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Mother Nature

Let’s do the disclaimer first.

There is never enough time for the garden, ever.  This season even more so.  I injured my knee in April, which slowed me down.  Had it operated on in June, which slowed me to a stop.  I am on the mend and trying hard to follow my Doctors advice. But laying about isn’t something that I’m very good at.  I did go play in the garden last week, nothing strenuous.  But not a bright thing to do, my knee hurt real bad that night and I spent the next day on the couch with ice and my leg raised.  So now I am trying to follow my Doctors advice.

So on to the garden.

My spinach is done.

I’ve cut my last asparagus and it was a very good year for asparagus.

My beets have stopped growing and seem to be shrinking into small red seedlings so I turned them all under and planted carrots in their spot.  These are in my mouse-proof bed beside the first planting of carrots that are doing very well.  Maybe you can’t plant carrots and beets together.

first planting of carrots, beets were planted in front of and beside them  6/23/13

first planting of carrots, beets were planted in front of and beside them 6/23/13

Lettuce crop is just starting to bolt (go to seed).  Have planted some more and they are coming up.  I only plant 10 or 12 at a time which is generally more than I use.

lettuce  6/23/13

lettuce 6/23/13

The 3 types of kale are doing well, my wife made her favorite chicken and baked kale last night.  Our second cutting.

from the bottom, turnip, kale, swiss chard, kale and a wall of peas  6/23/13

from the bottom, turnip, kale, swiss chard, kale and a wall of peas 6/23/13

I was very late getting my squash, pumpkin, melon and cucumber seedlings planted, they were small and very yellow.  Some of them, now that they are in the gardens, have turned to a nice dark green but they are still small.  We just have to wait and see, I think I may have started too late for some of them.

butternut squash seedling   6/23/13

butternut squash seedling 6/23/13

My corn is being over run by weeds. Because of how close I plant them, with a sore knee I just can’t twist and bend right to do the weeding.  No one else has applied for the job so the weeds are taking over.

My tomato plants are suffering also. I haven’t been able to tie them up yet.  There are small green tomatoes on some of them.

tomato plant  6/23/13

tomato plant 6/23/13

My peas have been spectacular.  I planted them very heavily and they just grew into a mass of vines and pods.  After hand picking a couple of times, I pull the plants right out of the ground and sort through them on my potting shed table.  I started freezing them for this winter.

first peas  6/24/13

first peas 6/24/13

 

potting shed table, sorting peas with the ladies helping  6/30/13

potting shed table, sorting peas with the ladies helping 6/30/13

My chickens enjoy watermelon on the first of July and it is hot and humid.  My deer, well maybe “mother natures” deer, enjoy the blackberry patch.  How do they eat the plants thorns and all??

Chickens with watermelon  7/1/13

Chickens with watermelon 7/1/13

 

Deer eating blackberries  7/1/13

Deer eating blackberries 7/1/13

Last item, anyone want to guess what this flower is??DSCF0001

Hint, it makes a very tasty jelly.

Ed

I set my leeks into my garden using a newly made dibble, close to the size and shape of the seedlings  from the multi-pack.  The dibble certainly made the transplanting much easier, push it into the ground and you have a perfectly shaped hole to place the young seedling in.

Dibble and leek seedlings

Dibble and leek seedlings

This dibble is the first single one that I have tried .  I have a couple of multi-dibbles that I have used for years.  https://mygardenmychickens.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/pictures/

I set my leek seedlings in a dug out boxed area or place an open bottomed box over them.  The sides are about 6 inches high.  As the leeks grow I add compost around them till the compost is level with the top of the box.  This will give me a 6- 8 inch white leek at harvest time.

Leek seedlings planted in bottomless box

Leek seedlings planted in bottomless box

Mother nature sometimes helps with the plant selection for the garden.  I planted New Zealand spinach 4 years ago and have not planted it since. But, every year since then I have New Zealand spinach growing in my garden.  I just have to find where the small seedlings are growing and transplant them to where I want them .  I thought this year I wasn’t getting any but I found some seedlings growing in with the garlic.  When they get a little bigger, I will move 3 or 4 to their rightful spot.

Also this year Mother nature selected 6 Russian Red Kale plants and 4 dill plants to be part of the garden.  The kale was a surprise, mostly because I had decided not to plant any of the Russian this year.  Not wanting to piss-off Mother nature, I found them a spot, well 6 spots.  The dill was gratefully received since the dill I planted didn’t grow at all.

My rhubarb is very happy this year.  Bigger, taller, thicker, fuller and just lush.

Happy Rhubarb,  with fencing to keep out the chickens.

Happy Rhubarb, with fencing to keep out the chickens.

