Late Autumn in the Garden

Nature still amazes me regularly. My garden is a neglected mess, which I attempt to give love in the fleeting moments I get. A bit of compost, mulch and manure gets added in this moments, but it's soon gone and I just try to appreciate the few crops I get, knowing how much I've failed to nurture them. Then from this neglected and often under watered mess I'll get something truly astonishing that's somehow thrived where everything else gave up and just desperately went to seed to ensure generational survival instead:

received_556502762365977.jpegI don't think I'll ever know exactly what went right for this mega onion. Perhaps it's evolution from adversity.

We are in the second month of autumn and the weather is cooling. We've still been getting some temperature rises and have only recently started to get some rain on occasion. I've been cutting the plum and mulberry trees back, retrieving this year's branches as they escape through the top of the run and chopping them down for mulch. The quails eagerly pick through them for any bugs hiding among the leaves.

The modification of this section of the runs has been completed and they are now all stepped away from the border fence. Hubby added a gate either end of the access way created, so I can let the rabbits run in there.

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Unfortunately, I don't know when the final run can be modified as hubby is now back in work and won't have as much time to do the alterations. So I've planted sugar snap peas in the vacant run and dropped some broccoli seeds in as well, ready for the winter growing season.

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It's actually unusual for me to be getting them in this soon; I'm usually running much later with winter planting. I've also put a few potatoes in front of the peas, but I still need to get some more potatoes in...and onion seeds...and coriander seeds... and carrot seeds...and more garlic in...

I was chatting with @ligayagardener the other day about the root knot problem in the central garden bed. We discussed marigolds, noting that they only work to eradicate the nematodes if they burrow into their roots, but he suggested that mustard acts more in a way which should fumigate the soil. So I've bought some mustard seeds which I'll use like a green manure crop to fumigate between plantings moving forward, probably letting some go to seed each season ready for the following season. The next challenge is to actually plant them...

I've been trying to share some of the chillies around as our plants are still producing more than we can use. I've invited a couple of people to strip the bushes, but no-one seems game to take all the Trinidad Scorpions, so most of them are still sitting pretty on the plant.

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The chicken runs look like they've been having grand feather pillow fights and the chickens are all in varying stages of moult and moping.

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Queen Ginger's new feathers are now growing in nicely, but she's a hard moulter and our biggest sulker when moulting. She goes off her food, climbs into the nest boxes at night instead of going on the roosts, then complains loudly when you pick her up to move her onto them. She sounds like a mini dinosaur.

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Wisp is still in earlier stages of moult and looks a mess, which is obviously my fault! Meanwhile, Aphrodite is photo bombing because she's not even sure what's happening as her new feathers start to grow out of random spots in front of her eyes.

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While Wisp's sister, Echo, is sporting pristine new feathers and frowning down on the paparazzi which failed to bring any tasty treats.

This actually ended up being a shorter catch up than usual, which goes to show just how little I've been getting done. So I'll leave you sheepishly at that and hope the chickens entertained better than I.

~○♧◇♡♤♡◇♧○~


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44 comments
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Whoever is directly controlling the V2K told me to kill myself.
They told me if I killed myself now it would save the lives of countless others.
Saying the longer I wait to kill myself the more people will suffer.


They are reckless and should have shown the proper media what they had before taking me hostage for 5 years. I know there are many in prison that dont deserve to be there because of this. Your stay in prison will not be fun @battleaxe and friends. People are going to want you dead when they find out what you did. I hope you die a slow painful death. You sick mother fuckers.

https://peakd.com/gangstalking/@acousticpulses/electronic-terrorism-and-gaslighting--if-you-downvote-this-post-you-are-part-of-the-problem

Its a terrorist act on American soil while some say its not real or Im a mental case. Many know its real. This is an ignored detrimental to humanity domestic and foreign threat. Ask informed soldiers in the American military what their oath is and tell them about the day you asked me why. Nobody has I guess. Maybe someone told ill informed soldiers they cant protect America from military leaders in control with ill intent. How do we protect locked up soldiers from telling the truth?
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Sometimes natures surprises us and just simply gives. That onion is surely gigantic - wow. I love the pepper tree as well. THe trinidad scorpions are beautiful but I am sure they are very hot - hence no many are taken. I would pickle them or make a pepper sauce in order to have them when they are not in season.

