Friday, May 31, 2013

Little house in our backyard

I love cute little knick knacks in our garden and this little bird house was given to me by a special friend... She was really getting rid of it so it wasn't meant to be a gift but it still feels meaningful to me. We hung it at the end of our yard by the pond so the birds would have some privacy and could raise their little family in piece in a little "pond house".

 Only sparrow could fit in the small opening. They even built a comfy nest in there. We like to watch the bird families that move into our backyard!
Here, take a look at the mommy!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Look what I am getting for my porch!

I am always looking forward to decorate my porch in the spring... Couple years ago my husband put up  a bamboo on our sides to make it more cozy but then we had to take it down because the porch was being painted. I had no idea he saved it so last year i didn't mention anything about it. But this year I told him I would like to buy some again and he said we still have it in the shed. You know how fast I chased him up that ladder ;-)

Right now the porch is on a good way to being finished, only few minor touches! How are you decorating your porch or patio? Attach a link to your comment for all of us to see!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

We have a new turkey!

We actually have 4 baby turkeys right now but that's only because we are keeping 3 for someone else till next week. We are not sure which one will be ours even though I feel the white one is the best and most friendly. However that one will be going away and we have to keep one of the dark ones. :-(

We had the idea to put them together with the new baby layers, hoping that since they are all babies they will get used to each other faster and there will not be a need for us to build a separate house for the turkey. So far it has not been working out so good. The chickens, especially Brownie, are pecking at the turkeys' backs and when the turkeys hide they actually go as far as looking for them in the corner just to get a peck. Can you see Brownie viciously eyeing the white turkey?

I will be googling what to do but so far we are keeping our fingers crossed that they will get over the introduction and become friends. I feel bad for the turkeys because they look a bit scared. Anyone has experience with this kind of friendship that happens early on? I know that adult hens will not like anyone new in their flock but babies.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Chicken tractor

Now that you know from my previous posts that we have several new baby chicks, here is an update on our broilers. Since they have been growing very fast and started to fill up the box they shared with our tinny layers, we had to take that next step and move them outside. The temperatures started to climb so we felt confident to do that. I will tell you more about their new home that my husband built - the chicken tractor! 

It looks pretty cool, doesn't it? It took him three evenings to complete it but he didn't spend a dime - which we both like ;-)
He found some left over pieces of wood in the chicken shed and used a piece of left over roofing and our left over chicken wire fence from the coop. He figured out the space our 10 chicks will need in the next few weeks to be comfortably growing and have a happy life. 

He followed the Joel Salatin - Polyface farm chicken tractor model. 1.6 sq foot of space per bird. Due to the small size of our yard we decided on a 5ft x 5ft version.  It can hold up to 15 birds.

After looking for hinges for the top gate and not being able to find any around the house he just improvised : )

He got these wheels from our kids old toy cart that we were no longer using. Wheels make it easier to move the tractor around our yard. 

Fun in the sun! The Natural Heat Lamp. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Replanting some seedlings

In one of my previous posts you learned a bit about planting seeds indoors using green house and some other supplies. Now I am back with some update and new experience. First take a look at some of my pots.

Do you see the difference in the plant size? I will give you little background on these. All the plants are the same age, actually the ones on the left (bigger) are transplants from the ones on the right. I planted 3 seeds per pot just in case something didn't catch and ended up with all of them coming up. i felt sorry to waste perfectly good plants and so I replanted them. They went from the paper pot into plastic pots I got in dollar store. I left for two week vacation and came back to this.

The transplants flourished, grew into beautiful plants while the original in the paper pots stopped growing at some point and actually started loosing leaves.
I wonder why this happened... what was the reason for the plants to stop developing? The only factor that changed was the kind of pot I used. All my plants in the plastic pots or yogurt  cups look great. The ones in the paper are dying. 

I wouldn't use the paper pots anymore. I will stick with the plastic. Not only can you reuse them but they also maintain the plants strong and healthy. I replanted them all so now I have to see if they catch up. Good luck to you!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Planting Fruit Trees

For the past 5 years I have meant to buy cherry trees. Every year I would plan on it but never actually purchased one. Our backyard is not so big and we have two big Maple trees that get in a way of sun light. So I had to be picky about what to get. Thanks to my sister in law, who did some research on the net and found a company who sells good quality trees, we finally ordered. The website is starkbros and the cherry tree I picked is the semi-dwarf Stella Sweet Cherry. 

First I had to soak them in water for few hours. As you see I received them with no soil, only bare roots. They do this to ensure good contact with the new garden soil.

First my husband dug a hole 2x2 so it was double the size of the roots. (Look what else we could plant ;-)

Next he put some peat moss on the bottom of the hole and inserted the tree. Did you notice how I got hubby involved in my gardening tasks? ;-) No, really, I hurt my lower back and was not able to dig anything that weekend.

He covered it half way with the original soil and spread a bit of chicken manure over that. He also put this plastic tube over the tree trunk to protect it from animals... 

... and then he added more soil.

Last step was to cover the soil with mulch and water it a lot. Everyday I water it and watch it closely.. I mean I am kind of obsessed :-) Clearly this bare stick will not have fruit till next year but I am stalking it and monitoring every new leaf that shows up.

And today I ordered two more fruit trees - this time apples... I will make them fit somewhere in the yard, watch me ;-)