I am so excited. I planted my pepper seeds last weekend and by yesterday I had sprouts in each cup. Not every single seed is up yet, but most of them are. Peppers can take up to 14 days to germinate, so I am thrilled to have them in a week. I have just been using my heating pad, though for next year I will buy an actual heat mat for seeds, since it means I’ve had to go without my heating pad myself.
I have moved 4 pepper cups under the light since they had germinated all 3 seeds in each cup and will move a few more tomorrow. The Traveler’s Strain of Jalapenos had every seed sprout. The other fully sprouted cup is Golden Treasure sweet peppers. The other varieties I planted were Ruby King Bell peppers and Feher Ozon Paprika. If everything germinates I will end up with nine plants of each variety.
So far I have had very little germination failure. One whole tomato cup and a couple other tomato seeds did not come up, but since I planted double what I wanted to plant I am happy with that. All of my lettuce and kale is coming up. I have one cup of chard that is coming up, but none of the others are. Those were only planted 3 or 4 days ago, though, so I think they’ll be along shortly.
I have planted one garden bed almost fully. I put in six red leaf lettuce, 6 kale, two rows of yellow Cobra keeping onions, and 4 feet of snow peas. I plan to plant 4 feet of Cascadia snap pea seeds tomorrow. I also have planted some leeks in window boxes. They probably won’t stay in there permanently, I’ll see how they do, but I wanted to get them separated and out of their starting pots. I planted green bunching onions in one full length of guttering on the turkey coop.
I’ve planted two kinds of parsley and cilantro in one big pot and hyssop, lavender, and chamomile for tea in another big pot. I put marjoram in one window box and sorrel in another. All of the herbs can be brought in the house if we get a last minute frost and I can throw a sheet or blanket over the one garden bed that is planted.
I still haven’t got to the radish seeds yet or the carrots. I hope to do that tomorrow. I think my hesitance has just been that I really hate fussing with itty bitty seeds that can’t be transplanted. But it needs to get done. Once I get the radishes in, I’ll have to break everyone of putting eggs in the gutter while they do other things.
The plum trees are in full bloom and the apples are about halfway there. They are beautiful and the yard smells wonderful. I really hope there is not a frost, because if the blossoms are any indication the trees will be loaded with fruit this year. A frost now would kill any fruit set.
The raspberries have been thinned and some of the thinnings transplanted away from the ducks, who are really harsh on them as they eat as much as they can reach of both foliage and berries. They have some lovely leaves on them. The blackberries are also leafing out nicely. My strawberries are coming along and leafing out. It’ll probably be a few more weeks before they really start to grow, but at least now I am pretty sure most of them at least survived the shipping process. The blueberries are gorgeous right now with all the red and green. It looks to be an incredible year for all of the fruit if nothing bad happens.
The animals are all doing really well. I will try to get some current photos of them to post tomorrow. The rabbit kits are adorable and Ruby has finally tamed down to the point where she is begging for petting. Ruby is Sienna’s daughter, the one who we kept after Sienna died, but weren’t sure would be a keeper after she had her first set of kits, because she was so wild. We didn’t work with that litter as much as we would have if we’d known we were going to keep one. But I’ve been working with her every day and now she is definitely going to be a keeper.
She is actually more friendly now than Firefly is or Sienna was. Probably more friendly than Cinnabun, too, because while Cinna is nice most of the time, she can still be a grump and charge you, though she stops short of making contact.
I need to get my new cages ordered or I won’t have more than one grow out cage when I need them in 3 to 4 weeks. And I want to time them so they arrive while the husband is home to put them together. I will be getting 4 cages, 3 for grow outs and one to replace a really rusted out cage. I need to remember to buy feeders, too, when I go to the farm store next. And I need to round up and wash my extra water bottles.
The turkeys are doing well, but after the first 3 eggs I haven’t gotten any more from Gina. Maybe it was a false start? I don’t know. I wish I could let them out into the yard to wander around, but I am just so afraid they would fly away, and I am not capable of climbing a tree to go after them.
The ducks are a merry band of goofballs. You would never know they were originally three separate groups. They seem so happy. Ducks often seem to be smiling. They are really a joy to have around.
Kyri, Mom’s oldest chicken, finally died. She’s been dragging around for about 6 months, not able to go up on the perch so sleeping in one of the nest boxes instead, walking slow, hunching a lot. So we knew it was coming. So that puts us down to 9 laying hens, my four Barnevelders, and then Mom’s, which are one silver laced wing wyandotte, one white leghorn, 2 Auracanas, and one black Australorp.
We have talked about maybe getting 4 pullet chicks, but I think we are going to pass on it this year. With nine hens, 6 female ducks, and one female turkey, we will have plenty of eggs. I am not sure about raising meat birds, either.
I’ve got access to non-GMO, organic chicken parts at the food co-op, so I can buy reasonably priced thighs, legs, and wings and not be stuck with white meat that no one really likes and I always end up having to eat when we roast a whole chicken. It is good to know how to raise them and butcher them, but we do, so last year’s experience was good for that. When we move to our own farm and have more space and can have a rooster (with an anti-crow collar) and have our hens raise chicks, then it’ll be something to do. Until then, the rabbits are just easier.
I would still really like to raise more turkeys for the freezer, but I don’t think that will likely happen this year. If Mom was going to raise some pullets than I would, but I don’t want to raise poults without chicks. They are too stupid without chicks or a Mama turkey to show them how to eat and drink constantly for the first couple weeks. So I will likely get them from a local farmer instead. The same guy I will get some Pekins from. He grows them on pasture. He also does lamb, so we might get a lamb as well this year. I’d also like to get half a beef. Ah, we’ll see. What I want, and what will actually happen, doesn’t always match up.