Garden Structures


 

We had a lot of rain this summer, so it took a while to get the final painting done on the coop.  The stones around the bottom are just an extra critter deterent in addtion to the 12 inches ofhardware cloth that extends into the run.  Emmi painted a rock that we use as a doorstop when  we open up the coop to let them free range (always supervised, we have hawks.)  They love to free rnage because they can scratch to theri hearts content.  We also picked out first watermleon this week – and it came in at 30 lbs! Somehow the five of us managed to eat it all within two days. The chicks were 8 weeks old as of yesterday, and the three of them are losing their cheepy chick voices and acquiring their hen voices.

Here is a Word doc with details of our rain barrel set-up.  Just right click on the link below and chose “Save Target as..” and it will download.  Mac users are on your own!

rain-water-collection-system

Our potager-style vegetable garden is coming into it’s own.  Summer of 2008 has been just about a perfect garden year – the weather has been beautiful,  warm but not humid and we’ve had plenty of rain.  Of course, with garden there are always high and lows, oftenat the same time.  The lone tomatillo I planted hasn’t had any fruit, and some of the tomatoes are showing signs of blosson end rot.  But then again, the watemelon is amazing, and we even have decroative white mini pumpkins growing that I never even seeded!  We bought a bag as Thanskgiving decoration at Costco and threw them onto the front bed to compost.  Well, of course over a dozen of them sprouted!  So I kep the biggest one going, and you can see it in the same bed as the watermelon vines.  We have more veggies than we can even eat!

The chicken coop is finally finshed and we have our permit from Westwood. The coop design is the well known Playhouse Coop.  It’s just the right size for 3-4 chickens.  We have three, 1 Buff Orpington, 1 Autralorp, and 1 Easter Egger.  The first will lay lay brown eggs, and the Easter Egger lays a blue or green egg.  They’re 4 weeks old this week, and still a few months away from laying.

One nice surprise this year are the watermeloms; they’re growing on the front steps.  That’s by far the warmest spot around our house due to the south facing windows and the hard surfaces.  The watermelons seem pretty happy there. The vines are just growing all over the place and osme of them are  more than 15 feet long.  Next year we will have to crop rotate, so we might actually goew these in the front yard under some ornamental grasses that get pretty tall. Or we might put them were you see the tomatoes, and plant giant sunflowers behind them as a livng screen because the tomatoes will need to go into a different bed as well.

Good progress was made today on the chicken coop; and John did allof the work, although I did manage to get the painting started.  This is the well-known Playhouse Coop and the only major change we made will be to use Tuftex corrugated opaque vinyl panels for the roof instead of a standing metal seam roof, which I could not find anywhere in such a small quantity.  In the end everything pretty much came from Lowes.

 

John said the most annoying part of the job is stapling the hardware cloth onto the frames.  I helped him while he put it together, and this can definitely be made by one or two people with maybe advanced intermediate wood working skills.

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Sorry for all the weeds! This part of our yard looks pretty bad right now; we let to go to seed while we were doing other renovations, and now that the coop is here I’ll have to focus on this area again.

I think I really want a metal sign for the coop door that says “Coop du Jour” !

 

 

 

 

 

Last summer my husband built raised beds out of Trex, the deck material.  They turned out really well, and a few days ago I posted this pic on The Easy Garden Forum.  If you click over to there in the  course of a few pages my husband and I answer questions about how they were built.