Garlic 5/22/13

Garlic 5/22/13

Peas  5/22/13

Peas 5/22/13

One last item in the garden. Actually there are 2 of them, I only got a picture of the smaller one.

Garter snake  5/25/13

Garter snake 5/25/13

Ed

The 4 to 8 inches of snow turned into 17 INCHES OF HEAVY WET AND VERY STICKY SNOW.  It started snowing Wednesday afternoon and stopped late Friday afternoon.  “Red”, my snow-blower, had trouble going thru  this Friday.  The snow stuck to the auger blades and it was like trying to push a rolling pin thru the snow.  I quit, after fighting the machine against the snow, I was tired.  Did get most of the driveway cleared.

Saturday morning, “Red” worked beautifully, spitting that snow out like a watermelon-eating champion.  I think it was the slightly colder temperature making the snow much less sticky that did the trick.  9:00 am I’m done.

The sky was blue, the sun was strong and the melting had started with temperatures that soared. Felt like spring, didn’t look like it.  I let the ladies and Jack out, well, I opened the run door.  They didn’t exactly sprint out, more like scared chickens looking out at all that white stuff. Finally 3 of them did venture down the path.  They don’t like change and they really don’t like snow.  I’d like to tell them this is the last snow but mother nature has a sense of humor, so I dare not mention it.

DSCF0002

animal tracks in the snow

animal tracks in the snow

DSCF0009

Son, David, and three of my Grand-kids came over, so we had a snowball fight.  I lost.  Well, it was a tie.  It was fun.

Gabe, Grayson and Guen

Gabe, Grayson and Guen

So, I’m still looking for spring, this snow may delay it a bit.

Ed

I know, It’s early March.  This is when we start looking for some small glimmer that spring is coming.  I did see a small flock of canadian geese flying north  the other day.  That’s a good sign.  My snowdrops are blooming, they’re still in the snow, but blooming.

snowdrops

snowdrops

I bought some potting soil.

I have one of my last sweet potatoes in a container with water hoping that slips will grow that I will plant for this years sweet potato harvest.

sweet potato, hoping for slips

sweet potato, hoping for slips

I want to go dig in my gardens, I have two main veggie gardens on both sides of my driveway.  This is how they look now.

west side garden with cold frame in front

west side garden with cold frame in front

east side garden

east side garden

We still have some snow to melt before we get to dig in the garden.

I dug out my cold frame the other day.  I had planted some old spinach seeds in it last October.  They are alive, not very big, but alive.

cold frame

cold frame

spinach in cold frame

spinach in cold frame

 

Now the BUT….

We are in the path of a major storm that THEY say will give us 4 to 8 inches of heavy wet SNOW!!!  Wednesday night on into Friday.  This is why we live in New England.  Where is the sun??

I’m OK.

Ed

 

 

 

This isn’t really about my garden or my chickens.

Well maybe, my Dad called snow “poor mans fertilizer”. Well mother nature just dumped 22″ of fertilizer on my garden.

My poor chickens have been traumatized by the wind and the snow. I did get them to come down into the run late this afternoon. They don’t like change, and the run and ramp down to the run had white snow on them so the brave chickens stayed in the coop all day.

Me I ran the snow-blower most of the day.  When I wasn’t behind the snow-blower I was trying to fix it.  My snow-blower has tracks instead of wheels and one of the tracks came off.  After much thought, many tools and a lot of colorful words I got the track back on.  We got a lot of snow.  My driveway is about 200′ long and wide in some places. When I close my eyes tonight I’ll see snow and a red snow-blower.

To prepare for the storm, I wrapped most of the run with tarps.  This was to be a classic “Nor’easter” so I made sure the east and north sides had tarps.

DSCF0003

9:15 am Friday snow has started to fall

9:15 am Friday snow has started to fall

It started snowing lightly Friday morning and it stopped Saturday about noon. This is what we got.

view from the kitchen door

view from the kitchen door

chicken coop and run

chicken coop and run

run ramp with snow

run ramp with snow

When I opened the coop door I was surprised to see snow in the nesting boxes.  The wind was blowing the snow everywhere and there is a small space on the nesting box cover because of the hinges. This is where the snow was getting in.

snow in nesting boxes

snow in nesting boxes

gap in nesting box cover

gap in nesting box cover

I will add some weather stripping to this cover, it’s got to be drafty too.

Here are some more Blizzard pictures.  The tracks are mine from my snowshoes.

view of driveway from road

view of driveway from road

DSCF0015

View down road with my mailbox

View down road with my mailbox

Did I mention we got a lot of snow??

 "Red" and I

“Red” and I

Ed

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