Friday, May 29, 2009

The Gardener

William went outside early this morning and begin hoeing the peas and okra. He pulled dirt up around the plants and put out some composted chicken manure around the tomatoes and peppers.

Pulling grass up!

Getting a little stretch:


This afternoon we moved the pepper plants from where the water was standing to the end of the row. Maybe they will begin to grow now. They had so much rain that the leaves were turning yellow which indicates too much water.

Tomorrow we have to finish getting the weeds and grass removed and put the compost around the plants.

After this I hope we can reap the fruits of our labors.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Update On Garden May 28, '09

We have had lots and lots of rain in the last couple of weeks that kept us from working in out garden.


Today was a nice, sunny day so William did finish sticking the green beans.


We still have to stick the butter beans that were supposed to be bunch beans.


The squash and cucumbers are growing. The way they look we should have some blooms on them before long. UMMMMM....fresh cukes! I can't wait for a cucumber sandwich.


The tomatoes are blooming. Another "I can't wait for" sandwich. Some of the tomatoes aren't growing because so much water has washed down through the garden.


William and I talked today and decided that if our garden doesn't do well this year we will go back to raised beds. We had raised beds for years before we decided to go to the traditional row garden. We will need a tiller if we continue with the rows but can use that money to make the raised beds.

When we had raised beds we had one that was four feet by twenty feet where we planted our green beans. We had eight (I think I'm right) raised beds. We grew a lot of food in those beds.

We never had to plow and had very few weeds come up in the beds. Since we've had so much rain, the weeds and grass are taking over our this year's garden.

Fortunately, we are predicted to have four days of sunshine. Maybe, we can get the grass out and fed to the chickens this week.

I have one more picture. This one is of my sweet, tired husband. He was worn out and I caught him resting. :)


This is all that is going on with the garden at this time. I still have some more planting to do. Maybe, that will get done while the sun is shining, too.

A note about the baby ducks: Some varmint got all eight of the babies. Nary a one was left. This happened while I was staying with Mom at the hospital. It broke my heart. The ducklings were so cute!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I couldn't wait....I had to go check on the baby ducklings this morning. One of the little ducklings was away from the rest down between a 2"X4" and some wire. It was trying to get out of its prison so being the superheroine that I am I went in to save the baby.

OUCH!!! Two mommas came after me and so did the poppa. I backed out (as quickly as these old legs would take me) then got an old refrigerator shelf for a shield.

I went back in using the shield to keep the ducks away from me. I reached in and picked up the baby, moved it back to the nest then watched as little duckie went right back to the hole. Silly goose...uh I mean duckling.

I finally got the baby out and it stayed in the nest. But...this wasn't accomplished without injury on my part. One of the mommas got hold of the pinkie on my right hand. OUCH!!! I didn't know ducks could hurt like that. Learned a lesson today. One I won't forget.

I have to explain to those babies that they need to stay close to momma 'cause a big chicken snake is still loose out there somewhere!

By the way, I couldn't count them...Yeah?...No!...but there were a bunch of babies in the nests this morning. Good job momma ducks.

Last spring we had momma ducks set on eggs and hatch nine ducklings. We could walk in the pen and pick up the babies. The mommas quacked but no attacks. The ducks we have this spring are in attack mode. Big Time!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Finally Hatching

The baby ducklings are finally hatching. Hubby set the ducks and didn't tell me so I didn't know how to count the days. So far this afternoon, we only have two. I'm hoping that in the morning we will have several more.

There's just nothing as cute as new ducklings. This one was walking around spreading his wings like he was grown.

I'm not sure if this breed will lay more eggs or not. I hope they do. I would like to incubate some of the eggs.

The ducks are Buff Orphingtons. We have two ducks and a drake.

We also have Matilda. Matilda is a Jumbo Pekin. She is a pet. We let her roam around and don't expect anything from her.

Picture of proud poppa and the mommas. The baby is standing at the end of the duck's beak.


Friday, May 8, 2009


This morning while I was hanging out clothes I noticed the ducks were louder than usual. I finished with the clothes, gave the young chicks some fresh water then I checked on the ducks. They were in the corner of the pen with the two ducks quacking loudly and the drake making his own noise. I looked to see what was going on in there but couldn't see anything that would be so upsetting UNTIL....I looked to the left side where the nests are. There it was....a huge chicken snake laying in the ducks' nest.

The snake was laying on the eggs as if he was incubating them. I went to get a hoe but by the time I had gotten back the snake had settled down where I couldn't get a good swing at him.

So being the brave woman I am, I called William. He came home, got his gun and went on a snake hunt. The snake had completely disappeared. We hunted all around the pens and couldn't find it.

