Monday, May 13, 2013

YouTube Channels and Garden Overview

Since I have a few weeks before I have to grow up and start work, I've been watching a lot of garden related YouTube videos. Here are a couple of the channels I have really enjoyed. Keep Digging!

Garden Overview (in pictures because I'm lazy!):
Starry Nights Clematis

Last year's Mother's Day Rose. It should be much happier now that it's in the full sun.

COME ON Raspberry! Are you going to grow or not!?

Once again, my magnificent Pink Knockout Rose. Today there was an awesome bumble bee checking it out, but she wouldn't let me take her picture.

Garden Madness: carrots, sunflowers, an onion, and sweet sweet alyssum. Why? Who knows

Hurray a Tomatillo! I love the Tomatillo sauce at Elote, one of our favorite restaurants, and I'm excited to try making my own.

Basil and Isaac's Mystery Tomato. Also, you can see my pecan mulch, be excited.

Squash... Why? It's going to be freaking Hell! Stupid squash bugs!

Pepper Patch: 3 Bell Peppers, 2 Banana Peppers, 2 Sweet Cherry Peppers

Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato

Runner Beans from beans saved from last years harvest

Some type of Lettuce amongst the weeds

Asparagus gone wild.

Cilantro, bolted

Cherry Tree branching out


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mia's Scissor Beak

One of our little chicks, Mia the Polish, has a beak deformity called "scissor beak" or "crossed beak". In this genetic condition there is a lateral deviation of the chicken's lower mandible. This can be mild to severe and sometimes limits the birds ability to eat. It will also cause uneven beak growth. In some cases this condition can be managed or even surgically corrected. The hen would have to be skeletally mature (~5-6 months old) to attempt surgery. By that point, if she's been able to eat well enough, it may mainly improve aesthetics, but not greatly improve her quality of life. If surgical repair is not required, beak trims and an easy to prehend (pick up) diet may be all that is needed. Mia's condition has (as is often observed) progressed quite quickly to a marked deviation to the right. I plan to manage her as long as possible without surgical intervention, but if I feel at 5-6 months it seems like she would greatly benefit from surgery we may pursue it. Hell, I may even preform it! Because as of May 4th 2013, I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Hurray!

Now back to little Mia...

The babies are now ~2weeks old and Mia is much smaller than Astro. This may be in part due to breed differences, but Mia was also slightly thin. Her body condition has improved after I offered several feeding options (wet crumbles, deep containers, etc...)

Click to enlarge

So, please send good chicken vibes to sweet little Mia and we'll all hope for the best.

BONUS Pictures:

I <3 Red Clover and so do the bees!

Pink Knockout Rose blooming like crazy

I anticipate this is only the beginning of my plant addiction for 2013 

(Lantana, Mexican Feather Grass & Gaura Siskiyou Pink)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Gardening Adventure

Today was gorgeous! We had clear blue skies and temperatures in the upper 70's.  I spent my Sunday afternoon mowing, harvesting/spreading compost and playing with the chickens.  I have included a few of the highlights in picture form.

My red clover, which I planted to fix nitrogen and attract pollinators.

Look a pollinator! It's working!
And again! They are just buzzing with cute little honey bees. I love it! I also added white dutch clover to our lawns and hope they attract they same cute little guys.

My beautiful compost pile. It is full of black gold. So Happy!
This is what I collected today and spread over the front lawn. Our front lawn has a tough time with two huge trees and Western exposure. So I'm doing what I can to keep it healthy. Mowing high (~3 inches)  + compost. The clover is there to add nitrogen and I'm excited to see if it improves it.

The next exciting addition to our little farm are 2 cute chicks! They were an early graduation present! (Graduation is May 4th. I can't wait)

Presenting Mia (a Polish) and Astro (Australorp). Polish chickens are known for their crazy puffy heads and Australorps are big beautiful metallic black chickens who are prolific layers

The babies currently reside in our living room and won't be meeting the established flock for at least 4 weeks.

The girls keep kicking out the eggs. I've been getting about 3-5 eggs a day.

My lovely ladies. Hippie and Flower are Lakenvelders. They are the black and white hens. They lay medium sized white eggs. Then Ginga' and Maryanne are bantam Cochins. They lay cute little brown eggs.

And finally a bunch of plant photos...

My attempt at growing strawberries. I just can't give up on them, but I've battled extreme summer heat and slugs. I hope being around more will save these guys.

Two examples of my favorite sweet smelling pollinator attracting alyssums. They're also great at self seeding.

My asparagus patch is kicking out more and more thick spears. Year number three is proving to be a great harvest. I've been going by the rule that you can keep harvesting them until they are thinner than a pencil and we've been eating asparagus about twice a week. Isaac also eats the thinner spears raw in the garden.

My sad frost damaged bell peppers. I guess we'll see how well they recover.

Isaac's tomato from school between two red basil plants. They're doing well.

My pink knockout rose is going crazy! (thanks to compost) I can't wait until it starts blooming out.

Cilantro loves it here! This is a volunteer and I've found it growing in the lawn too. Izz also snacks on this. He's definitely my son. 

Our last surviving blueberry bush is pretty scraggly. I don't have anything for it to cross pollinate with, but I plan to grow a row of blue berries on the west end of the garden. At the end of the season I'll add this one to those.
This is a hodgepodge of little seedlings. There is a sunflower, alyssums and carrots. Oh, and there's some weeds too. 

 So, that's what's happening in the garden thus far. Chris has requested that I try squash again. I'm a little hesitant because I was never able to deal with vine borer moths and squash bugs, but I love to grow veggies that we'll actually eat. I'll probably give it another try.


Thelonious in the garden. Leave Thelonious Alone-ious!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I'm Back!

Today, I planted my son's cute little tomato plant, that he brought from school, in our garden. It is our first planting of the 2013 season. Anyway, I'm supposed to be studying for my state board exam tomorrow (Yay!) so, I am just going to post a few pictures and call it good.

Mystery Tomato From Isaac's School

Leaf Covered Compost
Beautiful Compost peaking though
Nice Sifted Compost

Chicken Treats (grubs)  from compost bin
Sweet Hens chasing down their treats

2nd year for my little cherry tree
Yay, Spring!

Garden starting to wake up and still pretty empty

3rd year for asparagus and my first harvest of 2013!

BONUS Picture!

And here is my littlest sister starting her 2013 container garden. She's also growing twin girls! We are so excited to meet them in August/September. <3