What’s Happening in the Garden- May 13, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms who may be reading! One of the many luxuries I allowed myself this weekend was taking the time to snap some quick photos for a blog post.  These were taken yesterday before the inch or so of rain that we were hit with today.

Spring has finally sprung here in Salem, Massachusetts!

Since we’ve had a lot of rain everything is lush and green… a very different scenario from last year when we were in a severe drought all. season. long.

IMG_2827Michael welcomed spring last weekend by replacing four of our five raised beds. They’re sturdy and should serve us well for five years or so.

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I haven’t had time to do much seed starting this spring so I’ll direct sow some things and I purchased spring seedlings a few weeks ago. I saw these celery plants and decided to give them a try. We had a cold snap about ten (?) days ago and they suffered a little but they seem to be greening up again.

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I also purchased  Brussel sprouts which were quickly chomped on by someone, a bunny or deer? Yes, we have deer in our yard here in the city of Salem. They’re beautiful creatures but not so good for the garden.

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The sweet peas grew quickly from seed and the spinach is quite happy. They all just push those rocks to the side, don’t they?

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My little row of Swiss chard is also being “tasted.”  I think those are bunny tooth prints.

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The lettuce is starting to sprout. It needs some vermi-compost and rock removal, stat.

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And then there’s the kale, always easy, always happy… you can’t go wrong with kale.

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I did go wrong with this passion flower that I plunked in late last fall. I bought it on sale and I can’t find the receipt or container or I’d take it back.

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On the brighter side, the liatris that I planted last fall are starting to bloom.

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I scattered them in front of the garden fence. I may move more mid spring blooms into that bed to keep them company next year.

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Our apple trees are full of blooms too. We may have a real apple crop this year! We bought some organic horticultural oil to spray on the trees to keep the pests away and it helped them get off to a good start. We’ll repeat it after the flowers start to turn to fruit.

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I believe that this is the first time I’ve photographed an apple blossom. 🙂

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Our horseradish is prolific and about to bloom.  I think it’s funny that these flowers will surely smell like horseradish.

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In the beds closer to the house the bleeding heart are beautiful.

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The lovage came back beautifully and I replaced some thyme with fresh new plants.

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Soloman’s seal, iris and lamium are thriving in a part sun/ shade area.

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And I’ve got a few tomato plants that are ready to go out in a week or two. I started these sweetie tomato plants at work with the participants in my program and brought some extras home when we thinned them out. They’re a bit crowded in their pots, but I think they’ll be okay for a little while longer. I’ve been watering them from the bottom in hopes of forming strong roots systems. I’ll keep you posted…

We got new chicks this  year so I made my first video!  You’ll hear me taking about them toward the end. I’d like to do more of this and work on making it a little zippier, but it’s a start!

 

I hope that all is well in your garden, wherever you are.  Thanks for stopping by and don’t be afraid to leave me a comment and say hi if you’d like to!

Love to you all,

Michele

 

It’s a Yard Party!

To keep them safe, the chicks had spent most of their time in the chicken tractor until the other day. Michael let them out in the yard for a few hours and they had a blast!

IMG_5434 The first order of business was figuring out how to get out and how to get back in

IMG_5436which is not an easy thing…

IMG_5440 Really sisters, come join us!

IMG_5444 Or maybe we need to go home..

IMG_5445 But how?

IMG_5473No worries, we’ll come your way

IMG_5454Iris to eat, how tasty!

IMG_5478 Or just good old bugs in the grass.


IMG_5487I think I’ll learn to fly in all of this open space…

IMG_5491Mr Mallard stopped by for dinner.

IMG_5497 He’s beautiful and he knows it!

Mrs Mallard flies into the scene... Mrs Mallard flew in as well.

Dear, Dear... please use caution around the young onesMr Mallard said “Be careful around those young one’s dear!”
I'm not afraid of these young whipper snappers!She’s loves him but she’s very independent. I think I heard her say “I can more than hold my own with these young whippersnappers!”

IMG_5504The chickens didn’t seem to worry too much about the ducks visiting. Maybe that’s because Mr and Mrs Mallard often say hi as they walk past the tractor.

IMG_5506 Time for dinner…

IMG_5508 He always stands guard when she eats. It’s really cute!

IMG_5510Time to go home, this yard is a little too crazy for us tonight!

IMG_5516No worries, the chicks will keep things hopping…

IMG_5517Hey sisters, I think there’s something good over here..

IMG_5518On second thought, let’s head over the fence and look for some lettuce seedlings. I hear their really tasty!

Or not, depends on your palate 🙂

The party went on until they went home at dusk.

Those young chickens love to party!

I was ready for bed at nine 😉

Michele

 

 

Out In the Tractor!

 

Today is the first day that it’s been warm enough for a little jaunt to the yard. I wish I’d had my camera ready when we put the babies into the tractor. They were so cute, running and flapping and scratching. Usually by this age the chicks are very familiar with the outdoors but this little flock hasn’t experienced that since it’s been so cold.

IMG_5208Here’s our chicken tractor. We use it for lots of things… it’s a nursery, hospital/icu, transition place and even a space for a bunny to enjoy sometimes. Chicken tractors come in handy if your a chicken owner.

IMG_5206Looking in, it’s built as an a-frame with a little house at one end. When the chicks are too big for their basement cage they transition into this full time until their big enough to be integrated into the larger, older flock. Today it’s just a temporary play space for a few hours. Their still living in a cozy metal cage in the basement.

IMG_5195As you can see the tractor opens up a whole new world.

IMG_5192Everyone is growing so quickly. Michael was commenting earlier about how our dark cochin seems to be dominant. This is kind of a roosterish look… let’s hope she’s not a he.

IMG_5184The feathers are coming in so quickly…

IMG_5181Winnie stands guard. Stay away coyotes and raccoons!

IMG_5180This little chicken is growing the fastest of all.

She’s too much!

Enjoy everything!

Michele

 

Gangly chicks

I can’t believe they’ve grown this much! Where did the time go? That cute, fluffy stage is winding down fast.  At three weeks old the chicks are looking pretty gangly. This early adolescent age is cute in it’s own way. It’s fun to see the feathers coming and get a sense of how they’ll look as adults.

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Their still in their brooder with towels and a light to stay warm. It’s kind of chilly in our playroom.

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Michael took the cardboard box out to give them more space and added a log.

We’ll put a nice perch in soon too.

IMG_5020Golden-laced wyandotte…

IMG_5021Buff Orpington…

IMG_5022Silver-laced wyandotte…

IMG_5025The back of the golden-laced again, this girl is going to be beautiful.


IMG_5027Our dark cochin..

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The other buff orpington; we need more than one to maintain good balance and we’ll have three when these two chicks grow up

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Here’s our little cuckoo maran. I’ve been trying to give her extra socialization training because this breed is known to be pretty unfriendly. Doesn’t she look thrilled to see me?

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Best friends for life!

That’s how we raise them here~

Enjoy everything!

Michele