walk), and our back yard (all the way over next to the house!)

mystery weed2
A close up of a single plant. The roots are very thin, easily pulled up. It has tiny white flowers with five petals. The seeds are sticky, when it has seeds. The entire plant is sticky. It starts small, and grows to shockingly large size. I've seen strands of it three feet long.

bucket o mystery weed
The bucket full that I pulled from the front and side yards. It's invasive! Argh! It's coming to get me!

After I tired myself out pulling weeds, I set up another three of the EarthBoxes. This time, instead of using topsoil and potting soil, it's organic compost and humus. This mix is much lighter, and nearly all organic material. I used a two to one ration, compost to humus. This will be very similar to the mix I've proposed for the raised beds.

Into these I stuck the new plants. I know they look a bit crowded, but I feel safe crowding them a bit in these containers, with this soil mix.

box plants
In this pic, you can see the difference in the soils between the new mix, and what we used for the onions. You can also see that the onions are coming along. The reds are doing better than the yellows; in the box pictured, half is red, half yellow. The two new boxes here have everything but the spinach.

There are nine spinach plants here. (Actually, since a couple of the starts had two plants, there are more than nine.) I plan to thin this box out as they grow, giving us baby spinach, young spinach, and mature spinach at the end of it's growing season. Mmm. Fresh spinach!

In case you're wondering about the broccoli and brussels sprouts I planted earlier this month...
side garden
Here they are, in a long shot down the side bed. The closer to the house ones are the brussels sprouts. They all have new leaves, larger leaves are coming in, and they've all grown two to three inches in height. Woot! Brassicas! Yum yum yum!

pumpkin I think
Sorry it's blurry, I got a little close. But, this is one of the seedlings coming up that I think are pumpkins! Check out how huge those leaves are! That's a quarter next to it. I don't really have a problem growing pumpkins, even by accident. I like pumpkins, and given how many pumpkin pies I made last fall, I don't think it's a bad thing to have a few plants around. I hadn't planned on growing pumpkins, so I think I'll do a little research on exactly how big the vines get, and whether I should worry about them out competing my broccoli.

If you've got a flickr account, you can go look at more pictures of the garden stuff, including some food porn upclose shots of the plants. I use the same username for everything, so my flickr stream is under gryphynshadow.

Now, I need to go sweep and wash dishes. Or not. I mean, I did work hard today...

Happy Valentine's Day!!!


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Suburban Permaculture Project

May 2011



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