Tying up Tomatoes

Everyone has their own unique ways of trellising tomatoes, this is my budget method.  But first- why? Trellising tomatoes allows airflow through the plant, which helps keep it healthier and makes it easier to pick tomatoes, and spot issues- like those pesky tomato horn worms (buy a black light flash light and do your search in the evening- those suckers glow! Saves hours of looking over your tomato plants).  I have left tomato plants just do their thing in the past, so I know firsthand how much of a pain it can be to harvest from unruly plants.  So I have my tomatoes lined up with my t posts that my cattle panel arches are on, so we put a second post on the edge of the garden and ran a wire towards the top.  Then, I took twine and tied a piece to the wire and a piece to a stronger stem. As I see limbs that need some help, I add twine or tighten up the pieces. (Wait until you start running twine to put up the wire so noone gets clotheslined unintentionally) Happy

Asparagus Woes

A 3 years ago, I planted asparagus roots on the edge of my garden, and these thin little stalks appeared. Then the rain season came, and I learned to survey the area before planting, because they sat in water for a while. Last year, we added more dirt to the area, and only a few stalks came up. They were still pretty thin, so I wasn't expecting much this year.  I was checking over my garden and pulling weeds when I found a single asparagus spear, thick enough that I would pick, but it's not worth picking a single spear. I looked for the other spears, and found 3 more thin ones. Oh well. I'll let the one go to seed and hope for more in the future.  Thankfully, my grandparents have added to their asparagus patch grow over the years so they have enough for all of the family to pick and even get some to freeze. (My grandfather would find asparagus in the ditches planted by the birds and dig it up and bring it home to add to their patch) I still would like to have my

Feeding the Hummingbirds and Orioles

Growing up, My mom loved watching the hummingbirds, so we always had a feeder out. I grew fascinated with them, so when I got my house, I had to get a feeder. I had hostas and when they flowered in the late summer, the hummingbirds would go from the feeder to the flowers. It was so much fun watching them pollinate my flowers! Growing up, my mom used to buy that red mix that we know isn't safe for them, so now we make a sugar water mix. The ratio is 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. (Meaning 1 cup of sugar and 4 cups water.) I bought a red glass feeder to remind me of my childhood memories with mom.  My feeder holds 2 cups, so i make 2 cups of water to a half cup of sugar.  Boil the water, add the sugar and stir until it dissolves (you wont be able to see the sugar granules) Let cool and pour into your feeder.  I put my feeder out about half full in may until I start seeing them, then I fill it on up.  The downside to having a hummingbird feeder is the ants always seem to find it, so

Take care of your tools and they will take care of you

So with expanding the garden this year, I have struggled with grass growing, which means I have to get under the roots to get rid of it. So I get out my hoe and it was  still a chore. I still have more do that I didn't get done before the rain. (A gardeners work is never finished) I asked hubby to sharpen my hoe. He said he was surprised I didnt ask sooner when he saw it. There wasn't a blade left. After he sharpened it, I went out the next day and swear I got twice as much done in about the same amount of time.  Take care of your tools, they will make your life so much easier! 

Our First Cherry Harvest this year!

When we got the house and I said i wanted a big garden and fruit trees, my husband immediately said he wanted a sour cherry tree.  His parents had one growing up and he would run the mower out of grass while picking cherries to snack on while he mowed.  Ironically, we picked these cherries right after he mowed, but he didn't pause to pick any as we saw more rain clouds in the distance.  They are better when they are the darker red, but you have to pick some early if you want to get them before the birds do! 

My Rose's are Blooming!

All 5 of my Roses are blooming and I'm so excited I had to share! (Please ignore the weeds, I weeded this bed once already, but have been focused on my vegetable garden. I need to get some fresh mulch for this bed)  I plant a few geraniums around my roses to help ward off the Japanese beetles. It's not perfect, but I do see significantly less than the years I have not planted them.  Just had to share the beauty with you! 

Adventures in chicken keeping: a case of sauer crop & a Gartner snake!

When I went out yesterday morning, I noticed my rhode island red just wasn't acting right. So I moved her into a dog crate so she can rest and I can keep a closer eye on her.  She's holding her wings down, her tail is down and just didnt seem like she had energy. I took a small handful of scratch and put it in the crate, and she wasnt interested. She has a bulge at the base of her neck.  So I google sauer crop, which I know is a common problem in chickens. The crop is a holding area for food at the base of the neck just before the gizzard where the chickens "chew" their food as they don't have teeth. They have to swallow very small rocks or grit to help break down their food. If their food gets stuck in the crop, it starts to ferment, and can give off a sour smell. (My husband and I have spring allergies right now, so it makes it harder to smell this issue) I looked up how to treat it. Gently massage her neck upward & feed plain yogurt. Fortunately, I was just