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Old 02-01-2015, 12:59 PM
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I know it's early, but starting off the 2015 garden thread. The pics come in as "thumbnail" images, so just click on them to see them full-sized.

First off is the chickens who are currently laying eggs. 1 Buff Orpington, 2 Silver-laced Wyandottes, and 2 Barred Plymouth Rocks.
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Here are SOME of the eggs they have recently laid. I currently have about 4 dozen eggs in the refrigerator, and still have to collect today's batch.
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Next are the juvenile Rhode Island Reds. They should start laying in late May/early June. In the meantime, they all give me plenty of poop to put in the composter!
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The rabbits also provide plenty of poop. I can (and do) put their poop directly into the garden beds.
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I moved my baby tilapia indoors for the winter, and they have really grown! Once it warms up, they will be moved outside for the aquaponics system. They are a little hard to see, because of the sun coming in from behind, but you can get the idea.
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Now for the garden itself. The artichokes don't really die down for the winter here, they just kind of "sit", and wait for Spring to do the main growing.
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I used the last of my goat manure and added some rabbit poop to "top off" one of the beds, then planted carrot seed...just before we got a steady 3 days of rain. Hopefully, they'll start sprouting soon.
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The fennel and celery didn't mind the few freezes we had, so are still growing.
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The remainder of the garden beds are waiting for me to start planting, although there are some Swiss Chard and beet plants growing here and there.
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That's the end of January/early February garden.

That's

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Old 02-02-2015, 08:26 PM
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Today I got the one coop moved over to connect with the welded wire run.
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They are now HAPPY girls! They've been happily foraging grass and hunting for bugs since I moved them.

Once that coop move was finished, I expanded the wood run adjacent to the other coop, giving the "little girls" more room to roam.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:53 PM
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That's a nice looking welded wire run!
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:54 PM
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Thanks. It IS a nice run...not cheap, but we thought it was worth the cost. It can also be used for goats or other small livestock. It is manufactured by a company called "Rugged Ranch".
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:35 PM
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While I was out planting onion sets this morning, I noticed that the almond tree is now BLOOMING!
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I guess Spring is on the way!
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:37 PM
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Husband, daughter, and I replace the roof on the greenhouses. The plastic covers had torn with the wind and sun, so we got clear corrugated panels and re-roofed them. (the greenhouses are set up end-to-end to form one longer greenhouse, and that's where I have the aquaponics system set up.

Speaking of the aquaponics system, I've been working on getting the last of the leaks sealed up so that I can get it running. Also moved the biggest of the baby tilapia into the main aquaponics tank.

Also went through my seed starting setups and got the soil ready. Got one of them planted with Swiss Chard to transplant into the garden later.

In addition to the almond tree blooming, the plum, nectarine, and apple trees are blooming now, as well.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:05 AM
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One of the benefits of living down south-the longer growing season! My yard is still snow-covered and sub-zero. I do have my seedling table set up though.

Ah artichokes! I moved my four strongest plants inside last fall. Two have died, the other two are looking fairly healthy. I don't want to keep transplanting them so I'm thinking to find a spot that's relatively protected and put them there. I'll have to cover them over bigtime to overwinter them and they still may die but I can try. Hopefully I'll actually get to eat some fresh ones first.
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Old 03-05-2015, 11:53 PM
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Went to de-poop the coops today, and discovered that the Rhode Island Reds have now started to lay! I wasn't expecting them to start laying until May/June, as they are only about 4 1/2 months old. There were 4 "peewee"-sized eggs in the next box. As soon as I had cleaned out the coop and put in new chopped straw, one of them was up in the box to lay another egg.

My new seed-starting planters arrived today, so got them set up and planted several varieties of tomato and pepper seeds. Also have Swiss chard and celery planted.

The lettuce seeds in the aquaponics system have started to sprout, and I have onions, spinach and peas coming up in the garden.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:39 AM
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That chicken run is NICE! I'm looking at their catalog but I don't see a price list anywhere. Do you have to contact them to get prices?

