Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chicken Updates

Since Toni from Toni's Weedless Square Foot Garden asked about my chickens, I thought I'd do an update about them :D

This photo was from about 2 weeks ago. Delta (the black australorp in the middle) is still tiny and Foxtrot (the buff orpington on the left) is a skinny young lady. Echo (the barred plymouth rock on the right) seems to be on the top of the pecking order. She always picks on poor little Delta. I can't figure out Foxtrot though. She's always picking a fight but she always gets pecked at too. I think she's just a wild child lol.

This is what they look like now! Look how fat foxtrot got! She's almost as big as Echo now. Delta still looks a bit skinny but they when you take into account the fact that Echo has grown since the last picture, you can kind of tell how much they've all grown in size :)

I've been going down to The Grange in Issaquah for chicken feed. I love that store! It's a co-op that sells lots of farm supplies, gardening supplies, and even chicks in the springtime. They even have a pet bunny there that you can pet and he is THE CUTEST THING EVER. I'll definitely take pictures next time.

Although I did find a closer feed store, the Keppler Feed and Recycling in Renton. The prices are about the same, if not cheaper, and I never realized how close it was. It takes me about 20 min to drive down to The Grange but only 5 to drive to Keppler's. And they sell chicks/pullets there too! I'll probably start buying all my chicken feed here, but I'll still go to The Grange from time to time for their gardening stuff. Oh and they're the only ones I've found close enough that sells food grade Diatomaceous Earth.

I'm surprised at just how much these chickens eat!! I get TONS of food scraps from my parents' restaurant so I dump them all in their pen. All veggie scraps though. Even though I know they can eat meat I feel weird feeding them meat... What if they get sick?

I still need to make them their coop. Right now they huddle in a corner at night to sleep. It's warm outside but it's only a matter of time til they start laying (2 months?) and I wouldn't want any raccoons harassing them at night either. So that is my next big project! :)

Overgrown Plants

A big part of my new vegetable gardening experience is to see how much seeds I can get out of my plants this year and be able to use them next year! So despite the fact that my radish grew flowers instead of radishes :( and my spinach bolted before I could get a single big cookable leaf, I'm letting them all overgrow in hopes to harvest their seeds for next year :)

Top Left: Flowering Radishes
Top Right: Tall Cilantro
Bottom Left: Wild Rosemary
Bottom Right: Bolting Spinach

I do need to do more research on how to do that though. Yay Internet! Oh and i know the rosemary will keep growing... I do need to trim it down though. It just looks so ridiculous! LoL

Monday, June 15, 2009

More Seed Plantings

Being a first time gardener, I made a stupid mistake early on in the season. Instead of thinly sowing fast growing crops and making a packet of seeds last the whole season, I dumped whole packets into single rows which led to pulling out most of the overcrowded sprouts and not having any to replant later on... FAIL.

So I went to Lowe's and bought some more seeds. I will plant them more carefully and smartly this time around ;D

I sowed the radish and carrot seeds right by the existing radishes and carrots. I'm hoping the current radishes will shade the new sprouts and keep them cool til they grow bigger.

I bought two different types of spinach. I'm hoping to use one for salads and the other for cooking. Since my first batch of spinach bolted really quickly AND had a bad case of the leaf miners, this time around I decided to grow them in containers.

I sowed about two dozen of my salad spinach in the left container since I plan to cut them as baby spinach fairly often.

The big cooking spinach is planted in the individual pots. One plant per pot is my plan. That way I hope I can space them apart farther when they get bigger :) Hope this works out good! I shaded them off by putting my herb pots on the top shelf, so I'm hoping this keeps them from bolting so quickly as well. The dirt I used was MiracleGro Potting Soil.