The Return of an Intruder and Lots of Growth in the Garden.
It's all going on at the moment. Where to start...
Little Boo, the chick we thought would be female is most definitely a little cockerel. Now we need to wait and see if we have two cockerels or if Peep is actually a big, bossy girl.
They're still coming in when it gets dark out and causing havoc like a couple of unruly toddlers before I've had enough and put them to bed. They are nearly 6 weeks old now and feathering up nicely, so might be able to stay out permanently by next week, although a rooster will have to come in each night anyway if we are to keep him. Hopefully Peep isn't a rooster after all.
I've been transplanting seedlings and still have more to do. I finally moved the small flock over to the run with the orange tree, which leaves their vacated run free to plant in.
So far I’ve got some of the sunflower seedlings in the ground there. It looks like the lettuce seeds I chucked in were actually from two plants, a green and a red. So I've separated some of the reds out around where they were first seeded, but I want to move the greens far enough away so that when I let them go to seed at the end of the season, they won't cross pollinate. The recently vacated run should be an ideal spot. I'll put the last of the sprouting potatoes in the ground there too.
I have some butter lettuce coming up in another corner of the garden, so with the rocket now established as well, there will be enough for a mixed leaf salad in about a month.
I've got parsley popping up everywhere too. This is a plant that just keeps coming back if you let the odd one go to seed. Rather like our onions. This is the upside to living in a hot climate that doesn't get below freezing for long in winter. The downside is that the parsley is supposed to be biennial and not go to seed until its second year. Instead they bolt in the first year in our scorching summers, so once it gets hot you have to harvest it quick or lose it to flower. The rabbits enjoy it, but only in small amounts, because they are kept indoors most of the time and too much makes their wee smell awful.
Nasturtiums are another plant that just keeps dropping seeds and coming back.
Winter means the daily watering doesn't need to happen, but it also means I have almost daily weeding to do if I want to keep on top of them. I like to multipurpose, so doing one job to serve two or more purposes is good in my book. The weeds get pulled and they feed the chickens and rabbits, whose poop feeds future plants. The occasional weed is toxic, so they either go in the compost or just get dropped back on the garden to break down as plant food without feeding something else in between. My husband was pleased to see me picking up the leaves dropping from the grapevine, thinking I was cleaning up; which I was in a round about way. The rabbits needed some food too, though.
I pulled up the first coriander plants that were big enough to harvest to make a green curry and as I was rinsing the roots I discovered that one of them was housing an old enemy. It seems the root knot nematode is still here, just not where I have been working on eliminating it.
The little balls on the roots are a sure sign of root knot infestation.
It might explain why I've struggled with anything growing in that small section of the bed, I thought it was down to it not getting enough water. I hadn't seen the signs of root knot in anything previously removed, however, so I was at a loss to explain it. The leaves on the affected plants are a good indication all is not well. It looks like bleach has been dripped on them.
I guess like I'll be harvesting the lot of them, which disrupts what I'd hoped to be an ongoing supply as the next plants in line mature. All is not entirety lost, however, because I have an abundance of seedlings coming up where I dumped the spent plants, seeds and all.
Some fungus coming up too, probably from the straw. Just another part of a healthy ecosystem.
I'll just have a gap with nothing to harvest and will need to find some different locations for them (vacated run coming in handy again, like a spare room which becomes the place for everything without a place). I hope that the root knot hasn't spread too far into the growing bed, otherwise I'm going to have to take the whole bed out of commission for a couple of years. Either that or put onions there, which I have plenty of...