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Ranch Journal, June 1st

by Robbie - June 1st, 2011.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

Here we go.

Herbs on the deck:  lemon verbena, lovage and lemon balm struggling to make a comeback…and my pride and joy, an actual healthy marigold from seed.  I would have had a dozen if I hadn’t set all but one of them out in a cold frame way too early.  Marigolds hate the cold.

On the far side of the deck, cold frame 1 with the row of peppers in containers.  Pepper roulette, like tomato roulette this year.  My seedling labeling system was flawed.  But the peppers have matches buried under the root balls to acidify the soil slightly; they’ll also get sprayed with Epsom salt solution for magnesium to promote nice fruit.  Cold frame 1 had lots of salad greens; some I’ve let go to seed so I can save the seeds.  I ripped out some and replaced them with more peppers.  You can see a glimpse of my row cover tucked above the peppers as an emergency hail-guard.

Cold frame 2 has 3 healthy tomato plants, lots of herbs like opal basil and feverfew, lots of spinach and parsley planted. salad greens and cole crop greens, too.

On the south side we’re next to the burned-up house that will be a construction mess, but I had planned the wall of flowers and gourds on the fence to try to get privacy from the kids next door anyway.  Then one of the kids burned the house down.  I planted decorative gourds, a wildflower mix and sunflowers of various heights, tallest at the back.  It has to be triple-fenced to keep out dogs and birds.

The strip of ground on the west side of the coop was cleared by the chickens themselves.  Then I tilled it, amended and planted another strip of sunflowers and gourds, to give the birds more shade in the heat of the day.  Just planted, so nothing is up yet.

Another new strip is on the west side of the raised beds, in back of the driveway.  This is a wind tunnel and I wanted to plant a hedge of roses as a windbreak, but I couldn’t afford roses this year.  So, gourds, sunflowers and, for variety, quinoa in brilliant colors.  If it comes up it will be gorgeous in the fall.

Raised bed 1:  big ol’ catnip that came back this spring, bok and pok choi and other salad greens, radishes, tomatoes, strawberries, many herbs, onions.

Oh…and in the end cavities, thyme, parsley, chives and marigolds…

Bed 2:  tomatoes, herbs, strawberries, greens, broccoli and brussel’s sprouts (I think) and onions.

Next to bed 1, containers with tomato roulette, lemon or lime or opal basil, and marigolds.

Between beds, tomato containers with basils and marigolds and 1 container with a pepper.  I’m trying out some very low-budget “automatic waterers”


Here’s the overview shot of raised beds 1 & 2:

Now, for the Garden…starting with the overview shot:

Starting with the back row, south side, the greens bed ending with peas…my poor, struggling peas…in front of that you can see my just-planted row of lemon cucumbers.  Also, a couple of unhappy tomatoes.

On the north side, the back row is newly planted with rows of blue lake beans and cantaloupes.  Past that, the just-planted corn and squash/pumpkins pockets, amongst my struggling strawberries.

Second row from the back, south side, rows of radishes, beets, onions, and newly planted Armenian cucumbers.  Also, more pathetic peas.  And a couple of tomatoes.

On the north end of this row, spaghetti squash, bush beans, and more corn and pumpkins and strawberries.

The garden middle row is tomatoes, basil, carrots, other herbs, and blue pumpkins at the ends of the rows.

On the west side of the middle row, the newly planted nasturtium row to separate crops.

The final row, closest to the front (west) is cole crops (seeds have been in the ground for a while but I’m still eating up the row-marking radishes to look for them:  cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts.  The bags are potatoes.  Also, lotsa onions.

Now, for a livestock update.  Stewie, my Golden Laced Wyandot hen, was attacked by a fox.  I had the birds in a temporary fenced run with bird netting on top, but there was a gap in the netting.  Ran after the tangled-up fox with a rake.  Skinny, desperate fox, and a slightly mauled bird…

But things look good today.  I put an ointment on Stewie to keep the other ladies from pecking her, and it looks like she’s healing fine.  Otherwise the birds are sassy and healthy…

Plum, my Franch Angora kit, is about 9 weeks old.  I haven’t been handling her enough and she is not what I’d call docile.  But I’ll keep on it.  Also, Plum needs to stay cool…under 80 degrees.  I’m using frozen water bottles and a cooling fan to try to keep the temp down in the hutch.  We NEED to get the new hutch done so I can have both my rabbits and so they can be cool enough…anyway, here’s Plum.  She’s a blue French with darker ears, face and tail, and white feet.  I think she is exquisite…

Updates will be coming at least once a month.  Today is June 1st.

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