The Weekly Digs #8

We had another chicken death this week. This time it was an animal that got into their coop at night. I think it was a raccoon because it had to be something nimble enough to open a door against gravity. The raccoon or what ever it was had a good meal and left the carcass. Having animals kill the chickens is hard because it’s always quite a gruesome scene.

We’ve been locking them in their more secure coop (we have two) ever since. And now we are down to five chickens. I feel like a very bad chicken shepherd at this point but it happens I guess. We still have our five new chicks and some in the incubator.

3 week old tomatoes

3 week old tomatoes

Indoor Seed Starting:

  • Peppers: Emerald Giant Pepper, Tam Jalepeno, Midnight Dreams Pepper, Canary Bell

  • Tomatoes: Roma and Martino’s Roma

These are the new ones I started to replace all the ones that didn’t sprout. However, over the past week I’ve had a few pepper stragglers come up. It’s been almost four weeks since I planted them! So crazy! But I think part of why they took so long is because it a while to get a good working heat mat under the seedlings.

I have two beds of cabbages. This one faired better than the other and the leaves didn’t get sun scald.

I have two beds of cabbages. This one faired better than the other and the leaves didn’t get sun scald.

Garden Planting:

  • Sowed peas and oats cover crop in an area where my late tomatoes will go. Unfortunately, my chickens made it into my garden by accident and had a delicious meal of sprouted peas and oats. It was however quite fortunate for them :)

  • The rest of my cabbages went in the ground this week under row covers. I hardened them off in another area of the yard which apparently doesn’t get as much sun as my main garden. I say that because the day after I planted them, they some got sun scald on the leaves. I’m experimenting with planting them directly in our native soil as opposed to my usual raised beds. I amended the soil with compost and some wood ash to bring up the ph. We’ll see what happens.

  • Planted Radishes. Daikon and Easter Basket Mix (from Baker Creek seeds)

  • Transplanted Kale under row covers.

This is the other method I use to cover plants. It’s a roll of wire cut into circles and then the ends get pushed into the ground. I zip tie bamboo stakes to the top because you must have a pole down the center to keep everything sturdy. (Learned the hard way) I then Covered this with row cover. Its a good method for insect protection in spring, but I would use the pvc version for winter because the weight of snow would collapse something like this.

This is the other method I use to cover plants. It’s a roll of wire cut into circles and then the ends get pushed into the ground. I zip tie bamboo stakes to the top because you must have a pole down the center to keep everything sturdy. (Learned the hard way) I then Covered this with row cover. Its a good method for insect protection in spring, but I would use the pvc version for winter because the weight of snow would collapse something like this.

I’m running about a week behind on all my planting this year. Once you get behind it’s so hard to keep up! My onions have to go in the ground by Monday and my potatoes too. I hope the ground stays dry enough to plant!

Oh and some good news! I bought some rosemary seeds on a whim this year not knowing they are a very difficult seed to germinate. Sowed them and covered the container. Then I set it up on a shelf for about 3 weeks. I kind of forgot it was there. But when I pulled it down I had four seedlings growing! They are very leggy since I should have had them under lights. The packet said up to three months before germination so I was giving all my light space to my other plants. They are under lights now and seem happy enough.

Lettuce all planted and looking good!

Lettuce all planted and looking good!