Thursday, March 19, 2009

How does your garden grow?

The further I get into gardening the more complex and confusing it gets. You would think that you could just throw out some seeds, cover them with soil, water them and eventually yummy fruits and veggies would pop up for you to pick. That's what I would assume. Turns out, its not quite that simple. The biggest issue that I have right now is is picking a train of thought to follow. I am totally the girl who wants a plan, a simple easy to follow plan. I'm good at following directions, good at finishing tasks, but when it comes to gardening there are a gazillion different ways to do it. Everyone I talk to tells me something different, every book I read, or site I visit tells me a different way to plant, or mulch, or trellis or harvest. It's starting to give me a headache. I wish there was just one book out there that tells me exactly what to do to make my garden grow. I'm guessing that since there are so many variables in gardening ie. soil, seed quality, weather, bugs, I'm really just gonna have to dive in and see what works and then tweak my process from year to year. I was telling my friend the other day that my garden is huge, and it's either going to be a huge success, or a HUGE failure!! It kind of boggles my mind did plants ever survive without humans to tend to them? Or were they just not as productive with their fruits until we learned how to coax them along?

The sun finally came out yesterday afternoon and today has been beautiful thus far! I am currently hardening off my broccoli and scallions. They are chillin' in the shade, and tomorrow they will get a little bit of sunshine. I had no idea that it was supposed to take 2 weeks to harden plants.....I think I may have to shave a little bit of time off. How horrible is it to get some plants planted later than what is recommended? I totally forgot to order my cauliflower when I ordered my other seeds and they were supposed to be planted from seeds started indoors 3/15. I finally ordered them last week, but the seeds still haven't arrived. Will the cauliflower not grow? Or not be as prolific? I am excited about some cool heirloom seeds that I ordered (my cauliflower is one of them) I got white carrots, purple cauliflower, peach (colored and shaped) tomatoes, black pineapple tomatoes and bright yellow cucumbers. I think it will be fun to have some of the weird looking veggies mixed in with my more traditional ones.

The chickens are doing well although I am back to mother hen mode since I have babies again. The tiny barred rock thinks that the slightly older barred rock is it's mother and frequently has the bigger one sit on her to keep warm. The tiny one also follows the bigger one wherever she goes, and hops on top of, and under the wings of the bigger one.....much like my little Charlotte smothers me, and climbs on me. We humans have a lot more in common with chickens than I would have guessed. I have no idea if this mothering relationship will continue as they get bigger, I believe that mother hens "leave" their chicks to fend for themselves when they are about 3 weeks old, so it may only last until then. But it's pretty darn cute in the meantime. Little brown my confused he/she is currently in solitary confinement for bad behavior. My three other Reds have no problems with the new chicks, there is some squabbling, and the bigger gals run the little ones away from the food until they are done eating, but they have been cohabitating very nicely. There is definitely segregation between the classes, the bigger gals all sleep together and the two little ones sleep on the other side of the pen, and they generally don't "hang" out together unless passing by one another. This is all to be expected. Normal. What is not so normal is Little brown attacking the new chicks. Chasing after them and pecking them repeatedly. He just doesn't let up. And it is quite possible for him to peck them to death.....that is his get rid of the new comers. So after doing a bit of research and diving into my chicken forums (yes, there are chicken I took the bully out of the equation and segregated him. He is in his own pen with food and water, and will be there until at least tomorrow morning (36 hours) where I will then try and put him back in the pen with the other 5 chicks and see if he learned his lesson.....that he is an equal. He doesn't have to like the new chicks, and he doesn't have to interact with them or even be nice, but he can NOT attack them. This is supposed to work. If he starts to attack them again, he goes back into his own pen for another 24 hours or so. At some point the little chicks will get bigger and able to defend themselves, and will form a relationship with my well behaved Reds and then LB will essentially be the outsider and things should run smoothly. We'll see. I guess in the wild Little Brown would kill the babies, or their mother would defend them from LB. It's kinda trippy knowing that I am responsible for changing nature for these chickens. Hopefully I can do them right. lol

Well, I have to get the girls ready and loaded up....we're going to our home away from home Lowe's. One of the other mothers at Maddie's school gave me two blueberry bushes today (thanks Sherri!) and since we are not planning on staying in this house for too much longer I need to get something large that I can plant them in so that when we do move I can take them with us. Blueberry plants are very slow growing and hardly produce any fruit for the first few years so they are a big investment of time and money too.....they aren't cheap, so I want to make sure I can take my investment with me.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Check you out chicken Mommy! :) I love it! Can't wait to see them bigger and roaming around your backyard!

County McCounterson