I cant wait to see pics of your aquaponics setup! Definitely something on my list to build someday!
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meagan View Post
That chicken run is NICE! I'm looking at their catalog but I don't see a price list anywhere. Do you have to contact them to get prices?
I found the run at our local ranch store. Didn't know the manufacturer had a catalogue. Don't know what the price difference would be getting it direct from the manufacturer rather than from the store.

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I cant wait to see pics of your aquaponics setup! Definitely something on my list to build someday!
I'll have to get a picture of it. Right now some of the seeds are just starting to sprout, so there's not a whole lot to see. I still have a few minor leaky spots, but I just but buckets underneath to catch the drips, then pour the water into the next bed.
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Old 03-23-2015, 03:52 PM
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OK, I FINALLY got a picture of my aquaponics setup.
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The tank is a 150-gallon Rubbermaid stock tank, where I am raising tilapia. From the main tank, the water goes in succession to the three grow beds. From the third grow bed, the water goes through a pipe located under the beds, down into a sump made of a 55-gallon plastic barrel laid on it's side and dug partially into the ground. From the barrel, water is pumped back up to the stock tank using a pond pump, and is returned to the tank via a spray bar.

The greenhouse with the aquaponics setup also has my seed starting rack.
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I had to divide the wire run for the chickens in half, because the "big girls" kept chasing and pecking the "little girls.
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Even though the dividers only come partway up, it's enough to keep them separated.

The almond and apple trees now have "baby" almonds and apples on them
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and the cherry Click image for larger version

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nectarine Click image for larger version

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and peach trees Click image for larger version

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The onion sets that I planted are growing, and the Chard is ready for me to start cutting.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:15 PM
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The new seed starting setups I ordered arrived today, so planted paprika, "Moon and Stars" watermelon, Honeydew melon, chia, quinoa, ancho/poblano pepper, and "Sugar Baby" watermelon seeds.
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:45 AM
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A friend has been saving her fruit and veggie scraps for me to give to my chickens, and there was a pineapple top in today's batch of scraps. I will be planting that and growing a new pineapple plant to replace the one that didn't survive the winter.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:28 PM
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Got the pineapple top planted, and today, went around taking stock on the fruit trees. Have baby plums, nectarines, cherries (first year of blooming for the nectarine and cherry trees), almonds, apples, and peaches. As I walked around the yard, I smelled a wonderful scent...the orange and mandarin trees are LOADED with blossoms! The olive tree is also loaded, so as long as the wind doesn't blow everything off (like it did last year) and the bugs and birds can be kept off, it should be a really good harvest of fruit.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:14 PM
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Today I repotted a bunch of the tomato seedlings, cucumber seedlings, and squash seedlings. There were quite a few where there were two or more seedlings in a starting cell, so I repotted them into individual pots.
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Old 04-08-2015, 09:29 PM
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Got a bit more done in the garden today.

Put up some trellis supports for cucumbers, squash, and beans today that I can plant other things under.
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Transplanted in some baby cucumber plants, and also planted bean seeds.
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There are baby artichokes on my plants now
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Seedlings in the greenhouse are coming along, and should be ready to transplant out soon.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:23 PM
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Put up another trellis; planted the "Muncher" cucumbers; "Arkansas Traveler", "Cherokee Purple", "Mortgage Lifter", and "Opalka" tomatoes (in different beds, of course); cilantro; Waltham Butternut squash; "Moon and Stars" watermelon; and yellow crookneck squash.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:06 PM
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Today my plant order arrived...t elderberry bushes, and one passionflower vine. They are currently "acclimatizing" on top of the chicken coops, along with all of my seedlings. In a couple of days, they will be planted. Hopefully THESE ones will survive.
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:13 PM
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Had the first artichokes of the season from our plants for dinner tonight. YUM!
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:14 PM
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Transplanted the jalapeno plants, the pimentos, and passionflower, and planted corn.
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