Thursday, March 11, 2010

Here it Comes

I know it is still early to say finally spring is here, I have to remind myself that our worst snow storms are usually in march. But man it sure does feel good to get out side and work the garden. We have been working on quite a few projects since the last post.

1. Snow Peas planted
2.Kale planted
3.Carrots planted
4.Potatoes sprouting
5.feeding bees
6.chicken waterer project

We planted two varieties. The one kind is the normal hybrid that you get from lowes and the other is the "asian" variety also from lowes. I tired English snow peas last year and the yield was very poor, so this year we are going with the hybrids. We planted them the day before the last snow that we got so I am hoping that the snow didnt zap them. They are called SNOW peas though so they should be fine.

Kale and Carrots we planted last weekend. I am giving up one of my 5x5 beds to Naomi so she can start learning the way of the gardener. She chose carrots from the store and chose one of the traditionally long varieties which grow funny around here because they cant push through the clay. So it should be fun to see what we get with them.

Snow peas in the bright sunny dirt

I have really been wanting to try some colored potatoes so I found a place online that sells all the good colors and got a few of each from a place called the Potato Garden. Shipping was quick and they let you pick when you want them shipped which was nice. if you need potatoes give them a looksy. From what I have read the best this to do is let the little spuds sprout a little before you put them in the ground. So we have them sitting under the grow lights, this week and then next weekend its off to the dirt for them. how do you know when to plant your potatoes? ( when the grass starts to turn green.)
Interesting fact that I learned is that you can grow potatoes in a bale of hay. Has anyone ever tried this?

Our Purple and gold potatoes

Winter has been rough on the bees. Out of the three hives that I had in the fall one has passed away. I have been working really hard to make sure the other two survive. All that you can really do is make sure that they have all the sugar water that they can eat and force pollen on them. Although things are already blooming now so they are not really interested in my pollen. Which is good, because now that they have pollen the hive population will start to rise now. hopefully this year will be a good nectar year too( which means not to wet that it washes all the nectar out of the flowers, and not to dry that it withers all the flowers) We have two more packages of bees on order and we will hopefully be moving the hives soon. So stay tuned for those fun adventures.
Bees bringing in the pollen, see the little yellow sacs on their legs.

Unlike bees, chickens are the dumbest animals in the world. I would put them a step under goldfish. Give them a bowl of water and they will take a drink out of it, then stand on the edge of it until it tips over, and then terd into it. It has been a constant battle between the chickens and I to keep them with fresh unfecaled water. I have been searching for some time for some sort of solution that would solve the problem once and for all, and I found it. The Chicken Nipple. I got a piece of tubing from lowes and a few fittings and made a five gallon waterer that they will never knock over. So that solves my issues with them for now...
The Chickens peck the end and a drip of water comes out, its gravity fed from a
bucket on top of the coop.
Lastly the seedlings, I must confess and struggling. When we went to lowes on sunday if Lacey hadn't been there I would have come home with some store bought seedlings. We are going to keep going for it with the seedlings but I just don't know what the deal is. They have grown and are sprouting secondary leaves but, they are scrawny and now standing up on their own. They are nothing like what you see at the farmers market. Some day I am going to figure this out. Do any of you grow seedlings successfully? how?

Secondary leaves starting to emerge


naqahdahnellie said...

I grew a hay bale garden last year, but ironically, potatoes were the only thing I did NOT put in the hay! I had run out of room, so they went in a recycle bin filled with leftover dirt from the year before.

I've done seedlings in the past, but only for herbs. I just put in my first set of veggie plant seeds this week. I would keep with the ones you have. Get them lots of light, water, and a bit of compost/fertilizer. Yours aren't as old or established as what they sell at the FM, so hang in there! They have to start small and scrawny to get big!

Long, gangly sprouts sometimes means not enough light. Plats will use that first burst of energy to keep growing toward light. They don't necessarily realize they are out of the soil if there's not enough light, so they keep growing as fast as possible. So that's what I'd keep an eye on if they're still growing too long.

Melissa said...

I have planted and gotten yield from seedlings, but we had a garden window then, with 100% sunlight all day long. I agree that yours are looking leggy from not enough light? Do you have a Southern facing window where they can get more sun?

Dano said...

We are using 24 hr light on the seeds, using a growlight (of course) we have cotyldons (sp?) after only 4 days. Try a few days of full light, full time and see if they thicken up at all.

Lise said...

I've never had any success with seedlings, either. Trying for real this year; I'm determined to get it right! Looks like you've got a great start on this year's garden, overall!

I'm going to look into that chicken nipple plan. Looks great!

Thanks for commenting on my blog today!