Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday gardening (and slobbery dogs)

First of all, the slobbery dog, Titan.  He's doing fine, although not eating nearly as much as he does when his people are with him.  The dog drinks gallons of water daily, especially when he is out and about as much as he has been today.  When he's with us, he goes on a walk with Cliff; and on days when I'm in the garden, he is outside with me a lot.  Here's the thing about him and his water:  He does slobber.  If he gets a drink and heads toward nearby people, they run, because they know they are going to get drenched.  No big problem there.  But you can't give him a gallon of water ahead of time and expect him to drink it, because after he has drunk out of that batch of water once, you have to pour it out, rinse out his bowl, and give him fresh.  He won't drink his own slobbery water.  Peculiar indeed.  I wonder if this is a Great Dane trait, or if it's unique with him.

Now, for the garden.  I've had my potatoes cut up and ready for over a month.  I usually like to plant some on St. Patrick's Day and some on Good Friday, but it was so cold this year, I saved them all for today.  They are in the ground.

There is a flower bed on the north side of the trailer house where I like to plant impatiens, but after three years of putting them in the same spot, they got some sort of fungus.  So we went to a nursery this afternoon where I bought some pansies for that semi-shaded spot.

I bravely purchased four Jet Star tomato plants.  Yes, it's early, but I can easily cover four plants if a freeze is predicted.  And the worst thing that can happen is I lose the two bucks I spent on the plants.   The anticipation is worth far more than two dollars.  The reason I have a fort around them is that robins will strip them of their leaves early in the year.  For some reason, they don't bother them if I have walls around the plants, even though they could reach down inside the walls and take the leaves.  The milk carton forts also prevent the chickens from scratching too close to the plants and destroying them.

 Back to the pansies.  I turn my chickens out around 4 P.M., and they range all over the place eating bugs and scratching in the dirt and taking dust baths.  This particular spot seemed to be one of their favorites for taking dust baths.  Once the pansies cover the ground in that spot, I think it will be safe from their claws.  But until then, Cliff rigged up a fence around it to keep them out.  He doesn't like chickens, so anything like this he is forced to do is for me, not the chickens.

I raise most of my cabbage directly from seed, right in the garden.  But I spent another two dollars today for four cabbage plants that would be ready much sooner than mine from seeds; I don't have to worry about a late freeze hurting the cabbage.  I did not intend to put walls around these plants, but when I let the chickens out, one hen went straight to a cabbage plant and took two big bites of a leaf.  Chickens:  You can't live with them, you can't live without them.

I do enjoy watching them when I turn them loose.  They seem so happy and free!

My favorite, Chickie, who was raised in my house for the first part of her life, was enjoying a nice dust bath until I started recording her.  She called it quits and left, but not before the rooster crowed in the background.  



Titan still sounds like a sweetheart inspite of his quirks. LOVE the chicken videos.

Just Because said...

Impatiens have downy mildew. Nationwide problem.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

I so miss having chickens. I love seeing all your photos and videos of the chickens and other animals, your garden/yard and pretty much anything you post!

Margaret said...

Darn it--I like impatiens and usually buy them, although our rule of thumb around here is: don't plant flowers until Mothers' Day. Besides, I have all these tulips to enjoy. I'm fretting a bit about when to plant tomatoes. I will wait for a while and then buy plants. I don't know how to grow stuff from seed. My 85 year old dad asked me hopefully if I planned to grow tomatoes this year; he adores the home grown ones and I'm good at sharing. :)

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I love seeing your garden every year since I no longer have one at all. No planting at all will be done here for probably another month.