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The Trinidads are eye watering! I'm thinking maybe dry some and grind to powder. Probably mixed with some milder ones, so it's not too crazy hot.

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Powdering is also a great idea. I guess you will wear goggles then. 😀 I do not know these peppers but I googled them and they seem mighty hot and eye watering indeed.

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That onion is so huge, it is the first time that I have seen an onion like that. I envy your chicken cage, my duck cage has no security (my chickens can invade the cage anytime they want). Good evening!

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Our main reason fit it was to keep the word birds out so they didn't take the chicken feed. We've also had a fox before, so it's a bit of security from them.

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Love the chickens.
That onion is huge. I had my onions big like that one time, but after that it never grew so big. That was the one year where all my veggies just were so big and healthy and beautiful.

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Now I need to see if we can get you to recall what was different that year. 😁

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I see no failures here, only many successes. Lovely space!!!

I have a question about the quails. I now have an itty bitty tiny little yard, and I miss having chickens and their nutrition-packed gifts. What you you think of my keeping quails instead of chickens? I could probably swing 25 or so square feet for coop and run, maybe more with a bit of gerrymandering.

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Quails aren't as intelligent as chickens, so snuggly ones are rare. The female coturnix, which are the ones bred for egg laying, only live around 3 years. They are absolutely suitable for smaller spaces, no more than about one per square foot is recommended. They can fly a bit better than chickens, so a fully enclosed run is a good idea, or you'll lose them to predators and wandering off. You actually don't even need a coop, as they don't use nest boxes or roosts and would rather sleep out for the most part. You'd have to put them in the coop if you want them in there. They lay wherever the feel like it on the ground, usually in a slightly sheltered spot, but not always. I occasionally tread on an egg out in the open.

Feed wise, the only difference between them and chickens is that they need a bit more protein, as their eggs are large for their size. They also grow super fast after hatch.

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Thanks! You've made them sound even better. Are the males noisy?

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They vary. None are rooster level noisy, but some are louder than others and I've heard some people will still get complaints from neighbours about them, especially if they crow through the night. Most won't crow at night, but some do; usually the loudest ones too... I tend to cull the louder ones for food and keep the quieter ones. They only crow in mating season, so you won't hear them in winter or for most of autumn.

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Oh you are talking me right into these creatures! Don't need an unsightly coop (my yard is TINY). I could just put a nice sized cage along my back fence. Eggs, meat, fertilizer. I need these. If you have any other info, or a know a good source I can consult, please let me know. Would they like cohabitating with a small holly? I have many questions.

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I don't think they'd mind it. They may eat the lower leaves a bit, but they won't strip bushes like chickens. I gather the berries are toxic to us, but there doesn't seem to be anything to say they are for quail. I even found this which says holly is safe for them:
https://green-shack.com/plants-for-quail/

If you're ever unsure of anything, just do a search on it. What you might encounter in your garden may be different to mine, but someone else will be guaranteed to have an answer somewhere.

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Oh no! A sulky, starving hen! Who would've thought. Our chickens barely have a blip when they are molting. In fact I have to check hard to make sure they are. I wonder why your hen suffers so badly?! Does she hunger strike for long? As for that onion! WOAH! Gardens looking good @minismallholding even if you have a chicken with .... can it also be called pms? Pathetic molt syndrome?

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Haha, I love it! Pathetic Moult Syndrome!

Some of the hens replace their feathers at the same rate they lose them, so I have to look closely at them to see if they are too. Our girl Cocoa, on the right is like that. She even continues to lay through winter, albeit at a slower rate.

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I think Ginger eats the odd bit while moulting, but I'm used to her stuffing her face and chasing everyone away from HER food, normally, so it stands out. It goes on for a few weeks and it's taken me a few years to stop worrying about her for it.

Gardens looking good

You haven't seen the jungle part! Which is actually on purpose. 😆

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We don't have badly behaved and selfish hens like you, our turkey hen makes sure she keeps them in line! She has SUCH a bad attitude if she weren't our only turkey hen I would probably relocate her (into the freezer) to give the chicken hens a break. Your Cocoa is gorgeous! I love that name. I had a goat with that name.

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Haha! Sounds like she rules with an iron claw. Ginger is actually our head hen, so she probably thinks it's her prerogative to have all the food. Cocoa is pretty and she looks kind of cute, but she doesn't like us at all. She'll only come nearish to me if she thinks I might have food. If I manage to catch her (not easy) and hold her, she'll resign herself to it, begrudgingly.

