Freezing temperatures really came last week so the frost free chicken waterers had to come out.
I really don’t like messing with them but what can you do?
The hoop house is coming along.
I need to plant some more, harvested 3 lbs of radishes Monday.
Bugs aren’t as big of a problem now but it seems slugs are my biggest problem.
Thought it was chickens before but they are locked up pretty well and I found slugs in the damaged areas.
Growing time has increased but I’m getting better production per harvest now than in the summer.
If someone that seems credible gives recommendations on prices of produce use that price, I thought $20 a pound sounded too high for radishes so I dropped to $10, most of the time I don’t make any money. Thankfully it’s only one place buying for now so I learned a lesson before I got more buyers.
Last Saturday I had the opportunity to get into the bee hives, I really thought I lost one of the two hives which would have been devestating to me since I lost five hives earlier this year and bought these two in a gamble that I would be able to start splitting the hives in early Spring.
However I was happy to see that both hives seemed to be doing well.
I did decide to make them some sugar water, the winter mix is a 2:1 ratio of sugar:water. To make it the water and sugar have to be heated for the sugar to be dissolved completely.
There is almost always maintanance to be done as well. One of the doors on my chicken coup broke a few weeks ago, I could close and open it but not effectively.
I could leave it closed so I did but it was time to fix it. To fix it I just screwed some square plywood scraps to the inside corners.
Doesn’t look great but the door is solid again. Having tools and different materials laying around is important for quick fixes. Even when I put the sugar water in the beehives I had to shave 1/8 inch off the end of an entrance reducer.
Pretty excited, my most recent radishes are coming up along with the spinach, lettuce, and arugula that are outside.
For some reason the pictures wouldn’t upload but they all look similar at this point, the arugula and lettuce have two little leaves coming off the stem and the spinach looks like a little green stem.
There is a little white mold with the radishes that I’ll have to look into, I think it’s just a matter of physically removing the mold.
One other problem I have is my chickens.
They seem to be dust bathing in the cold frame, they shouldn’t be able to get to it but a few do. Right now it is dry there but once it’s planted it won’t be, hopefully then they won’t dig there, of course my biggest concern is the stray chickens eating my baby plants.
Lots of things are repetitive, every day is taking care of animals.
Monday planted more radishes and fertilized with fish meal in the cold frame.
Today noticed that spinach was coming up.
And as always there are chickens to process.
With my son, I have found that I’m better off only doing 2 at a time.
This week should be fairly warm, in the 70’s, but it actually snowed last Sunday and we had a few nights of freezing. It is the time of year when hoses need to be drained and winter precautions need to be taken. I should have more warm days than cold but freezes can sneak up. I hope there are enough warm days to help my most recent seedlings germinate.
Three plants were planted yesterday.
The garden looks striped, the darker areas are where I planted. The rows aren’t as close as they would be in the summer because I hope to put tunnels over each bed, the tunnels will have to be pulled off from time to time and if there is snow there needs to be a place for it to go without smothering the plants.
On the right is Spinach, the middle is a lettuce mix and on the left is arugula.
On a side note, sometimes crops come up in strange places.
Outside the cold frame a carrot grows next to the cross tie.
Since my tractor is still down feeding round bales to the horses is trickier than it should be. Previously I have showed various techniques, today there is one more.
The problem is that to about six feet from the barn it’s pretty muddy, actually it’s poop, don’t want to get the truck stuck so backing inside the barn is out but I don’t want to role the bale through the horse manure for health reasons and the horses won’t like it.
Normally there is some inedible material in the bales so to avoid getting manure on the new bale spreading some of the inedible material over the manure keeps the new bale clean.
Once again I felt a little funny getting ready to plant going into winter. Our winters aren’t normal very cold with the exception of a few days, I did spend some time getting the ground turned Sunday.
Of course with that came raking out the weeds.
Monday it rained almost all day, tried raking again but it was too muddy and decided to wait.
Did plant some Spinach America in the hoop house and ordered plastic for low tunnels for outside.
One thing I tried with the tiller was setting it to till about an inch down and took it over area that had not been tilled and was covered with weeds, it seemed to work well for removing the top growth, whether that helps or not remains to be seen.