Yay! I arrived home today to find a giant package from Gardener’s Supply Company. I could easily spend way too much at Gardener’s so I try to focus my purchases on “infrastructure” items that should last many seasons. Out of the package I unloaded the six tomato towers that I ordered. I’m glad these arrived when they did because the tomatoes are starting to grow much faster now and it would be problematic to try to put the cages over the tomatoes once they are too big. These cages are quite popular and were back-ordered (I had to wait three weeks to get them), but they are here now and all set up. Yay!
The tomato cages are going over tomatoes planted in a raised bed in the greenhouse. Tomatoes need warmth and they’ll get that in the greenhouse. They look quite happy, growing quickly now, and are starting to blossom. The rapid growth does bring up on area where I keep having problems: tomato pruning. Here’s a general Fine Gardening video about why to prune and how and a second that covers early pruning specifically. I’m going to try to stay on top of this this year!
Orchard mason bee house, May 9
- Orchard mason bee house, May 17
In just a bit over a week, the orchard mason bees have filled many more of the egg tubes. I believe these will be completely full in the next few weeks.
On to other critters. We had a chicken die this week. The poor thing became wobbly and couldn’t walk. We researched what type of disease it could be, but weren’t sure what we were dealing with. I had Derek reluctantly ready to put the poor girl out of her misery (he even sharpened a hatchet), but we decided in the end to take her to a vet to see if we should be worried about the rest of the flock. The vet said she had a bacterial infection that caused liver failure. So far, the other chickens appear to be OK. One thing we’ve decided, though, is to set up a second coop/run for the chickens so that we can rotate them from one area to another and give them fresh ground. We’re going to set up the second coop and run in the goat pasture in the next few weeks. I’d love to be able to let them completely roam free in the pasture, but we would definitely risk chicken death via predator by doing that. I suppose I can set up a lawn chair in the pasture and let them roam while I keep guard over them while reading a book.
PS: I harvested the first few alpine strawberries yesterday. Yum.
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