I had a hen with a really bad attitude who got relocated to the freezer before she ended up killing the new pullets. I've never seen anything like it before or since. It was like she had a grudge.

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That's terrible! Would she really kill them? We have one (nameless) hen who is an amazing mother. But that is simply because she threatens to gut anything that comes near her babies. We gave her a couple turkey eggs to hatch, because our turkey is having NO success. Needless to say those "babies" are now towering over mama hen but we never get to cuddle them because we fear her fury!

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Aww! She sounds amazing. We once gave some of our fertile eggs to a friend whose pekin frizzle was broody. Only one hatched and it was a standard rooster, so he was already bigger than her before he was mature. Apparently she'd call him up onto the roost with her at night and try to drape her wing over him even though he was bigger.

That hen really was out to kill them. She was bottom of the pecking order and apparently rresentful of it. Once the chicks are old enough to come off heat I'll put them in a cruiser in the run for them to all get used to each other. The chicks would poke their heads under a little gap underneath and she'd peck any she saw like she was playing whack-a-mole. She didn't settle down at all, so when I released them into the main run I kept an eye on things and she'd got some cornered and was going at them. Usually the hens will give a quick peck to tell them their place and leave it at that, but not this one.

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So she deserved to be roasted! I hope you didn't get indigestion

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You are doing good there, i am thinking to have some chickens but i need to do some space for them.

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Thank you. I fully recommend chickens. They are useful companions on the side of gardening.

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That's one big onion! !luv it.

Our chook run looks similar, I thought they'd been squabbling again but you reckon yours is because of moulting. I've noticed that ours have gone off of laying, so moulting seems to be the case.

I've had no takers for those scorpion Chili that you gave me. Today is the anniversary party for the Playford Community Garden, so I reckon I'll drop some off there...

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I've had no takers for those scorpion Chili that you gave me.

I can't imagine why. 🤔 😜 Let me know if anyone at the community garden is brave enough to take them.

That's one big onion!

I think having no competition around it may have helped. I actually managed to keep that bed fairly clear of rabbit food weeds.

Definitely the time of year for moulting and taking a lasting break. I'm still getting the odd wonky egg, but nothing else otherwise.

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nawwww the chickens are adorable. So excited we are getting some. Love your run... Husband is designing it... can't wait. We are getting 4-6 of them :-)

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Do you know if you're going for breeds or commercial reds like ISAs?

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My husband is researching what he wants. We are not yet sure what we are getting. thought into hot weather, egg production and temperament. :-)

what do you suggest?

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I've never had them, but langshans are supposed to be good for tolerating the heat and laying well. They have feathered legs, however, which could be an issue if your runs get muddy, like mine do in winter.

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That onion O_O

That should last you a few meals XD

Poor sooky moulty chookies XD Mine finally look like they're not constantly attacking each other.

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I still have half of it left after using it for two meals so far! 😆 Good job they keep well.

We've got some chickens that like to squawk a lot if one of the other hens even look at them sternly, so I can imagine what my neighbours must think they're doing to each other...

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(Edited)

Damn. Those onion is a real size-monster.
Rehived and I have sent you @pishio.

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*indeed you are entertaining to read to haha, although to look at the hens is funny too.
*2 I felt so identified with you calling your garden a “neglected mess“
*3 My partner loves so much to cook with chilies, I imagined him harvesting everything that’s on your plant, it's a big and productive plant.
*4 Beautiful onions, it talks of how rich and healthy your soil is.
*5 I’d like to document your broccolis closely, for I want to sow soon too for the winter to come.

Good luck with everything! Be healthy and fine.

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I'll have to try and remember to take photos of the broccoli. We had some rain yesterday and they'll have loved that.

I wish your partner could come and harvest them all. I'd give them all in exchange for a taste of that cooking. 😁

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Chickens are fun as well as running rabbits, I used to play with them when I was young during vacations in the countryside. I can't help imagining the dinosaur sound and love the creative description of pillow fights.

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I've never seen such a big onion, in my entire life! Wonderful healthy yellow pepper tree too! I love your chicken coop, it looks very space efficient, and the fence goes all the way up, as mine fly over sometimes, even with the feathers trimmed!

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