Lurkers, neighbors and newbies always welcome to chime in
Whatcha doin'? I am contemplating chickens
Yardening mid March 2015
Like others whose winter sowing was hindered by snow, my first goal is to get every stratified seed sowed. I want to direct sow most so I won't have to do any more up-potting.
Sally you may be interested in "Rent a Hen" or "Rent a Coop" out of Potomac MD. Great way to contemplate chickens and eat fresh eggs while the hens pluck bugs from your beets and begonias!
Bowens Farm Supply has a bulletin board posting for a farm in Davidsonville that hatches chicks. Thay list over 20 varieties available to order and pick up 3/28 or 3/29. I can get the # for you. Chicks available at Homestead and country store near Naval Academy Dairy Farm and David's Natural Foods.
Chickens really are dear!
Rent a hen what a blast! Good reading there to begin my research.
I saw chickens and supplies in the Tractor Supply ad- what got it back on my radar. I know that store by Naval acad Dairy Farm.
Homestead has 2 kinds of Wyandott, Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red. This weekend they also have the "Green Goats" there. Wayne and I fell in love with the 3-4 week old dairy goats last week. Oh, the Nav Acad place used to carry turkeys and ducks. I've never heard of the chickens 'Rent a Coop' offers, but they sound pretty ideal. The Buff Orpintons are pretty neat. too.
When I was first pregnant, my friends gave me four chicks and 2 ducklings so I could practice! I enjoyed the ducklings and watching them swim in the kiddie pool. As a kid my family raised chickens for meat and kept laying hens and 'Old Bandy Legs' the rooster. My job was feeding them and collecting eggs. They have personalities.
I was so focused on my seed goals that I forgot the comment I was going to make about your chicken contemplation. Whenever I visit my oldest daughter in Salt Lake City, I'm always struck by how many people keep chickens in their backyards....not just in the suburbs, but in the city as well. I'm not sure they're allowed in my area, but if they were I might consider keeping hens if I never had to clean the coop ; - )
Love that link, coleup; what a great idea!
I have to learn more,- for example, you have to shut the door on the coop each night to make sure they don't get eaten? I would do a tractor or other moveable style, not a secure permanent enclosure.
not really Yardening but interesting
I've been out in a sweater, and in the sun it feels so nice. I'm so happy to find emerging bits of things you all have shared, or that I will be sharing. I may have an open first narcissus in a day or two.
For the moment I am trying to focus on pulling purple deadnettle, and those barren strawberries that creep everywhere. And removing /rearranging pine needle mulch. There are some piles where I plopped it and thought I'd get back to it two months ago. And many brown stems that need to be cleaned up; trying not to rush those cuz I know we may have needed good bugs in them.
All winter I've been chomping at the bit to get outside, but it is just so wet and muddy here. The temperature isn't warm, but actually not too hateful today. However, with that mud I am totally turned off about getting out there to do anything.
The pond and the driveway got destroyed over the winter, and it will take a bit of work to get them fixed.
The galvanized steel stack broke off with the shifting ice - about 5 feet from the bottom of the pond, so the pond level dropped about 12 feet. The cross bracing on the docks broke off too, and over the last week, the main posts of the small dock gave way when the mud from the banks slid. The 1 1/2 acre pond looks like an excavation pit right now. Pretty ugly. Mike thinks he will be able to fix everything, but not until things dry up a bit.
We need 4 wheel drive to get through the mud ruts in the gravel part of the driveway and the asphalt part has heaved up in spots. The gravel will be easy to fix, just need it to dry out so that it can be graded, but the asphalt will need to be redone.
This winter sure was one for the record books as far as the maintenance repair goes!
wow Terri, didn't imagine it could be such a mess there!
I've spent almost all day in my humble yard, not finding much winter damage here. Many things are green buds, even the tip of a fig branch is green inside.
I've been laboring in the vegetable area trying to lay out new, sensible beds with wood edging, and being decisive about moving 'less than favorite' things out of prime sunny real estate. Old woody garlic chives? Eh dime a dozen, they go. Thyme? I never use it, and it can grow good enough with less sun, in some corner , even edge the flower bed. I already HAVE some there , in fact. For that one day a year I feel inspired to get sprigs of thyme for cooking.
