Watch My Garden Growing

My gardening attempts in a new environment.

Tomatoes, Peppers, Rain and Snails … oh, and chickens, too!

I have never before seen such large snails in my garden. They have been on every plant. Every herb, every vegetable. I am sure the fact that the sun does not hit the garden nearly long enough has something to do with the whole problem. And the rain. It doesn’t just rain her and then get sunny – all better. No, it stays cloudy for a day first, then rains by bucket loads and then stays cloudy a day later. Or so it seems to me and my poor plants. The peppers are still not happy about it. I planted two new peppers in a sunnier spot. I transplanted one pepper to a sunnier spot. We will see what transpires.

I had to pick a bunch of tomatoes after the last rain. They began to split. I did not want to lose them to insects to I picked them and brought them inside. We may have a plate or two of fried green tomatoes. We did have a few orangey-red ones so I took those too. The weather said rain. I see white clouds ans sun. Go figure.

 

Update on chickens:

Seems like the hawk that lives in our neighborhood has eaten a couple. Went from an even dozen to about 8, at last count. They are still getting out of the fenced enclosure and pooping on my doorstep. Hubby sent an email to the property manager – he stepped in it. She let him know the chickens would be relocated on Sunday. It is sad they could not have just taken better care of their animals. We don’t care about the chickens, but we care about stepping in poo when we are walking to and from the car. Maybe they have learned a lesson? Probably not. We have become the “bad guys” for ‘telling on them’. Actually, if my husband was a bad guy he would have called the police as having chickens where we live is illegal. If he was a bad guy he would call animal control about the dog who is left in her crate for 8-12+ hours six-plus days a week. Yeah, we’re are the bad guys.

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A Day Such As This

Good day to everyone. By 7:30 this morning I was outside watering my gardens. That is not where it ended. I fixed the fence around my neighbor’s chickens and cleaned all the chicken poop from the car port and deck. You  may be wondering why I did such things? Well, because the chickens ate my hostas and my potatoes. Yep. Every single one.

This is not the first time. For the poop or their appetite.

Let me explain. Three families live here. My husband and I took the downstairs apartment because we had a dog, Luna, who needed to be taken out and played with. We thought downstairs with easy access to the back yard was a smart move. At the time, there was just one female grad student living in the upstairs unit so we felt it was a really good choice. Then a nice ‘newlywed’ couple moved into the “cottage” above the carport area. Cool.

Well, the grad student was a mental case and would scream and moan and cry at all hours of the night. Not kidding. Ridiculous. She was a mess. But then she moved, yay! A young couple with a child and one on the way moved in upstairs and seemed like a really nice couple. Yay! Both work and seemed really responsible. They have a dog. A sweet dog. A well behaved dog. She won’t even come in the apartment when the door is open. Unfortunately, they leave her crated while they are work. Now, normally I would not have a problem with that but they don’t always come home after work. On the weekends they leave and she howls, cries and bangs against the crate for hours. My husband actually had to call them at midnight to see if everything was okay because she had been going at it nonstop for two hours. They weren’t home. Yes, they have a new baby and a toddler. We have offered to take the dog out when they aren’t home to water, feed, and let her do her business.

So, now they have bought chickens. 12. A dozen hens a-laying. They take just as good care of the chickens as the dog. Actually, the chickens have more freedom. Hence, the chicken poop issue. They hop the fence. They scoot through openings. They poop everywhere! No problem if my neighbors cleaned up after them. But I should have not expected that since they have decided trash is the new chic. I am feeling like I am living in a trash heap. I had enough.

Today, I cleaned the poop off of everything. I fixed the fence and put eight chickens back inside. Don’t know where the other four have ended up. I heard that one was hawk dinner. I cleaned up the neighbor’s trash – literally – and mess left on the deck we all share. Or, we are supposed to share. I haven’t been able to use it because their kids pool, sandbox, and two sets of tables and chairs were all over the place along with towels and, yes, actual trash. I am not happy.

I usually wash down the carport and deck areas regularly anyway but it is not my “job” to do so. I just help the property manager keep things picked up and clean. My husband does some handyman stuff for them when something breaks. We care about where we live. The other couple have planted some great flowers at the base of their stairs in order to “pretty-up” the place. The young couple? They have thrown car parts all around the parking area. I am really not happy.

The chickens have killed all but one of my potato plants. They ate ALL of my hostas. They have eaten my beans, peas and corn plants. I am REALLY not happy.

