Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chick update

The chicks are doing well, I have just three now.  They eat & poop all day, but are fun to have in the house. My kids love playing with them and named them right away. We have Maria, pronounced Mar-E-a (the female version of Super Mario), Ang (also off of a cartoon) and Aurora (a.k.a Sleeping Beauty). We had a little bit of excitement this morning as Aurora flew out of the box...we only found out because I think she scared herself and began chirping frantically. I put her back in the box and covered the top with a piece of left over window screen...I think I am going to find them a bigger box and they will soon be moving downstairs to the basement.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Chicks have arrived!

Th feed store I bought my chicks from received a shipment of 600 and sold all of them in 1 day. They require a minimum purchase of 6 so I bought 6 and will be giving 3 of them to a friend and his family, this is the first time either family will have chickens!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring is in the air, oh, wait, it's snowing, AGAIN!

It's March 24th, nothing like waking up to a snow storm...yes, I said snow. It's snowing..Again! When will this winter end?

It will be a while before these little guys can go out

My veggie patch with a fresh layer of the white stuff

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Completely winging it

Ok, at this point I think it’s safe to say I am completely winging it. The purpose of the toilet paper tubes were to give the roots a deeper cell to grow in, which would also allow me to directly transplant them tubes and all into the garden and minimize root disturbance.  The tomatoes and peppers are still on course, but the squash and peas have a different plan. I’m not sure if I just planted them too early, but as you can see they are outgrowing their homes.  The TP tubes are getting black mold on the outside and the roots are hanging out the bottom so I decided to transplant them.  I commandeered a star wars table cloth (left over from my sons last birthday), dug out some old pots I had in the shed, and got to work on the kitchen table.  
Now here is the dilemma, a major reason why I used the TP tubes in the first place was to minimize root disturbance, but if I remove the tubes to transplant I am defeating the purpose so what should I do?  Not sure, so I am going 50/50 I removed half and transplanted the other half tubes and all into larger pots. It will be interesting to see if one outperforms the other

Monday, March 14, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Progress Report

First I want to say, the X-MAS decorations have all been put away!!

The first signs of spring are starting to poke through, these Hyacinths bulbs are a lot stronger than I thought. Last summer I covered this bed with commercial grade landscaping cloth, cedar bark mulch, and slate stepping stones. I kept the stones and landscaping cloth away from the foundation because that is where most of the bulbs are, but forgot about and covered over the few planted in the middle of the bed. I thought they would be goners for sure, until I noticed mounds in the middle of the bed and even a stepping stone that was lifted about three inches from the bulbs below. Who knew they were that strong. I was able to clear back the mulch and cut through the cloth to let them come through.

The seedlings are doing well in the TP tubes, just about everything has germinated, the watermelons were the last ones. They just started poking through the potting mix the other day

The tough part is I think I may have to thin them out soon

I also broke ground on the chicken coop today. I put in the footings which consisted of 4, 80lb bags of cement, 2 sonic tubes (cut in half to make 4) and metal braces to attach to the coops frame

Once the cement dries I will attach those 4X4X10 pressure treated landscape ties and can start building the coop on top. I knew the ground was uneven, but didn't realize how bad it was, I will need to bring a truckload of dirt in to bring up the grade

Sunday, March 6, 2011

First outdoor project of the year

The temperature hit 50 degrees this weekend, which was just warm enough to allow the first project of the year to be completed.   The back of my property is a south facing hill, which gets all day sun and has always been the spot where I kept my compost pile.  I have never had any type of formal composting system, usually just 1 or 2 open piles, but I finally built something! A 3 bin system made out of galvanized wire fencing and metal posts that I bought at the local home depot.  I was a little surprised at the cost ($95), but it wasn’t too bad. Right now I didn’t put anything in the front of each bin, but may add something later…
Just fyi - I also tried the pull the X-MAS decorations out of the front yard, but the ground was still frozen so they will have to stay there for now.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Too many gray days

The days have been pretty gray lately so I moved my seedlings down to my makeshift grow table in the basement. I have three sets of TP tubes sitting on top of the fridge still waiting to germinate. Once I start seeing some green I’ll move them downstairs too