Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Tale of Two Babies

Developmentally, the chicks are way ahead of my granddaughter, but by noise level and kinetic energy, I'd have to say they are about the same. The chickies being much less exhausting than following around a toddler!

  • While my granddaughter enjoys eating fresh picked tomatoes, she doesn't go completely crazy like the chicks do when presented with a few handfulls of chopped up tomato leftovers.
  • Both child and chicks would probably be perfectly happy bedding down in fresh pine shavings or fresh straw
  • Chickies and child enjoy digging in the dirt and chasing bugs
  • Neither like loud, sudden noises

Roof trusses are starting to go up on the hen house. I swear, the chickens are going to have a palatial coop. It's actually bigger than DSr & my bedroom! Built to withstand 70 MPH winds, insulated against 110*F Summer Days and 10*F Winter Nights... he's also using it as practice for someday building our own house, so it is built "pretty close to code." For a chicken coop. The chickens are definitely not a money making or money saving venture at this point! I've been keeping a photographic record. Someday I'll post them here.

    General Garden Status
  • I am going on a weeks business trip in a while, and I am very concerned that much of the garden won't make it as the trip will probably coinside with record heat temps...
  • Transplanted bearded irises appear to be surviving. The ones that I cut back to 8 inch fans have new growth, but it's more difficult to tell with the ones I did not trim.
  • Basils just starting to take off. One of the Dark Opal Purple Basils seems to have escaped death and I am letting the other one bloom as it is so pretty. The sweet basils and large leafed basils, however, will not be allowed to bloom as I certainly want those for eating.
  • Sweet Marjoram is blooming - I know, I know - I'm not supposed to let that bloom either!
  • Lemon balm has much smaller leaves now that it is getting more sun. And it is spreading. Removing bearded iris competition and shade, however, seems to have removed the environment that the bugs-who-love-lemon-balm enjoy - so now the leaves are no longer bug-bitten.
  • First tomato is forming on my little indestructible Red Pear tomato plant (the one that has survived hail and 25*F nights!)
  • Two sunflowers are blooming. You sure can tell the difference in the ones planted in decent soil and the ones planted in basically pure sand. The difference in the amount of work, however, is worth it. The sand babies are still beautiful. I did forget, however, that all sunflowers face East when blooming, so some of the flowers are going to face into the chicken coop and not towards the garden. Oh well, they are still bright yellow and lovely!
  • Summer squash in Bed 3 are up, and one struggling one near my indestructible Red Pear tomato - but none of the winte squash or pumpkin seems to have emerged yet. I think the summer squash is Eight Ball Zucchini, but due to haphazard record keeping, I won't be able to tell until they actually fruit.
  • Corn is off and running. Some of the larger plants have produced side shoots. I've heard both that you should leave them on and that you should cut them off. Being a fan of Lazy Gardening, I'm leaving them on...
  • Chicky-poo pine shavings seem to be making good mulch. I'm keeping it at least 6 inches away from the drip line of most items so as not to have a nitrogen "burn", and that seems to be working. The corn got a light scattering of it right in the rows and they seem happier for it. At this point, since the chickies (and their chicky-poo) are living in my laundry room most of the time, the bedding gets changed pretty regularly - so I'm thinking the ratio of chicky-poo to pine shavings is rather small. There is no nitrogen in our sand for decomposing pine shavings to rob; if they are going to decompose, I'm sure it will be from using chicky-poo nitrogen.
  • I am covetting a set of real compost bins, but at the moment, my 4 ft tall pile of weeds keeps shrinking down as I add to the top and water. I water the compost pile with dirty chicken water and the water I use to clean out their water and feed bowls. I noticed a definate improvement when I started watering the compost pile. Must be a Desert Thing - never have had to water compost before!

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