Friday, April 25, 2008

Tomatoes take the next step

The tomatoes got so big in their little sprouting pots it was time to move them to bigger quarters. I got these bigger peat pots at the feed store. The idea being that the roots can grow out through them so there's no need to disturb the plants when it's transplant time. We'll see how that all works - I'm a little skeptical. But anyway, I selected the three biggest of each type, and only two of the main season tomatoes, as there will be three cherry tomato plants as well. That's what I'm hoping for anyway! After my miserable previous attempts, it would be nice to have too many tomatoes! Yes, too many tomatoes, there's a problem I'd like to have :-) Anyway, I planted them deep in the pots to encourage more root growth. We'll see how they do.

So I moved the transplants to bigger quarters - a little greenhouse made of two storage containers. I hinged it on the back with a couple pieces of wire so I can prop it open for air circulation, but still keep the cats out. I also moved them from the kitchen windowsill to the front room for more direct light.

I see people at the garden center taking home big tomato plants already, and mine look so small! There's a few weeks before last frost yet, so I hope mine catch up!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

After the storm...

Another unexpected snow day!

We got a sudden afternoon snowstorm. It was like a cross between snow and hail - it looked like beanbag filling!

I would never have guessed the garden would be covered in snow today!

This is Barclay's first big snow to play in. Alki stayed on the porch, but Chester got frisky enough for some running around!

The llamas appear to disapprove of all that running around and barking.

The puppy-deck

The doggie door that goes out to the dog run has a ramp, since Chester cannot handle stairs anymore. Barclay has decided this is a great place to nap, and in the evening he wants to stay out there all night :) But he has to come inside and sleep with the family.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Barclay gets into stuff

The cats have been encouraging Barclay to play rough with them, despite our trying to discourage it. Now he has taken to grabbing them by the scruff and dragging them around the house! They yowl and hiss, but once he has them by the scruff they just give up. I'd get more involved, but they keep coming back for more, and if they really didn't like it, they could clean his clock!

Mighty squeezes herself into a shoebox Barclay drug out of the closet.

Barclay is 17lbs now, almost as big as Alki, just not as fluffy.

Around the little farm

Scoops is caught in the act of sniffing a sheep!

Houdini has a nice roll out in the pasture.

I have been getting the farm ready for my new addition, a llama of my very own! Houdini is a rescue, and Scoops is 'borrowed' from a friend, but I'll soon be getting a nice young llama of my own choosing. I plan to train him to go packing, and maybe carting. It should be fun.

So I have been working on fences and doing this and that, figuring out how to feed the llamas without the sheep and goats stealing all their food. I have laid out plans to build a nice shelter and a little paddock for them, I just need to start digging post holes and get busy building it. I guess that's where my kickback check from Uncle Sam will be going.

Garden update!

In March I planted my first seeds in the garden, and they have popped up. The peas were last to sprout, but they are making up for lost time! Spinach, lettuce, and cabbage are all coming along nicely.

About a week ago I started tomatoes and peppers indoors, and they are coming up. I just have to keep them safe from the cats! Tomatoes came up first, peppers are still just pushing up, so they are covered with the plastic box.

Today I put out seeds for the plants that said on the packet to wait until 6 weeks 'til last frost. Last frost is estimated to be mid-May, about 4 weeks from now. So that is carrots, radishes, chard, beets, and broccoli.

I completed the rabbit-proof fence around the garden. I hope the rabbits don't really test it! The front panels are removable so I can reach in there and work.

I have a big whiteboard where I write down what I planted, where, and when. Then I can plan where I want things to go and take it outside with me when I plant. Because it is a 'square-foot garden', I also note how many plants are in each square. Anything growing where I didn't plant it is a weed and gets pulled. Some people say I'm a control freak, so this is a good way for me to keep track of what I'm doing. Frankly, if I don't document everything to this level it will all fall apart before I harvest anything. So far this is the most successful garden I've done in years!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

March 28th - unexpected snow day