Yesterday we added four new chickens to our flock. They are 10 weeks old, 2 Easter Eggers & a silver-laced Wyandotte & a gold-laced Wyandotte. While we have 5 other chickens, only one is laying regularly, and two others sporadically. We’ll be glad when these girls start laying.
The garden is growing well with the rain we’ve had in June after a dry May. Squash plants are starting to take off, the broccoli, kale & cabbages are getting big. We’ve had a few early strawberries.
First planting of peas didn’t germinate well, so the rest were started much later. Corn is about a foot tall. The lettuce row in the back is a bit out of control as the cold frame greens go to seed. I’ll need to get in there soon and clear out and do another planting.
Pototoes have been hilled up. I have melons under the hoop frame and sweet potato slips under the other row cover.
My early started tomatoes are blooming and setting fruit. The later planting are starting to get more established.
Some peppers actually set fruit before I transplanted them out this year. We may have some hot peppers soon.
So far I’m liking the results of my experiment with plastic mulch and straw in the paths. Everything is growing well and seems to be much more weed-free.
The last month and a half have found me busy in the garden. Since I didn’t clean up or fertilize in the fall, each row needed to be weeded, fertilized and have the path turned up to increase the bed. (I shovel the path onto the beds every other year since the soil settles.)
Here’s how it all looks today. I have one row left to prepare, in the back of the garden for cucumbers and some squash. Just this weekend we finished the first row for peppers but didn’t plant them since we’re now having temperatures around 50 as we get some much-needed rain. The peppers are back in the house for now.
I’ve made two big changes in the garden this year. First, I re-ordered my rows to bring the tomatoes more to the center of the garden in hopes they get more sun. Right now I have my first seeding of tomatoes planted, and the second set are back in the house until the temperatures recover.
Second, I’m using three varieties of plastic mulch. The crab grass has gotten so out of control the previous few years and so I’m hoping this will help suppress it and increase my ability to keep up with the garden. I’m also trying to start the season with straw in the paths to suppress weeds there. So far, the cabbage/kale/brussels sprouts row seems to be doing well with the white-on-black mulch. The peppers, squash & sweet potatoes are getting IRT plastic, and the tomatoes and corn just plain black plastic. I’ll still use straw around the potatoes, garlic & leeks.
We’ve been enjoying lettuce and other greens from the garden, alongside our asparagus & radishes and some of the early kale.
I’m hoping to finish planting the rest of my seedlings (peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, cucumbers, some winter squash, basil & flowers) later this week as the weather returns to normal temperatures.
Sorrel, over-wintered leeks, asparagus & egg harvested last week
The snow is finally gone from garden beds and from the paths. There is lots of clean up to be done that wasn’t done last fall.
These seedlings are out on the deck hardening off. Hopefully the garden beds will be thawed and dry enough to prepare for these transplants in the next week.
Our first crocuses appeared on Easter Sunday April 5th, but they stubbornly refused to open all last week as the weather was cold and gray. They weathered a couple of inches of ice and snow mid-week, and finally opened yesterday. Today more followed.
Our first blooms this year were almost as late as last year!
First bloom 2014: April 14
First bloom 2013: March 31
First bloom 2012: March 19
First bloom 2011: April 4
Posted in 2015, flowers