Monday, August 9, 2010

Garden Update: Fall Garden and Garden Addition Plans

Well, there is not much to take pictures of right now in the garden. The only things growing now are parsley, mint, basil, bunching onions (and they died back when it was so hot and dry), a pineapple top I planted as an experiment and one or two lettuce plants that survived the assault by the 60 lb puppy.Mint that has started growing again after all of the heat lately.

I put the fence back up and planted some seeds for fall. So far, I've planted broccoli seeds, swiss chard, kale, spinach and some sprouting ginger. Still to go in are beets, potatoes and carrots. I'm also thinking of adding snow peas which we've grown during winter before, though not in this planting zone.

This was a pineapple top I planted several months ago. It is starting to grow new leaves (lighter colored than the original)

We also did some planning over the weekend and decided that while the location of the garden will be fine during the winter, it does not get enough sunlight during the summer when the trees have leaves, so we are building more raised beds in other locations of the property that get more sun. These will need to be built in the next few months since I may have a high needs baby in the spring.
I know the chickens are not technically part of the garden, but since they fertilize it and eat so much of it, I'll put the chicken update here with the garden. After much debating, I've decided against building a new coop for the layers. Instead, I am going to add laying boxes to the existing run. Not only will this be easier for me, but the chickens will probably like it better, since they are creatures of habit and do not take very well to change. Another bonus is that the girls will probably start laying as soon as the weather cools a bit and there is definitely more of a chance I will have laying boxes built in time. We will build a chicken tractor with an enclosure for the little group of hens and rooster that we are hoping will become parents, but that can wait since I really don't want little ones while the weather is cold.

The roosters are getting so beautiful. Their long draping feathers are growing in nicely and they are becoming so colorful. One of them is a dark red with iridescent dark green tail and shoulder feathers. The boys call him "Pawski" after my Dad. He is in the picture above surrounded by his girls :)One of the others (Casanova - he is the most amorous) is a beautiful gold color with lots of rust and dark greenish black tail feathers. He is pictured above with the Dominique rooster who is so huge. The one below is a Barred Plymoth I think, (based on his coloring and comb). So pretty, don't you think? Can you see the pretty colors this one has on his sides. They boys call him Hawkie because his comb looks like a mohawk, lol.

Most of the time, Pawskie (the Rhode Island Red) is the only one to hang out with the girls. He is a wonderful protector. The other Roos usually just act like frat boys hanging out together unless they are feeling amorous. Usually. It is actually quite interesting to see the flock dynamic beginning to develop and to watch the guys taking care of the girls, but that's another blog post.

Edited to add pictures.


Anonymous said...

Your chickens are so pretty! I put up a blog post about my 3 hens.

You know, I know we are different zones, but I think I'm just going to start the broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower seeds straight in the ground. I'm not having luck with the seed starting pellets.

The Book Lady Online said...

Oh, I just love your chickens!! Such cuties :) I'm glad you put up a post about them. And I am JEALOUS that yours are laying :)

I also skipped the seed starting indoors this time and just put everything outside, direct sowing into the garden. I figure I don't have anything to lose, since I already had the seeds. If it does not work, I will probably buy plants (lazy, I know, lol).

Alea said...

I am getting ready to start my fall crops. Since it is so warm, I am going to direct sow into the ground. Like motherhen, I am not happy with seeds started in pellets, but havefound that they do well in deeper container, but you still have to transplant. Your roosters are gorgeous!

I keep you and your precious baby in my prayers! You are wise to take care of projects now.

The Book Lady Online said...

Alea, thank you for your prayers!! I really appreciate them. We are having an ultrasound in about 2 weeks and are hoping that we will be able to find out what we are having. I think we have settled on some names we like. Bryan and I work well together in the baby naming department - we usually like the same things :)

Having had one "high needs" baby, I am under no delusion that I will be able to get anything at all done the first year. The boys know how to plant and take care of a garden and that should get us through the Spring and Summer. I am also hoping to get at least a month's worth of freezer meals prepared so that I don't have to set foot in the kitchen at all in January. Now, if I could just teach Bryan to cook ;)