Friday, April 25, 2014

The nights, the nights...

Well, I spoke too soon about the temperatures warming up here in the mountains.  Yesterday, our low was 28 degrees and we lost a few leaves from the peppers and tomatoes.  The night before it was 48 degrees, so trying to figure out what will happen with the temps is enough to make me pull my hair out.

The little zucchini plant is looking a little strange, but not frozen, so I don't know what'll happen there.  I decided that Mother Nature is still trying to trip me up, so today I started a few seeds for peppers, tomatoes and zucchini in case they die back.  I also got cilantro and basil started so they can be transplanted outside, hopefully by May. 

As you know, I've been covering the straw bales with plastic at night.  I added garden cloth under it for the last couple nights.  I think I'll put a glass over the zucchini seedling tonight and see if it likes that extra layer of protection.

Steve is almost done with the fencing around the bottom of the chicken run.  They really can't wait to be out in the coop and run during the days and here one is checking out Steve working on her home.  Of course, Ziva had to come over and check out the chicken.  If she only knew that all this protection was partly her fault.  I think the protection is far enough along that Ziva is now allowed into the garden while we're there. 

Everyday we find something else to modify in regards to the run and here is an example.  On either side of the coop there is just enough room for the chickens to go completely around the house.  They get stuck there, so we've added 2 PVC pipes wired to the cage to block their path.  At the top of this picture you can see one of these pipes and they have worked well. 

I found out that the chickens are now adventurous with their appetites. The straw bales are sprouting some greens, unknown what type as we don't know what the straw was.  Anyway, I've pulled some of the greens and let the chickens do what they may.  They've eaten some, and played with some.  A few leaves of parsley made it into their enclosure and they ate that.  Yesterday, I hard-boiled some eggs and they just about killed each other for those.   Assorted ants, beetles and bugs have been dispatched, too.  I believe the coop is a hit with them.  Still waiting for warmer nights before putting them outside full-time.  Can't wait!!

The Aspen trees on the property are starting to leaf out and they are looking so nice.  We've planted around 8 and have had most of them make it.  They seem like they'll make it for the first year, then after going through a winter, a few just haven't come back from dormancy.  In the areas where they didn't come back, we are trying Poplars, a relative of the Aspens.  We're hoping they are hardier. 

Our track record with planting trees isn't stellar.  We also tried Redbuds, Locust and Maples, which aren't here any longer. 

We found out Blue Spruce like it here and we can't kill them, but they are so expensive that we won't be adding any more.  I wanted them to decorate for Christmas, so I'll have to get around to that during the holidays.

The winds are picking up and I can hear whistling through the trees.  Things are also hitting the south side of the house.  The weather channel is predicting rain tomorrow.  Yuck!  I love rain in summer, but not right now.

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