Saturday, May 9, 2015

Come into my garden

Two of my dogs have developed an unhealthy interest in both my chickens and rabbits, not to mention an overwhelming need to lie down on my plants, so I finally put in a gated entry to the garden and critter area of the yard.

I do love building things with pallets! I know the railroad tie looks odd sticking out, but when the gate opens it rests on that so the support post doesn't sag.

I got a lot going on behind that gate. :)

My cherry tomato plants are getting huge! That raised bed is built from pallets and filled with chicken and rabbit litter (basically poop, straw, and hay). There's some green basil behind the tomatoes but can't see 'em. That fluffy thing to the right is asparagus.

The deck is also pallets. Did I mention I love pallets? Free is beautiful.

I made a narrow bed on the other side of the pallet walkway and filled it with peppers, and a couple of tomatoes.

I stuck one Roma in that cinderblock on the end. It'll probably croak in the summer heat but I thought I'd try it and see what happened anyway.

If I can get my hands on another railroad tie I'll run another bed beside this one, but for now I kinda blocked off the far end and planted more tomatoes there.

On the other end, past the chicken waterer and just out of reach of the hens behind that pallet fence, are sunflowers.

The back two rows are from random seed I got out of a bird seed bag. The front row are dwarf sun spots.  I thin them out and give the thinnings to the rabbits. The big ones, I dry the heads for the chickens, saving the best ones for next year's seed.

Or usually that's what I do but last year I screwed up and didn't cover the heads I wanted to save and the sparrows at them all. Starting from scratch again now, breeding up someone else's hybrids.

I planted onions in this old bathtub, forgetting I tossed a packet of Chicken Crack in it back in January. Now it's full of rape, kale, purple top turnips, and onions.

I pull the turnips and kale and whatnot and feed it to the hens. Tying a string around one end and hanging it from a tree in their yard keeps them entertained for hours.

There's Texas 1015Y on the left, and red onions on the right but the red onions seem to have croaked on me. I've only found a few in there. Not sure what's up with that.

I took the cast off remnants of some IBC totes and made a couple of raised beds over by the storm shelter.

The one on the left has okra, marigolds, and a couple of sugar baby watermelons in it. The one on the right has sweet corn. I planted them square foot gardening style, so they're pretty packed.

I tossed that old scrap piece of clear sheeting over the top because it's a little chilly today and I figured it'd help warm things up a bit.

The beds start with a layer of straw over the dirt, then dirt, then coffee grounds, then more dirt. I planted the seeds in the dirt and then tossed in a thin layer of bunny poop.

It's only been a few days and already I see corn coming up!

I use a ton of rabbit poop on my garden. I keep meaning to set up a little digester for it so I can turn it to a slurry like what they used to put in the old honey wagons but I never get around to it.

The grapevines are coming on hard and fast. I forgot to prune them in 2013 so the 2014 growth was wild and out of control.

I whacked them hard this winter.

I cannot keep the stinking Bermuda grass out of the grape rows, ugh. I hate Bermuda grass!

This is an apple tree. I espaleered it onto two horizontals to keep it low and out of our horrible winds. I need to trim it a bit, it's getting a little wild.

I have no idea what kind it is. I had 3 and lost 2. Not sure which one remains.

My neighbor has apples though so this should be pollinated ok. I'm hoping it blooms this year, will be it's first time if it does!

My peach tree is COVERED! I'm having to thin them out a lot and had to put some support ties and bars in to hold up the branches.

I have never seen so many peaches on a tree. I think this is a Belle of Georgia but the tag is long gone.

I want to plant a few more. They're dwarf so they fit in the space here easily.

The apricot tree is covered too, and this is a full size tree.

We're fantasizing about apricot brandy if the fruit doesn't all blow off before it's ready to pick.

Up here apricots only set fruit once every 3-4 years thanks to late freezes that kill the blooms, or hail and high winds that destroy the fruit. Fingers crossed!

Well this is a tad embarassing. I had to stop construction on yet another pallet fence because I ran out of screws.

Meanwhile I have more Bermuda growing in the raspberry bed than raspberries. The far end has a million blackberries going strong though. Arapaho, Triple Crown, and Navajo, all thornless varieties. The Triple Crown is the biggest producer by far. Kinda seedy though.


Can't believe we have tomatoes starting in early May. I took a chance this year and planted them a few weeks before our last freeze date and a month before I usually put them out. I got lucky and so far it looks like we'll be swimming in tomatoes this year.

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