Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In the garden: Signs of spring


I really don't mean to make any of you northerners jealous when I talk about spring arriving in February. Try to remember that our spring ends in May when the 95-degree weather arrives.

Summer here is kind of like winter in the north. Except that we can grow eggplant and chili peppers. We stay indoors a lot. I do all my summer gardening before 9 a.m., or after 7 p.m. when it's shady. Summer is our indoors-or-in-the-pool season. Except, we don't have a pool.

In any case, it's not summer yet, and I'm happy to be enjoying spring, whether you're jealous or not!


We've been outside as much as possible on dry days. I go out to weed or take care of the chickens, and the boys beg me to jump on the trampoline with them.

I oblige, partially because they're so cute, and partially because I'm hoping to lose the 15 pounds I gained in 2008 by the end of April. Otherwise, I'll have to go shopping for a whole new summer wardrobe in a size I never thought I'd wear again unless I was pregnant. Wish me luck.

Scott built a new fence for the chickens this month, at my request. In November I had him put a removable chicken wire fence around the winter vegetable bed. But it seemed like a lot of trouble to do that around all the new beds, too.

As much I love to let the hens roam free around the yard, they've made quite a mess of my perennial beds. And the kids kept tracking chicken poop into the house. Plus I don't want them eating up my new plants when I put in the spring vegetable garden.

Last year I shooed the chickens away from the tomatoes as much as I could, but they got their fair share. They LOVE tomatoes. And carrot tops. They totally dug up the carrot patch. I ended up with two carrots out of the four rows I planted.

But I didn't want my girls confined to the covered coop, either, as nice as it may be. They need some uncovered area to scratch for bugs and weeds. Right now there aren't too many weeds inside their fence, because it was too well mulched.

I let them inside the winter bed a few days ago, so they could nibble on overgrown arugula and young dandelions. Of course, they thought the tiny new broccoli heads were tasty, too.

14 comments:

Tammy said...

I was noticing some signs of Spring myself today. Our front lawn is starting to turn green again.

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

I really like your photos on this post.

Anonymous said...

How cute your hens are! Mine are now 1 week old. I am really looking forward to moving them out of the hall bathroom LOL!!! I will be so glad when they are outside.

I'm on the Gulf Coast of Alabama -- I completely understand what you mean about our summer for 2 months being like the 2 hard months of winter in the nothern climates.

In the summer for July and August, about the only thing that grows here is okra. Who would ever have thought that it would get too hot and sunny for tomatoes -- but it does here.

Bona Fide Mama said...

We stay inside during July and August too. It's just too much for us to be outdoors. So, I'm looking forward to spending a ton of time outside this spring and then doing a lot of "school" activities during the summer!

ChristyACB said...

Here is coastal Virginia we are seeing signs of spring. The earliest of the Magnolia buds are showing some purple in their buds. Grass is greening and early invasive vines are starting to unfurl. Good with the bad, I guess. :)

Like you, our blazing hot summer means indoor or in water. I garden almost exactly the same times as you. Before work and after dinner.

Your hens are adorable with their big fuzzy butts.

Catherine Anne said...

I just added a Spring is near post! I love Spring time. Love the chickens.

mandi said...

we need to rethink our chicken layout too. they are everywhere, ie: there is poop everywhere. i like what you've done.
btw- the previous post is one of my favorite little videos. my husband sent it to me last month and i got all starry eyed. oh michael stipe...it was like being with an old friend...

Chickenista said...

I think we all have the spring bug!! I love your chickens!!

Stephanie said...

I'm glad to be in the middle.
World class skiing and beautiful mountains, super hot in the summertime (105 prob'ly at the hottest), but things still grow (except for spinach and lettuce) and it's managable with the kiddie pool and lying under our trees.
Enjoy your spring, by all means!
It's not really spring here, but we're pretending it is.

Lift Up Your Hearts said...

What a fun post!

The Stone Age Techie said...

I just found your blog by way of Yarns of the Heart, and I love it!
We are on the verge of getting some chickens ourselves, and seeing yours strengthens my resolve to take the leap.
Thank you for your inspiration!
Karen

Misti of Studio M Designs said...

Love your pictures! We also have 3 boys and the same kind of pictures on the trampoline (with the crazy hair). I adore chickens and roosters, thanks for sharing the photos of them too. They are so pretty!
~Misti

Debbie H. said...

Hey Crunchy Christian Mom,

I was roaming around some other homeschooler blogs yesterday and soon I found myself on the ground after having tripped over yours.

I homeschooled/unschooled my kids too and now I'm in the process of doing a project for a blog where I interview homeschoolers. I would love to include you so if you could contact me that would be great.

debbie @ debbieharbeson.com

My blog is www.homeschoolingisfreedom.blogspot.com

Thanks!

Teresa R said...

Thank you for visiting my blog!

I am very jealous of your blossoms and lovely spring weather. ;) But, our turn will come; I know it.

Your chickens are sooo pretty! Ours love tomatoes too...but usually only until end of August, and then they are so sick of eating them that they won't touch them anymore. Fuss-budgets! LOL!

Your kids are adorable!

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