It dawned on me today that I've given a prime sunny area to a Santa Rosa plum tree that I am totally incapable of keeping properly pruned. It didn't even seem to bloom last year. I would probably get much more from the area planted in vegetables, than dreaming of some plums. I don't even like plums much. It was for Mark. Fruit tree in general seem so difficult with specialized care.
Oh Terri, such a shame your beautiful lake and dock area. I know you can rebuild but so much work. Must be depressing to see it all.
Sally, sounds like you are making good choices for your garden.
Ric is out there working in the Veggie Garden but not me, not today. Just don't have it today.
Aspenhill, so sorry to hear about your lake! I can't imagine the level dropping 12 feet.
Sally, the only plants DH has requested are peach and cherry trees, but I just know I would hate all the spraying and pruning.
Not much yardening happening today. There's so much more pruning to do...
First thing I did when I came in was hit the ibuprophen bottle. I was wondering why my legs didn't want to hold me up. I just realized that I've been out in the yard all day. Got the camellias planted all the hellebores, some of the daffodils that I forgot about weeded out two and a half big beds of those nasty hairy bitter cress (thanks Gardener) and went to Home Depot for mulch and Liquid Fence. Nice surprise, lilies are coming up as well a Valarian, peonies, rhubarb, roses are starting too. It was so nice to be outside digging in the dirt!
Yehudith, I need to go out there and dig out some hair bittercress, too! And the purple lamium.
Is it too early to direct sow salad greens? I'm sick of buying lettuce at the store! :)
Bonnies has all the cold crop plants out for sale--AND--Rosemary...
if you lost yours.
Garden at HD is really shaping up. man! The guys are hauling!!!
Towers of mulches are out on the Aprom
All soils are down--so are mulches
Stones have bee sorted and cleaned up--broken bags tossed.
Garden gates are open Pansies are everywhere! A bit cpld-nipped.
All Garden Tractors are on the floor...
Mowers are all displayed on the upper shelves
Patio sets are already selling
etc....etc....etc.....Feelin Spring in my old bones!!! G.
woman after my heart, yehudith, I've been out all day too. and ibuprofen is a great idea.
Might wait a few weeks, ssg.
I wasn't feeling up to going out and doing anything and then about an hour ago I got a bit of energy and took the rake and scissors out and spend maybe 20 mins cleaning up a small bed where the leaves tend to pile up. Uncovered some soon to bloom Hellebores and a few daffs that are just starting. Cut back the winter burned Helle leaves.
SSG - you can sow lettuce right on top of the snow if you want, so its not too early to sow in the ground. The sooner the better so you get a good, long period of production before bolting.
I'm so sorry to hear about your lake and driveway, Aspen! It sounds like a huge, depressing mess; I wouldn't want to go outside and face the mud either!
I'm trying to stay positive that all will be fine as soon as the weather gets better. This winter sure has been a challenge. Who can resist spring when it finally gets here though :-)
Oh man Aspen, that's terrible that all that happened to your property! It all looked so nice last year, I'm sorry to hear about that.
I'm shopping for a good quality hose. We've patched and fixed couple of bargain hoses for a few years and it's getting desperate.
THis one gets five star reviews. It's clear! How odd.
ssg I think you recommended one before, can you recall where you got it?
I got this one after a couple of my hoses got holes in them:
I love it. Soooo lightweight and durable. I wish I could replace all of my heavy hoses with this one, but they're pricey!
Aspenhill was looking into them but I don't know if she bought them herself.
Yikes, that's a pricey hose. I remember the ones last year that we were talking about and they looked real nice for a little more. I'll stick with my 'Neverkink' hoses for that much money though. My one 75' Neverkink has been in use for 5 seasons so far and has performed well. The only thing I don't like about regular hoses like that is they aren't very flexible when using in cold weather. That can get annoying.
Different subject but I was wondering if anyone has ever tried burning weeds with a blow torch? I thought I heard of that before so I bought a propane torch at HD yesterday. The weeds do burn but I'm just not sure the results will be as good as boiling water. We'll have to see. I know boiling water takes a few days to really see results so maybe that's the same with the torch. I'd love to hear your comments on this. I usually use RU but it is unaffective at low temps and I have to get a jump on those veronica and onions.