Hopefully, tomorrow, I will work in my garden and pick a nice green tomato to go with dinner. Yummy! Friday is reserved as beach day and then back to the grind.

 

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Been gone

I have been away from home for two weeks and left the garden to my husband. The first week, he was also gone and he came back to overly ripened cucumbers. He said they were all yellow and had to be discarded. 😩 I am really bummed because had he gone home when I though he was going, they would have been edible. Otherwise, I would have asked my neighbor to pick and eat them.

The tomatoes, he said, are finally coming along. If you remember, we had some storms that damaged the tomatoes and I had to cut the tops off. The have rebounded and hubby said he will have to support more of the branches.

He also said we have baby squashes!! WOOT!! Not much to say on anything else in the garden.

He did say that SOMETHING ate all of the petunias down to a stub and one of the potato tops?! We moved the petunias to the highest part of the brick ledge to deter the deer. We fenced in the hostas for the same reason. He is going to finish netting in the potatoes as well otherwise we may not have any at all!

I miss my garden. Even more when I see my hosts’ garden growing nicely – without tending, unless they are doing it by the moon. Anyway. They have some great big red tomatoes that I’d love to sink my teeth into.

I have almost been away from home too long. The longest has been a month without friends or family. This is nicer, though, as I am making friends and they are happy I am here. I will go home in about ten days to go to a conference and then return to Onancock for a couple of weeks more, I hope. We will see.

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Rain, Rain, GO Away!

My poor plants! Between the deer getting to the hostas and petunias and the rain flooding my backyard, let alone home, and causing my beautiful tomato plants to break – I am pooped. We are going to get new soil and hay and a trellis to hold them up. I am afraid I will have to cut the tops of the plants off to remove some of the weight. These storms have been awful!

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Wow! Look at the growth!

 

We went away for a few days and my plants went CRAZYY!!!100_1872 Look at the tomatoes!! They grew about 10-12 inches!

 

 

My lettuce has grown a couple of inches and my squashes and melons have grown about six!!

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Check out the herbs!! The marigolds are loving the rain too!

 

 

 

100_1861 100_1860 100_1859 100_1858 100_1857 100_1856 100_1855 100_1854 100_1853 100_1852 100_1851 100_1850My corn, beans and peas are popping up!!

100_1849 100_1848 100_1847 100_1846Potatoes are coming up as well!!

 

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Strawberries growing wild! Hope we get to eat them before the critters do! More lettuce growing as well.

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Hostas are loving this weather and the deer haven’t come to eat them!

 

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Catmint and chocolate mint are growing well also.

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Okay, I Cheated … So Sue Me.

State fruit - Tomato

State fruit – Tomato (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I haven’t watered my garden in DAYS!!! It has rained for three days straight. I was able to use MIracle Gro last weekend before the rain came down and the plants are showing growth. My tomatoes have doubles, seeds have germinated and everything looks great. I wish it were just a little warmer for my green peppers, though.

 

We did not even water before taking a trip because we knew it was going to rain. I still did not water when we returned from our little day-trip because, yep, it had rained while we were gone and the morning we returned.

I also cheated by posting my pictures to Pinterest. I don’t like the WordPress app for posting multiple pictures because I have to provide a text post as well for each one instead of just a picture. Sure, looks like I am a posting goddess but it is too time consuming, really. I have better things to do with my time … like not water my garden. 🙂

 

Here is the Pinterest link: http://pinterest.com/smweisser/mary-mary-quite-contrary-how-does-your-garden-grow/

Things are going well. No slugs in the garden, even though it has been raining so much. I am hoping my liberal use of eggshells has helped with that. No major pests or insects yet. We had tomato hornworms last year so I am keeping a lookout for them this year. A few spiders, but none doing plant damage. I hope they stay away this year. Not likely.

miracle-gro potting soil

 

Well, almost time to get up and get ready for work so I had better finish my porridge. Have a happy day!

 

 

 

 

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Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away! and Mutant Ninja Snapping Turtle (aka Mr. Crankypants)

Hosta

Normally, I would not be saying that but we have had just enough rain each day I haven’t had to water the gardens. My hostas are going wild! The lettuce, spinach, collards, beets, tomatoes, onions, peppers and herbs are loving it as well.

The gardens are enjoying the mild weather. We know that it won’t last so we enjoy what God is giving us.

