Saturday, May 3, 2008

Snap peas and mixed vegetables; sick chicken

The vegetable gardens have taken off this week.  The sugar snap peas are almost 5 feet tall, and are covered with blossoms and young peas.  We will be harvesting sugar snap peas in the next few days; I can't wait.  The other photo shows how I like to mix things up in my planting bed.  You see a tomato, hot pepper, basil plant and marigold adjacent to one another.  I like to mix things together both for looks, and in hopes it may help keep pest populations reduced.  I do still have 8 tomato plants right down the middle of the bed, 5 different varieties.  I put them a bit too close together this year, just because I couldn't stand not to plant them all.  (I also have tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and fingerling potatoes in one of the front yard flower beds.)  I had to add lime to one of my beds this week, as my soil test results showed a very low pH (probably from all the peat used as organic matter in the bed).  Today I also gave everything a drink of fish emulsion fertilizer ( 1 tablespoon in a gallon of water).  It gives a great, slow release boost.    
Bee update:  Loretta's hive swarmed this week.  I gave the swarm to a friend, as I do not need another hive of bees.  All three remaining hives are working hard.  
One last item:  we may have a sick chicken.  Lou was sluggish this afternoon, and within an hour laid one, and then another, soft shelled egg.  This was after laying her regular egg this morning with the other ladies.  She now seems back to normal, eating, drinking, and scratching.  We have our fingers crossed that she is ok, but are trying to find out what would have caused her earlier problems.  It was scary when she seemed so ill; I would hate to lose her (and possibly have an infection that could spread to the others).  The two chicklets (Lena and Bunnie) are doing well.  They already have wing feathers coming in.  I imagine they will be pretty irritated about their names if they are roosters, but I am really hoping they are hens.