In keeping with the discussion of need for insects earlier in the thread, I just received this flier in the mail. Openly promoting total annihilation of all insects in one's yard! of course it eliminates other things too, destroys normal soil biota, thus requiring further inputs, etc, etc. Unbelievable!
The rubber ones like Craftsman get good reviews for a dollar a foot or a little less. I thin they are usually on the heavy side. Vinyl hoses run cheap and up to around fifty cents a foot, if I remember the shopping browsing I was doing at 2 am..
Sequoia , does it really 'never kink?"
oh Ace online shows a craftsman rubber 100 foot $60. So they're not as high as I said.
This rubber expanding hose might be good to try only for a light, right by the house thing.
Sequioa, I used a weed burner once. I thought that it was going to be just the thing for my driveway, patio and around my metal fences. Took much longer than I thought it would and put out so much heat that you couldn't use it around other plants, even had some heat damage on my hedge near the driveway.
Sally, I have some never kink hoses, picked them up at Lowes a few years ago and they are still going strong and really holding up well. They don't kink much but they do kink on occasion. I find they are heavy and stiff.
I bought the "factory second" 50-footer, which is about 70c per foot. It doesn't kink and handles my super high water pressure very well.
I have used the expanding hoses and like them for small areas. I used mine in the house, hooked into the upstairs bathroom and used in the plant room up there. I put one at my Dad's house at the side where he has a small bed that needs watered and now he doesn't need to drag a hose all the way around there. I don't think I would use them as only hoses where I need to drag them across the yard but for a small area like a patio or the GH I would use it. Mine only lasted a few years then the connection blew.
David- someone I know was lucky enough to buy in a 'nice' new community in DE with a view of the marsh.
The new neighbors told them, they get sprayed all summer to keep the bugs away.
I know it isn't fun to sit outside and get bitten. But.... ( big sad face) ..........
OK--I can speak only for hoses I drag around all day in garden at the HD.
Here are all the hoses on their site.
Of course, we don't carry every hose available. homedepot.com would.
There is a green one with a stripe that runs the length of it
that seems OK. It is reasonably flexible. As they all get wound up on
overhead reels, when you pull it down, they will have kinks which make it hard
to stretch it out to get to every table. I am forever flipping it to get it straight.
I would not get a rubber hose as they are too thick and do not flex well.
They "have a mind of their own". They can develop such a torque that it twists my
arm--vs. my arm twisting it. It is a constant battle.
We took it down last summer and got rid of it. I could not deal with it...
If I knew what the hose I use in MY yard is made of--it has been holding up
for 20 some years of use in my garden. I got it at Franks Nursery and Crafts...
Long defunct. I can still see their name on it.
Of course--mine goes on a big reel attached to my house ("wall-mount")and stays straight.
You roll it up with a handle. It has a guide to keep it going even.
These reels are still available and made by "Suncast" or Ames.
All the deco-reels you see--the boxed ones--the deep pots ones,
the wrought iron ones. etc are not too practical.
I like the one SS has...looks so easy to use...$$$--yes! but may last you forever...
Frank's sold really good quality. I still have trowels, with green plastic handle covering..
There is now a new and improved "Pocket Hose" that we got in.
The "Improved part" --it now has all brass connections--as the plastic
ones never lasted long. I think the material of the hose is also
more reinforced. It also went up $10--and now costs $29,97.
We sell these kind of hoses a lot.... Wonder if two of the "Pocket hoses" could be
screwed together? Then you would have 100'.
Thanks for the info on the weed burner Holly. I'm finding that is the case too. Oh well, boiling water will have to do until it warms up and I can use RU.
SSG: No, my 'Neverkink' hose does kink sometimes but way less than my one non-'Neverkink'.
Sally, That NASA project looks like fun for kids to do, as well informative.
Teri, Sorry to hear about your pond and drive.
Aspenhill, sorry about the damage. Glad Mike thinks he can fix it.
This winter has been hard on the roads. Potholes everywhere.