Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
The gate to enclose my backyard is in! This means that no deer can get in to eat my garden and hopefully fewer stray cats will use my gardens as a litter box!
The problem now is that between the coop and the new gate - my old fence looks pretty shabby. So the next step will be to power wash the old fence and re-stain it. I am hoping to get a little done tomorrow - but it Saturdays are busy with swimming lessons and things so I will have to play it by ear.
In chick news - they finally figured out to go up into their house at night and to come out on their own in the morning. I have to start thinking about a way to divide the house so that the new chicks can go into the house a few weeks after they arrive. The new chicks arrive in one month - two white Silkies, a bantam Barred Plymouth Rock and three more Easter Eggers. The three Easter Eggers are for my mom - they will stay with me until they are big enough to go outside - then they will move into a horse stall at my parents place.
The garden is doing well - I think by next weekend I will have broccoli to harvest! It has been a cool rainy week, so as long as we get one more week like that I think it will keep growing and not bolt. The Chinese Cabbage bolted so I had to pull it all out, and I harvested the two head lettuces I had. They were both very good. I think it will be too hot soon for more lettuce, so I am going to plant pole beans where the lettuces were and maybe radishes and pumpkins where the cabbages were. I hope I can get that all done this weekend, along with the fence work - we will have to see.
My yard doesn't look very nice for pictures right now because the grass is too long - but my lawnmower starter broke so it is in the shop until next week. So please forgive the shabby looking yard in any new pictures in the next week :) I hope I can get it all spiffed up in the next few weeks - when the new babies arrive I really want to have a coop warming and new chick welcome party out in the yard! Wish me luck!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
On Thursday I had sprinklers moved around a little and raised some up to accommodate the new raised beds and now all the beds can be watered on an automated schedule which will be much easier than having to hand water all summer. With the sprinklers moved I was also able to get the asparagus root stock planted in the corner bed. I would post a picture but it looks like shallow dirt at this point - hopefully in a week or two there will be more to see. I didn't realize it but when you plant asparagus they recommend barely covering the roots and leaving just the top of the crown exposed, then as the shoots start to emerge you keep adding dirt until it is about 6 inches deep. So right now the little roots went in near the bottom of the bed and I covered them, and will gradually fill up the bed as they grow - if they grow. Wish me luck!
This week I have to spend away from home to help care for my mom - who has a broken pelvis - so probably no new updates until the end of the week when my new gate goes in and the yard is finally enclosed.
The chicks are still doing well, but they seem to struggle a little with the ladder - so they haven't been utilizing the run much unless we help them down and then back up again at night. I may need to adjust it somehow so that it isn't as steep, but as they get bigger it might be OK. I guess we will just have to keep helping them and see if they can figure it out.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Moving day has arrived! The coop is all stained, the roosts are in and the ladder is done. The picture on the right shows the "fully furnished" version of the hen house with paper shavings for bedding and the roosts in place.
The chicks were nervous at first but very soon after being put in the hen house they found their way down the ladder and were pecking around in the grass and checking out the dust bath we made for them (under the house in the white block area). I am so thankful to be done enough to have them outside and get my living room back to the way it was meant to be - chicken free! I still need to build nest boxes and add them, but these girls won't start laying for at least another 20 weeks so I have some time for those!
The garden is also growing like crazy and starting to really look like a garden - not just little green shoots coming up. The mesculin that was just a few little leaves poking up into the air is now nearly ready to harvest. I am hoping to harvest some of it for a family dinner on Sunday.
The picture of the lone flower on the plum tree that I posted back in early March? Now the tree is covered with tiny green fruit that with luck will ripen into delicious plums. I say hopefully because last year with the drought we had the tiny little green plums all fell off - but there are so many this year that I have hope.
I have people coming to reposition some sprinklers to accommodate the raised beds later this week and the gate to enclose my yard at my alley entrance is scheduled for next week, but right now I am just going to enjoy being done with the coop!