The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

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Harriet
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harriet » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:55 pm

bittersweet, I am so pleased to hear you got some really warm weather for a while lately. That is some kind of a temp change, though - yinkies! Rock garden sounds great and lots of fun for you - you and Emptynester both having rock gardens but quite different in Arizona, I'm sure.

Thanks for the link, Harmony - I had seen that site a while back but it didn't have NEARLY as many photos so I'm so glad you pointed it out. The photos are great. Definitely a "feel good" gallery of happy images.

Yes, the eggs we're getting are very clean. We have plenty of straw down. Of course, when it gets genuinely muddy things might change, but so far so good.

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Harmony
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harmony » Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:52 am

So we're watching the little seeds sprout, and agonizing at the empty spaces - where they didn't sprout. So far we're still waiting for spinach, cauliflower, peppers, cabbage, beets, romaine and head lettuce. I have extra seeds of the cabbage, beets and lettuce, but need to buy more of the others.

We're going to be patient for another few days first as some of those don't sprout for about 20 days.

One thing I need is better signs. We used DH wood pegs and I wrote with ink or marker on them, but they got muddy and we couldn't read them. I'd like to have some really cute bright ones with little painted pictures and names and some sort of urethane on them to protect. I should get creative and make some.

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Harmony
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harmony » Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:22 pm

I replanted the garden yesterday, all the bare spots and the spaces where nothing grew. We had those couple really hard rains right after we planted and I think that's what washed away the seeds. Crossing my fingers this works.

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Harmony
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harmony » Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:45 pm

Good news in the garden. I have sprouts all over the place from those last seeds I planted. Beans growing and I need to put some more strings on the trellises. I have 3 smallish green peppers from last season's plants and it appears they aren't going to get much bigger. 3 Tomatoes growing and one turned red already - however they are the size of golf balls (and they're supposed to be beefsteak!). The tomato plants themselves suddenly got stockier and healthier looking too.

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Harmony
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harmony » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:24 pm

I'm sorta struggling with the garden right now. It isn't getting enough light because of the location DH insisted on putting it. We had that huge "discussion" when we put it in, remember?

Anyway, seeds that sprouted are just sorta there, hardly growing. The beans are doing better. I put more strings up on the trellis supports and they're climbing higher. The tomotoes are doing well...except

We have some sort of bug or caterpillar. I've killed a couple of those caterpillars and DH got one. They have voracious appetites. My tomatoes were attacked. One is stripped of leaves (and it happened within 1 day) and another looks like a stalk with a bunch of lace attached. Lace not leaves.

So tonight I watered, fertilized and put a natural pesticide on everything. Crossing my fingers it works.

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Harriet
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harriet » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:33 am

Good luck with bugs and blossoms, Harmony! Bean plants can be kinda attractive trellised.

Here some of the hens are moulting and we aren't getting as many eggs while that goes on. Shouldn't last long.

Dstepson and HRH prepared a new run for the hens so now we have a new 10x20 "south 40" with all fresh pickins'. The girls love it. HRH is still frantic every time we just let them roam free - it's not worth it to put him through that. He is determined we are not going to have a predatory incident and willing to pour time into the effort. Sigh.

I do think I have invented something. Why not a scarecrow crossed with a chicken tractor? A rolling low gazebo they could run under when necessary, with a nest box, but decorated on top with a lady scarecrow (wide skirt to cover all). Wouldn't predators think twice? Hmmm ... ... how to tell the chickens, "don't stray far from your lady friend". I fear they would not obey her, and HRH would not trust her. And I am certainly not going to stand in for her. So the south 40 it is.

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Harmony
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harmony » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:41 am

Harriet, does something like hanging pie tins clanking in the wind scare away predators or is that a dumb idea? I'm sure I've seen that somewhere.

I seem to have gotten a handle on the insects. At least for now.

Have been watering twice a day the past couple of days, winds from passing hurricane just dry out the soil much too fast.

Today I picked a handful of beans and threw them in with the beef stew in the crockpot. Also got my first oriental bean, thought it looked very long, but after I measured it inside knew I should have left it a while longer. It was 13" long and they're supposed to be about 26" long when ready.

The oriental ones look to be very prolific and fast growers. First time I've ever grown these, interesting.

Also, cleaned out the refrigerator and had bag of carrots where the tops to a couple had sprouted. I put the carrots in the stew and the tops in a saucer of water!

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Harriet
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harriet » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:55 am

Was able to trade eggs for sweet potatoes this time. The seasons are a-changin. That may be my last trade, unless possibly for spinich/greens. Time for the gardens to lay by.

Harmony, if we let them run, it's just that there's not a stopping place and no way to protect every direction. They could end up near woods pretty fast, and I'm away from the house a lot. We have to stay right with them. It's not that it's not natural for them to roam, of course, it's just that HRH doesn't want to chance much "natural" goings-on, for fear it will start getting REAL natural around here. :shock: We saw a big male raccoon the other day - there are a lot of potential predators. If one came upon the chickens, well, there you go. And it would remember them all winter.

Your own veggies in the stew - sounds delish. I have seen those long oriental beans. They are so interesting to watch grow. Good job with the pests
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