June 21, 2016

Sunchokes and Late June Vegetable Garden Growing

There is a promise of a great harvest in all the vegetable plants that are still in their early growing stages in the ground.  There is also some balance with nature, I think, with milk weed plants growing around the garden and even within the garden beds.  I have seen a green frog and a handful of birds around the garden.  The daily watering has been attracting this wildlife as nature has not given us a proper rain in many days.  It's so dry that even the thistle weeds are wilting in the side yard.


The sunchokes are growing very well.  I planted the tubers this spring after having them shipped from Nova Scotia.  I think every single tuber grew.  The plants are about 1 foot tall now with similar leaves to a sunflower plant.  They have strong stems and are thriving.

I just planted a sweet potato slip.  I had only one plant that had roots big enough to survive the planting.  But it is thriving and I am hopeful that my first year of growing sweet potatoes will still be successful.

Directly Sown seeds:

Only about half the beet seeds that I directly planted in the dirt germinated and are growing.  They are about 4 cm tall now.  Just having the purplish-red leaves and stems.  The plants at the side of the garden bed with more sun are twice as big as the side with more shade.

The kale that was also planted directly is about the same size as the beets but seems to be more sturdy and has a pale slightly bluish tinge to the leaves.  About 99% of the spinach seeds did not germinate.  I have a couple of very lonely looking tiny spinach plants growing.

June 5, 2016

No Dig, Heirloom Vegetable Garden Planted

No Till Gardens with Rabbit Fence

No Dig or Till Vegetable Garden with Heirloom Seedlings

I have been planting seedlings and direct sowing seeds in the garden during the last two weeks.  I'm now pretty much done.  There's some plants not quite ready to go into the garden.  The sweet potato slips aren't quite ready and the perennial vegetables (Sea kale and Rocket) aren't big enough yet.  I have planted tomato, cucumber, melon, broccoli, lovage, basil and celery seedlings.  I have planted green beans, wax beans, snow peas, snap peas, corn, turnip, parsnip and carrot seeds. I've planted sunchoke tubers and potato.

We also decided to put up a fence to keep rabbits and any stray dogs out.  In the middle of the photo, you can see a birdbath.  We've had very little rain that I decided to put the bird bath in the middle of the garden so that it fills with fresh water when I turn the sprinkler on.  We have a birds nest beside the garden in the wood rack and now they have a water source for those super dry days.

Just after raining all morning.

The upper right side of the photo is the original vegetable garden and the lower left side is the new garden.  The new garden was all grass early this spring.  I transformed the lawn and made a no-till lasagna garden.  I covered the entire area with cardboard and then made garden beds with layers of dead grass clippings, last years leaves and composted wood chips. I added strips of topsoil where I planted the seeds and seedling.  In the old garden I've spread out paper leaf bags to mark walking paths which I've secured with firewood and bricks.

Chicks Getting Bigger at Five Weeks Old Need Bigger Cage

Red X chick 5 weeks old
All the chicks are growing up strong and healthy.  They were kept in their wooden nursery for about 4 weeks and then the weather warmed up to around 28 Celsius for a week.

Chick Cage
Chicks in Playpen (inside on a rainy day)
We put them outside in a small pet cage one day for a couple hours, then the next day they spent half a day outdoors and now they are outside for most of the day.  They love to look for insects on the ground and chase mosquitoes.  The full grown hens have tried to peck at them between the cage wires, but the chicks are well protected.  I'm hoping they are getting a little used to each other.  We bring the chicks back into their wooden nursery for the night and they make hardly a peep.