Gardening in the Blind

May 31, 2010, 8:26 pm
Filed under: animals, chickens

Here are the last three: 

Deron's temperamental Chicken Helen


Helen: She is a Beautiful Amerucana that is prone to tantrums.  She doesn’t like to be picked up.  She just wants to be with everyone else at all times.  I think she is the biggest scary cat I have.  She talks back and has already been labeled due to behavior.  I am sure she will improve.  We all get a bit cranky every once and a while.  In the meantime, Deron has taken to really liking Helen.   Helen’s breed is called an easter egger due to the fact that the eggs are colored.  It is really hard to find true Amerucana’s.  They are the mutt of the chickens. 

Sweet Goldie Exploring


Goldie: She is named after her breed – Gold laced Wayndotte.  Although Wayndottes are popular, the golden laced happens to be not so popular.  She will have streaks of gold throughout her dark body.  I can’t wait to see her all grown up. 

Fancy tail and all is Allie


Allie: AKA Fancy pants – Ellie was the first to get feathers growing on the tail.  Very cute how she wiggles it all the time.  She is another Plymouth Rock Barred.  More outgoing than Henrietta though.  She will be lighter in color as well.


Meet the Chickies!!!!
May 31, 2010, 8:06 pm
Filed under: animals, chickens

My flock at 11 days old


Born May 20th, they are a little over a week old.  All beautiful.  All healthy so far.  I have tried to pick them all up a lot during the day as I read the more that I do this, the better I will be when they grow up.  It is funny, they all have a personality of their own.  Some like to be picked up, others don’t.  They have already out grown the original box, we decided to create our own brooder – a dog crate with some cardboard on the sides and since they are past the age of 7 days and know where the food is, I have place wood chips in the bottom.  It is working out great so far.  Here is a look at three of them. 

Sweet Amelia scared!


Amelia: I had little trouble naming this one!  Amelia is named after the female pilot as she loves not only to try to fly out of the box, but she also loves to explore.  She was the first one I selected and remains the one chick that feels so comfortable in my hands.  She is a Rhode Island Red, growing up to look much like what an iconic chicken would look like.  Amelia will be laying a brown egg.  Her breed is known for egg laying and heartiness.  People use them for both meat and eggs. 

The Biggest name for the smallest bird!


Henrietta: I decided to give the biggest name to the smallest chicken.  She is a Plymouth Rock Barred Chicken.  This is one of two that I have of this breed.  She might be the smallest, but she means business.  She has adopted Helen (see next post) as a motherly figure.  It is quite funny to see.  She is growing more and more.  I am sure that she will grow up strong and big.  But until then she is a bite shy and needs to learn to come out of her shell…  

Sweet Exploring Dixie


Dixie: My father made me promise to name a chicken Dixie.  This one screamed the name to me.  Dixie is an Amerucana.  Helen (see next post) is the other one although they don’t look anything alike.  The coolest thing about this chicken is that she will lay a colored egg.  It will be either a blue or pink.  She is also VERY friendly.

It’s that Time of Year Again (Part 1)
May 25, 2010, 12:40 pm
Filed under: Garden Planning, outdoor gardening, Seedlings, Tomatoes

Even more tomatoes!

This is a tale of tomatoes.  It started innocently enough.   I planted one of my tomato beds.  I laid it out and painstakingly took time to get the tomatoes just right between the plots of seeded carrots.  I placed the tomato cages over each tomato and stood back to see how great it looked.  Wow, tomato count is officially 10.

I moved to the front garden.  I thought why not expand it just a bit.  What the heck.  I could make it just a little bigger.  I grabbed more tomatoes, tomatillos, fairy tale eggplant and acorn squash.  I was ready to go.  But wait I just relocated the feverfew and bee balm that was growing and I expanded it.  I did what any normal person would do.  I went and grabbed a couple more tomatoes.  I laid it all out and planted it, leaving space for a couple of pole beans.  I again placed the tomato cages over each tomato and stood back to see how great it looked.  How quick is this?  The tomato count is officially 20.

I went back to the raised beds in the backyard.  I thought while I’m at it I should plant the other tomato bed.  I laid it out and painstakingly took time to get the tomatoes just right between the plots of onions, parsley and marigold of which only the onions were already planted.  I placed the tomato cages over each tomato and stood back to see how great it looked.  Now I’m cookin’, tomato count is officially 30.

I was puttering over by the plants and decided to fill a few pots.  Why not.  I planted a few peppers (hot), a nicotina plant and a few others.  Oh wait, I forgot, I also planted a very beautiful tomato plant.  Tomato count is officially 31.

I then noticed something was missing from the onion bed.  Oh, the four corners need to get tomatoes.  I planted them, putting the cages carefully over them.  Now, that looks much better.  Oh, and by the way the tomato count is officially 35.  Not bad.  I haven’t even started planting the pots really.  I wonder what it will end up as….I am guessing a little over 70. 

Stay tuned for where else they will be planted.  I have a surprise or two this year!

And then I saw….
May 24, 2010, 1:06 pm
Filed under: pests, Uncategorized

I have been very busy trying to prepare and plant the many tomatoes and other veggies outside.  Friday I decided to start with a tomato bed.  Nice and easy – or so I thought.  As I was carrying up an arm full of tomatoes, I had a near miss with my garden snake.  It had decided to sunbathe at the top of my stairs in the grass.  It had broke the cardinal rule…I don’t see it, it doesn’t see me.  After nearly stepping on it, I barely caught my step to continue to the bed.

And then I saw a toad on Saturday.  I was out on the deck rearranging all the plants when I saw a movement by the sage.  I jumped as I was so startled then I glanced over to see it was a baby toad.  I was happy no one was around to see me jump at such a cute litte toad.  I talked to it for a bit and continued on only to find another in the other bed.  This time by the oregano.

And then I saw what I most dread this time of year.  I saw red ants in my beds.  Those stupid little ankle biters.  I am going to try planting some new things to keep them away.  Look for more to come…

And lastly I saw the cutest little chicks.  I was smitten by first glance.  So much so that Deron and I are going on Friday to pick up a flock of chickens.  We have it all planned.  Deron is going to leave work early on Friday so I can pick him up at the train station and go directly to Klem’s where we will be purchasing the minimal number of chickens (6) to take home.  We have the water, feed and light.  We just need the brooder.

So excitement is abound and I promise I will be posting pictures soon.

Dog Days of Spring??

Mixed Greens growing in my bucket

This weekend it is HOT.  When I say HOT I mean clearing over 90.  Not to mention the thick humidity today.  I started out with great ambition.  I was digging out the side of my house that gets mostly shade.  By 10:30 I had to go back inside as it was too hot for me.  I was sweating, on the verge of collapse.  I succumbed to humidity.  It was not pretty.  But it could have been worse as I just got back from doing a dog run and in CT it was 98 degrees.  We were just 90 so it was just a little better.  Hard to believe that tomorrow it will be in the 70’s.  Of course it had to wait until I have to work again!

Radishes growing in a bucket in front

On the flip side, yesterday I transplanted broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi and kale.  I planted two containers of lettuce, and I brought out a few more plants to get use to the great outdoors.  Only 3 days out of the next 6 will be in the mid forties for a low.  That is fine for the heartier plants.  I will have to put the little seedlings in the green house at night but they should be fine.  I still have all the tomatoes, and the rest of the more delicate plants inside under lights.  It takes me over an hour every night just to water them.  Imagine what it will take for planting them!

Flower at side of house

I have great plans tonight when it cools a bit.  I am going to turn the soil in the beds for the tomatoes and I am going to plant the carrots in the squares.  It is an exciting time of year.  I can’t wait for this to continue!