Young collard plants growing in a container

Everything in the yard is lush and green. My hubby will be mowing the lawn – what little we have of it, shortly. Excited to see the growth.

 

 

Oh, I saved a rather large, and somewhat cranky, snapping turtle yesterday, from being someone’s roadkill supper. He/she was as big around as my hubcap and must have weighed about twenty pounds. As I was leaving work I noticed a big grayish looking thing in the middle of the road. I stopped, backed up and moved him to the side of the road. I put my back out doing so, and it had the nerve to snap at me. No good deed, eh? My coworkers think I am silly and a little crazy for picking it up. Funny thing, they are all locals – kind of boonies rural area – and I grew up on beaches and in cities. I have no fear of reptiles so I did not think to do anything differently. They all think it is weird.

Common-snapping-turtle

Common-snapping-turtle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh well. 🙂

Must go make dinner, hubs is starving to death. HA!

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Chickens, Peacocks and Peahens

English: This picture was taken at Warwick Cas...

English: This picture was taken at Warwick Castle, during my 2003 travels around Great Britain. I loved how these peacocks kept trying to woo the peahens, and the peahens would have none of it. This one time, as a peahen walked over, a peacock started rattling its plumage at her. She ignored it and kept on walking. Another peahen walked over, and the peacock quickly turned and started rattling its plummage at the new one. Not very picky, was he? (Isn’t anthropomorphizing fun?) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My husband called me as I was waiting to get onto the ferry. I take a ferry to and from work each day- yeah, sounds cooler than it is. I leave the house at 6:15 and I get to work at 7:15. LONG day on a short day…

Anyway, he called to tell me there was a peacock and peahen in with the chickens! Sure enough, they were still there when I got home. We watched them a bit and went down to make dinner. About an hour later I went to water the garden and they were still there! So was their owner! LOL! He lives two houses down and they wandered off. He said they like small birds, such as the chickens, and wander off the property every now and then. The neighbor in-between us puts out cat food for the strays and the peacock and hen usually visit his place, according to the owner – Allen, and will probably visit us more now the chickens are out and about!

Check them out:

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Salad!

Français : Mesclun, petits légumes marinés et ...

Français : Mesclun, petits légumes marinés et chÚvre chaud aux herbes sur toasts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not yet, but soon I hope.

I planted my mesclun mix lettuce today. It germinates quickly and we will have lettuce soon. It will take a bit longer for the tomatoes, cukes and peppers but I cannot wait! Yeah, I can.

I transplanted the parsley, cilantro and the zucchini into larger containers. The cukes will be transplanted later this week.

I am reinvigorated by a recent show where the Dervaes family was profiled. Check them out: UrbanHomestead.org/journal

They are providing for themselves and earning enough money to pay what little they cannot grow. This is something I would love to do for my family. I find myself asking “how much do I need to live?” If I did not have to travel to and from work, pay dues, fees, and other stuff to work, how much is needed? I have always dreamed of be self sustaining.

Rent or mortgage payments. Electricity, Internet, cable, etc. And meat. My husband could NEVER be a vegetarian. No car payments (yay!) but repairs and gas. Would 20K a year be enough? I don’t know, but I would love to find a place and give it a go.

The Dervaes family can be followed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dervaes?fref=ts

Have a happy day!

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Went shopping today

Pepsico, Quaker Oats & GMO: You're On Your Own...

Pepsico, Quaker Oats & GMO: You’re On Your Own (g1a2d0054c1) (Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)

 

The Future of Food

The Future of Food (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

So, I headed over to Lowe’s this morning and bought the soils I need for my raised bed garden. I will be layering the garden, wheat straw on the bottom (on top of the contractor’s fabric), manure-compost blend, peat, and top soil. I also purchased a few plants as I will be growing a lot from heirloom, un-Monsanto GMO seed. I wanted my tomatoes and peppers to have a head start and provide some shade for my more tender crops.
Tomorrow we will build the box, mix the soils, and plant. Hubby will pick up the stakes to build the fence (deer netting and chicken wire) to keep out the critters. I do use Miracle-Gro so don’t trash me as I mention it in my posts!! I will also use a small portion of my garden area to compost, I save my eggshells to put around the lettuce, cabbage,, etc to discourage the slugs. I will be making my beer bait and insect trap to be hung from a tree on the opposite side of my yard. Primarily, it is used to trap mosquitoes! My beer bait for slugs will be outside of the garden as well.

 
I am really excited to see what we can grow here!

 

 

 

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