Before I called William I had called Mom to see if Dub was at home. Of course not, he had gone to town to do several errands.

After William left going back to school, Mom called to see if the snake was still in the ducks' pen. I explained what happened and she told me "Don't worry. He'll be back and this time he'll have his wife with him." Yikes!!!!

I know that snakes are beneficial as they catch mice and other rodents. BUT...they also eat duck eggs that are almost ready to hatch. If I have to choose between having mice or duck eggs guess which one I am going to choose. You got it! I will go with the mice because we have a way of doing away with them ourselves and the ducks only lay so many eggs each spring.

I want ducklings!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Garden AKA The Mudhole

I went out after the pouring rain this morning to check on the garden. Water is standing between the rows. Some of the rows have water almost to the top of the row. We have what southerners (and I am one) call a mudhole with more rain on the way. William and I will have to figure out a way to drain the water from between the rows. If we don't we will have plants drowning out from all the water.

The grass and weeds are growing faster than the vegetable plants. If it's a few days before I can get in the garden to weed, we will have more weeds than veggies.

I did see that the cucumbers have come up. There are two hills that hasn't come up yet. All the squash have come on up and are growing. As have the butter beans. Some beans are still sprouting.

No sign of the green beans or peas that were planted last Saturday. It's only been four days though so these seed should start showing their little heads in a few more days. The okra will take close to two weeks before popping its head through the soil.

The tomatoes look healthy and are growing. The pepper are doing well also.

Back to the cucumbers. The seeds that I planted were packaged for the year 2004. They had been stored in the seed box which is an old cheese box. I am pleased with the germination rate on these five years old seeds. They were slower germinating than the newer seeds.

From now on, I won't be in such a rush to throw away seeds that the package says is out of date. I will at least try the seeds. If they don't come up then I can replant with new seeds. If they do come up, I've saved some money.

I hear thunder in the distance and it looks like night time outside. More RAIN is on the way. I don't want to think what the garden will look like after this storm blows through.

This is the rows where we planted peas last Saturday


Row with tomatoes on the south end.


Rows of squash, cucumbers and butterbeans.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Gardening Again This Saturday

One of the first things I did today was gather swiss chard for our late lunch. I sauteed the chard in olive oil and butter then added garlic to the chard when it was almost done. Yummy!

We have planted three rows of green beans and one row of okra today. The green beans are pole beans so we will need to put up a frame to hold the sticks that we use for the beans to run on.

The okra is a dwarf variety. If it is like what I planted last summer it will only grow about three feet tall. I like this size because it doesn't shade the beans it is planted next to.

William is making up rows to plant the zipper cream peas on. I hope we can get those in the ground later on today. We will have three rows of zipper cream peas in the garden this year.

I will have one more row to plant and I plan to put more tomatoes on that row. By planting this many tomatoes I hope to have enough to can this summer. If I can tomatoes, I will make William happy because he can eat a quart of tomatoes at a time.

I checked the rows that we planted last weekend. The squash and butterbeans are coming up on one end of the rows. I can't figure out why the seeds aren't coming up all down the rows. I will check them on Monday or Tuesday and if they aren't coming up by then, I will replant.

The cucumbers aren't coming up very well at all. Two hills have come up and that is all. However, this I can explain. The cucumber seed were old. In fact the seeds were five years old. I am going to check my seed box to see if I have any newer seed. If there are more seeds in the box, I will replant this afternoon. If there are no more seed then I will get some when I go to town and get them planted tomorrow.

The tomato plants and pepper plants we put out last weekend look great. After the rain we got the other night, the tomato plants look like they have grown six inches.

I found more cucumber seed in my seed box. These are the burpless cukes. There are only a few seeds but I will put them out the first of the week if we don't have rain.

There were some herb seeds too. I need to plant some sage, parsley, cilantro, chives and basil. Now that I found the seed for each one of these herbs I will try to get them in the ground when I replant the cukes. There is a package with a few dill weed seeds in it also. Got to have those herbs. Chives and basil more than any of the others. However, I love them all.

We planted two rows in zipper cream peas. We need to get the other row bedded up so I can get it planted as soon as possible.

That's my day for this Saturday. Now I'm ready for a good hot shower and the bed.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Rain, Wonderful Rain!!!

We had not gotten any rain in at least two weeks but last night that all changed. It rained only for a few minutes but we got some good rain on our newly planted garden. Now, maybe the squash, cucumber and beans will begin poking their little heads out of the dirt and the tomatoes and peppers will start jumping!

According to the weather forecast there is rain predicted for several days. If we can get the green beans and okra in the ground this afternoon they should come right on up.

Everything looks so fresh and rejuvenated this morning thanks to the shower we were blessed with last night.