Monday, September 20, 2010

I have great garden sitters

My great grandmother passed away last week, and so my husband, brother, his 4 children, and I had to make a flying trip to Illinois on Thursday to attend the services on Friday/Saturday. I wanted to pay my respects, but I must admit I had some trepidation about leaving my fledgling garden. But my brother-in-law and sister-in-law garden sat for me, so my fears were misplaced. We got in late last night, so I checked the garden at daybreak. (I was too exhausted to check last night after spending 30 hours in a car with 4 screaming, arguing children.)

Here's what I found this morning:

Sugar snap peas are coming on

Lettuce - not doing as well as I'd hoped, but I did direct seed it, so I didn't have really high hopes


Looks like a green bean got in the spinach square. Not sure how that happened.

Green beans look great! I got about 100% germination last time I planted them, so I only planted one seed per hole.

A few little carrot sprouts. I have a hard time with carrots.

Radishes look pretty good too. Not as good a germination rate as I'd hoped though.

So far so good with the fall garden. Our mornings and nights are cooler, but daytime temps are still in the 90's.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trying a fall garden

So I've decided to try a fall garden this year. On Saturday I got my beds prepped by removing all the shriveled victims of my spring garden and putting them in the compost heap. Then I mixed in some new soil. Did you know that Miracle Gro had an organic soil mix? I didn't, but I was pretty excited when I found out Saturday. My nephew helped me get the grids screwed back down on the boxes, and we started planting. We planted 4 squares of Chantenay Red Core carrots, 2 squares of radishes (not for me), 4 squares of green beans (not for me), 2 squares of lettuce, 4 squares of sugar snap peas (not for me), and 2 squares of spinach.

As of today the lettuce, sugar snaps, green beans, radishes, and spinach are starting to sprout! Exciting how quickly things come together. I'm not sure about the carrots. The soil got a little dry today, because I forgot to water this a.m. Maybe they'll sprout anyway.
A couple of weeks ago I started some broccoli, cauliflower and onions. So far the broccoli has sprouted and is looking good, and a few onions have as well, but I don't think I single cauliflower has sprouted yet. Not sure what that's about.

Over the next few weeks I am also hoping to plant some fall squash. I'm trying to decide upon acorn, spaghetti, or butternut. I may just plant all of it, and see how it does!

Sugar snap sprout - 1 is just peaking through

Green bean

Lettuce sprouting. I hope it's okay to direct seed it in the garden.

Spinach (I think)

Radishes. They're sprouting very well! I hope my friend likes lots of radishes.

Broccoli sprouts. They're looking great!

Onion seedlings. A few sprouts

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The chickens have landed

So it's been what like two months since my last blog post? What can I say. I'm just not a devoted blogger. And time has been a relatively limited commodity as of late. In one of my last blogs I mentioned getting a few chickens. Well, a few turned into 26 as I received my order of day old chicks from Ideal Poultry. Initially I had placed an order for 6 Silkies (straight run), 4 Rhode Island Red pullets, 4 New Hampshire Reds pullets, 4 Delaware pullets, 4 Easter Egger pullets, and one New Hampshire Red rooster. I really wanted some Wellsummer chickens because I love the nice dark brown/speckled brown eggs they lay. And the roosters are super handsome!

Unfortunately per Ideal's website they were out of Welsummers. I called and left a message stating I really wanted to add 4 Welsummer pullets and 1 Welsummer roo instead of the New Hamp roo to my order just in case they might have some come available. I left them my number so they could call me back to let me know for sure. I had planned on telling them when they called that I also wanted to cancel the New Hamp pullets if I was going to get some Wellie pullets. I never got a call, so I assumed I would not get any Wellies.

My chicks arrived on July 9th. The post office is supposed to call you when you have live chicks arrived. Apparently the Lufkin post office does not follow instructions well. I had to call them - three times! Finally found out the chicks were there and beat feet to get over there and pick them up! When I got home I discovered I had 27 little peepers in the box! Ideal had gotten my message and sent me the Wellies!!! But as I discovered later I was shorted one Wellie (though I originally thought I was shorted 1 RIR pullett). But 26 chicks is QUITE the hand full!

So the arrival of the chicks sealed the fate of this year's garden. That and the fact that it turned unbearably hot (triple digits, high humidity), and it quit raining. The chicks took a lot of time to care for, and honestly they are much cuter than zucchini.

As of today the chicks are 9.5 weeks old, and I'm preparing to put in a fall garden. The peeps are in their newly constructed coop now, and don't require as much attention from me anymore, so I hope the fall garden will be able to compete with them. We'll see!

I wanted to wait til my nieces and nephews could help with the planting, but I've been waiting for two days now, and I'm ready to get this show on the road. I may just move ahead without their help/hindrance.