Garden and Chicken Update: A Busy Couple of Months


A photo of Paul GardenerDespite a back that makes me feel like I'm 20 years older than I am, having had two May birthdays in our home plus mothers day, weather that just will not cooperate, a last minute visit from my parents on the one decent weekend we had and a firm deadline at work that kept me working weekends three weeks in a row,  we've managed to get quite a bit done in the last month (little over actually) that it's been since I last added my two cents around here. Shall we catch up?

In early April, we decided it was time to start the process of beginning a new flock of chickens for the backyard. They were indoors in one of my "Chicken Condo's" as I like to call them and reminded us all how darn cute the little guys really can be.

Chicks in cardboard brooder

We decided on a few new varieties this time around. In addition to the prolific white egg layer breeds that we already have experience with, the White and Brown Leghorns, we also decided to try out a couple of Buff Orpingtons and some Rhode Island Reds. Both are brown egg layers and are supposed to be a little less flighty. So far it seems to hold true.

Gangly teenage chickens -- Buff Orpingtons and Rhode Island Reds

Just like all teenagers, they have to go through that gangly, "don't look at me, I'm having a bad feather day" period. Not as cute, but still fun to watch as they sort out their pecking order.

Nebraska Dave
5/27/2010 9:02:05 AM

Paul, My greenhouse this year was a PCV structure built to fit a clear trash bag. It worked wonderfully well to protect the precious tomato and pepper plants I bought from the nursery while in transition from warm cuddly indoors to chilly windy outdoors. Those plants are now doing great in their in ground garden spots. It’s been a relatively cool Spring here. Not freezing but cool enough to have to wait for the ground to warm up for the summer plants. The weather has popped here too with temperatures in the 80s climbing ever so close to the 90s. I think we have already had a couple 90 degree days and I hear the air conditioners humming all across the neighborhood. Yesterday was a 16 kilowatt day which was down from a 25 kilowatt day the day before. I’m getting closer to a functional gravity feed watering system, but I’m not quite there yet. I have to patch a hole in the main tank and haven’t had time to get that done yet. It will require pop riveting sheet metal over the bad area and using a torch to solder in the seams and maybe silicone sealer to make sure it doesn’t leak. The base is completed and the tank amazingly sits pretty level. Thanks for sharing all you wisdom on growing.

Cindy Murphy
5/27/2010 8:07:18 AM

I am envious, Paul....maybe just a teeny bit of your 39 years (happy belated birthday!), but mostly of your veggies. Everything looks so lush and beautiful. We've been waiting, waiting not-so-patiently to plant. We've had frost throughout April and May, but just two weeks ago, were hit not just with frost, but with a string of nights well below freezing. The mustard greens and spinach were fine, and we were just starting to enjoy it, when BAM! The weather changed from sixty-some degree days to nearly ninety overnight this past week, causing the greens to bolt early. I'm not quite ready to give up on them yet though, and hopefully will get a couple more pickings. Hubs planted beans after the freeze and they were just starting to come up, when the expletive rabbits bit off every single shoot immediately as it popped out of the ground; it's as if they were laying in wait. The rest of the garden went in yesterday, except for more beans to replace the rabbit-bitten ones; waiting until I get some red or cayenne pepper to use as a deterrent; and squash to replace the greens. Hope your gardening season progresses as well as your spring did.

Paul Gardener
5/26/2010 2:25:32 PM

Thanks Shannon. Yeah we've been really happy that the greenhouse was there. It's been a wild and whack Spring here so the time I can keep them indoors really helps. Will hopefully move more out this weekend. permitting :) Paul~

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