Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011

I'm afraid there hasn't been much to post about of late.  The weather here has been blah at best.  As one blogger I know has put it, it's great for transplanting plants, but that's a bit too much glass half full for me.  The only thing to germinate in my Fall garden so far has been radishes, which will germinate in any sort of weather.

On the bright side though, my ignored indoor germinated brassicas weren't all a total loss.  My cauliflower were toast, but my broccoli seemed to be hardy enough to survive.  Here's a pic I found on my phone when I was backing it up.  Sorry if the resolution sucks.

Though the cauliflower on the left never bounced back, the broccoli seemed to be ok, even if the leaves do look a bit waxy.

As I had four (five if you include a double sprouter that I missed clipping), and only 4 SF to plant them, I decided to stagger them within the square to give these huge plants as much space to grow as possible. Of course, they haven't grown an inch in the week or two since I planted them.  /sigh  Gotta love this crappy summer weather.

In other news, the rain and warmish temperatures (highs in the upper 60s, lower 70s means grass grows fast around here.  And despite the chickens doing an admirable job of keeping the grass short, I still needed to mow.  I still haven't had to change out the shavings in the coop as they don't spend much time in there and I went 4 inches deep (not quite the Deep Litter Method, but close), but I'm still using the stored shavings from the brooder to layer in with my grass clippings when I compost.

Pretty cool that I made it to the top of my 3 foot tall bin.  I won't be adding quite as much to it in the future as I will be giving some of my grass clippings to the girls in their mini-coop.  I guess they like it a lot and I've got nothing growing in my mini-coop after I leveled it with dirt.  They do love giving themselves dust baths in there though. 

I actually learned about feeding chickens grass clippings from a couple I met at a kids birthday party my eldest was invited to the other day.  While chatting with the parents, I came to find that they lived in a rural-ish area of the Pacific NW and have 10 chickens.  They've had chickens for years.  It was a very good conversation.  Gardening and chickens turn strangers into long-lost friends it seems.  Don't you agree?

Lastly, to end this hodge-podge post, I thought I'd share a pic of how I get the girls in and out of their coop daily, along with a funny story. 

As you can see above, the arc door is opened and moved to within 2 feet of the mini-run, where I've opened one door.  I use both doors to create a tunnel between the arc and coop.  The girls are pretty good about heading from one to another, except my Barred Rock Twinkidink.  However, the other morning she kept going back and forth between the arc and run, so when I finally pulled the arc away to close the door, she and the others made their escape!  Catching one chicken in the yard alone is doable, but catching all four proved very challenging indeed.  As nobody else was out of their PJs yet, I had no help.  Thankfully a friendly guy on told me long ago that he uses his coop cleaning tools (a short-handled rake and scoop) to herd chickens. I only had a rake, but it worked pretty well.  Silly chickens, they just want to free range.  No luck in my yard though.  They get plenty of space and a new area to forage daily.  They'll just have to make due.

So, go ahead and brag about your gardens and how great weather you're having. I can take it.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. I can't believe how much they've grown already! Silly chickens are about as crafty as kids are, arent they.

  2. My compost pile is getting taller too. Mostly with ripped out spring plants and lawn clippings and leaves collected last fall. If it keeps up I'll have to turn over my pile in a few weeks.