With all the rain we’ve been getting since we planted the garden, we haven’t been in a hurry to set up our irrigation lines. I’ve just watered by hand in between rainy days. But, we started having a few hot days and the watering chore became a bit time consuming so we set up the irrigation pipes the other night. I am a lot happier with it and so are the plants. Look how happy those beets look alongside their irrigation. And the weeds. Nevermind them.
Gnocchi was pretty happy with the set-up too. This cat of ours is so odd. But we love him for it. I think he took a sip from each hole.
Meanwhile, his water fountain antics looked so appealing Turkey just had to join in. Yes, I know it’s super gross. There’s no telling what made a home in those pipes over the winter. So we let him join in for a half a second to snap this picture and then made him stop. And, yes he’s naked. Again. It’s just how he rolls. The boy feels confined in clothes. They cramp his style. Which is apparently Birthday Suit.
This is the second year we’ve used this irrigation and it has totally paid for itself and been SO worth the initial investment (which was quite cheap at $175 for our old 4,000 square feet set-up). We use a homemade drip irrigation system that we learned about from the Utah State University Extension. It saves a ton of money and water and time. And it lasts from year to year unlike soaker hoses so you don’t have to frequently repair or replace it. And it’s not as hard on the wallet as those fancy professional set-ups either.
Now for a goat update. Dolly girl has been ignoring her beau this whole time at the breeder’s place. The breeder says she is the quietest, most level-headed goat she’s had and she just doesn’t show any signs of when she’s in heat. So they’ve been doing trial and error “dates” with ol’ Chip. She better get down to business and get back home. We miss her!
Sweet little Beck was delayed in going to his new home for a week but he’ll be leaving this week if all goes as planned. He’s been such a sweet boy but he’s just getting too good at doing the deed. With anything that moves! Sister, mother, he’s not ashamed. So, he just has to go. But we’ll just be making more room for Dolly’s babies. Assuming she cooperates.
The battle with the bindweed is going ok but it really loves the heat and we have yet to see those temperatures when it really takes off. But I’m cautiously optimistic that it won’t get so bad this year that it pulls down a 6 foot tall tomato plant! The weeds overall have been much more manageable. I attribute the success so far to the double digging we did before planting.
On the chicken-front we have not one, not two, but THREE broody hens! The hormones are sure in full force over here! Perhaps Dolly should take notes from Louise, Puddin, and our new girl Shug. Those girls have baby fever! Shug is only a sort of broody. She came to us from the same friend we got Cinnamon, Sugar, and Thelma from. But she’s an old girl and her broody comes and goes depending on her mood. When we first moved her here we thought it would break her broody. But she barely even knew I moved her and she stayed in the same spot that I put her in for three days. Sometimes she’s up and at ‘em but it’s usually because she thinks someone else’s nest looks more appealing. She’s a funny girl. She’s a bit blind in one eye so it makes her look kind of crazy sometimes. And her broody is making her molt. So she’s really looking kind of crazy these days. But she’s settled right in with her new broody clique. All three girls are happy in their chicken tractor on their nests and, should everyone do their job, we will be hatching baby chicks sometime around next weekend. There are a total of 11 eggs under the three girls (there were 12 but one was cracked in the scuffle over which nest Shug thought was best). Hopefully they’re all viable and we get a large number of girls because we sure could use some more egg layers around here.
We’ve decided to put up another fenced off area in the yard to give the girls a little more free range space since we’ve grown the flock larger than their area can contain. However, when you have a Louise you have to go the extra mile to keep the birds in. So, we’ll be adding a strand of electrical wire to the top to keep the ol’ Houdini bird in her space and out of my garden.
The chickens aren’t the only ones feeling hormonal. We also have a newly hatched nest of baby blue birds in the blue bird box, a cardinal sitting on two eggs in the rose bush, and a wren sitting on a nest with eggs in the jasmine vine. It’s definitely springtime on the farm!
The bees have been delayed an extra week (probably because of the weird La Nada weather we’ve been having) so they should arrive sometime around the 21st. We have bee veils, gloves, hive tools, a smoker, a bee feeder, and the hive is built so we’re pretty much ready. We just need to paint the hive and put it in it’s permanent location.
In an effort to help myself have back-up garden records I’m going to try to post what’s growing in the garden or what’s newly planted or harvested in each post. This will just give me another source to look to later to see what was doing well and what wasn’t. So, be looking for that at the end of each post from now on to see what is going on in the garden.
Growing in the garden now: Monte Carlo tomatoes, Black Beauty Zucchini, Lemon Squash, various Radishes, Carrots, Slo-bolt cilantro, Potatoes, Onions, Strawberries, Orange-fleshed Purple Smudge tomatoes, Purple tomatillos, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, Golden beets, Tendercrisp celery, Orange Giant amaranth, Honey Boat Delicata squash, Good Mother Stallard Pole beans, 12 Row Golden Bantam Corn, Christmas Pole Bean, King of the Garden Lima bean, Spaghetti Squash, Holstein cowpeas, Zipper Cream peas, Calima Green Bean, Envy Soy Beans, Sugar Ann and Alaska Peas, Snow Cap beans, Yarrow, Amish Paste tomato, Blueberries, Rainbow Inca Sweet Corn, mystery squash, and white bush scallop squash.
Still waiting in flats to be planted: Lemon basil, Lemon Bee Balm, Chia, German Chamomile, Fenugreek, Russian Tarragon, Sweet Marjoram, Long Purple Cayenne, more Calima Beans, more Good Mother Stallard Pole beans, more mystery squash, Wade’s Giant Indian Corn, White Sorghum Broom Corn, Galeux d’Eysines pumpkins, Winter Luxury pumpkins, Georgia Rattlesnake watermelon, Chanterais melon, Minnesota Midget Melon, Boston pickling cucumber, Cuban Tobacco, various mystery plants.
Did not sprout at all/poor germination/sprouted but died from various causes/just plain old died!: Leutschaeur paprika pepper, Early Jalapeno pepper, various bell peppers, Texas Red and White peanuts, yellow and pink coneflower, various tomatoes, a two year old Sage plant.