Summer is in the air! It's been milder here, low 70's, then rained this morning, sun's out now. We're headed for 80+ degrees for Wednesday, then cooler the next day by 15 degrees. We took off our row cover on the cold frame Saturday and added elevated bird netting. We found three of my butter lettuces were gone, one cabbage and most of the seedlings either died or were eaten by bugs. Bummer. That's a huge Comfrey in back, will divide and make some Comfrey tea for fertilizer!
Mixed lettuce survivor, Mizuna, Japanese Mustard Greens
Luckily I had leftover seeds so we replanted most of it. Fingers crossed!
David ripped out the dying shrub for me and so I planted a patch of Borage, and herb that is very medicinal, edible, a pollinator, leaves taste like cucumber and it's a great food for chickens! It has pretty blue flowers, tough and drought resistant. I couldn't figure out what to plant in that spot and then Borage came to mind when I saw some seeds. It's really a good fit, pretty flowers, also called Star Flower-
From Wiki Borage
Get mostly sun in the summer, with some after noon shade-
I thought about moving our lovely bamboo but was afraid I'd kill it, so it's staying. Adds some nice winter interest.
Our biggest challenge is working around our huge Maple tree we love! It's on the West side of the house and gives us tons of shade in the summer! We had it trimmed a few times and thinned more on the side over the veggie bad. It's just one of those things!
Love our tree!!!
I let the hens out to free range our side yard, after Dave and I moved the tomato cages and extra chicken wire. Late yesterday Dave deep cleaned and weeded. We'll be planting Blue Lake bush beans again there, they did great last year! Had our last bag of frozen home grown beans last night-
Speaking of chickens.... Locally all of the chicks for sale have been flying out of the stores, so to speak! I couldn't quite decide if I wanted to buy more chicks or not since our two older ones (6 years old) are laying pretty productively right now. We lost two of our new pullets last fall that we had a dog get in our yard. Given the current state of world affairs I decided to buy three more to boost the flock numbers. I called a hatchery that we usually buy from, Dunlap's in Caldwell, and they were selling out really fast and kind of unpredictably. After I called them I found out that I could place an order a month out, which would be great! Since you can't just put baby chicks outside it would be great to have them inside as little as possible, since the weather will be warmer in June. After looking at their stock here is what I ordered...
I one Golden Sex Link, a hybrid, had one before, nice birds-
and one Brown Leghorn, great layers-
and one Silver Laced Wyandotte, gorgeous birds!
I like to get a mix of breeds so I can tell the hens apart in case of injury or disease. I'll pick up the end of May. They'll be inside until they mature and feather out, then transition to outdoor and integrate to the flock. More eggs will be good to share with our kids, or barter, depending on how life goes.