Baby chick, composting and water conservation.

Ya'll remember baby chick.
 Hasn't it grown. I say it because I am still not sure if its a hen or rooster LOL. Hoping for a hen. Just have to wait till it gets bigger. It has done wonderful. Broody has been a super Mom to it. 

Here we have a tree/large shrub that is called a Texas Lilac, Vitex, Chaste Tree and a couple other names. 
We have several planted at our place. They grow fast, they are stunning when in bloom. You can cut them up on the bottoms and have a nice ornamental tree like a crape myrtle or you can let them grow as is and you have a giant shrub. They get to be approximately 10'x15' big. These in the photos below are around the chicken corral so I have left them as shrubs for now. I am not sure if I will cut them as trees or not. They smell good, the butterflies cover them and the bumble bees love them. They even have medicinal value. They are drought tolerant once established. They take our heat and sun just fine. Whats not to love. The ones in the photos below are only a couple years old! They grow fast.

 The two below for some reason have out grown the others by far. I will assume there is something in the soil or maybe they were just stronger starts. I don't know. I have Tatsume Squash planted down the fence under them on this side. Since I planted a bazillion Daffodils around them to keep the moles from eating their roots off, which over all has worked well, the daffodils.  Up until just recently I had not had one mole encounter since planting the daffodils last fall. But down at the far end, I didn't plant any daffodils... Don't know why LOL. Well some mole came back and it chewed the roots off that end Texas Lilac, It looked really bad. I dug it up. I potted it in some really good dirt. Kept it watered and its making a great recovery. I will be able to plant it some where again. I had another Texas Lilac so I planted it in that spot and some more daffodils! So far so good.

These are tree seedlings I started from seed. 

 Planted some veggy seeds this last week.  For what will be my fall garden. Have several more seeds to get planted. I bought one of those soil blocker tools that you make your own soil blocks for starting seedlings. I am going to use it for my other seeds. I had these pete pellets left and decided to use them up. It was raining that day and I was itching to do something gardening wise so I got out the last of these and planted them :O).

 My fig tree one of many I have planted, most have died. I thought this one was dead. But look, its not!~
I put three rings of daffodils bulbs around this guy. Mole prevention. 

 Fruit orchard is doing great, though we will not get fruit this year. We had a very late freeze and the trees were in bloom. It was a hard freeze. Poof that did in the fruit. I have decided to look at it this way. It gives the trees another year to root in before the strain of producing fruit.  They are only a couple years in. Though they have grown so large its hard to believe. This was our third attempt at getting fruit trees to take. I was ready to say that's it if these didn't live. We piled 12" of wood chips on top of the ground  and I put in a drip hose. This year we didn't have any wood chips so we piled hay about that deep on top of the wood chips, lot of the chips had decomposed. We will continue to do this every year. We covered the entire orchard with the wood chips not just rings. We did the same with the hay. Its made ALL the difference in the world. I could not keep the trees watered before. Plus we had mole issues! Knock on daffodils they have left these alone! Last year I only watered this orchard 3 times. I used the drip hose I had put in and I watered deep each time I did water.  That is amazing 3 times given our heat here. This year I have not gvien them a drop as we have had rain and all that mulch is holding the water nicely for them...I saw this type method on a video called Back to Eden. I don't have the link handy to it but if you google Back to Eden video and just go the official site,  you will find it. Its a free watch. Its very long like a hour. Get you a cup of tea its enjoyable to watch.  Its sooooooo worth watching. It has forever changed the way we garden. If you live where water is scarce, you don't get much rain etc. take the time to watch it. Where he lives he gets even less rain than we do! BUT he does not get the scorching heat we do. So I do have to water some even using this method but I don't water like I used to! I continue to work doing anything I can to use less and less water.  This also builds your soil. He explain the whole thing in his movie/video.
If you cannot get wood chips which he uses, hay works wonderful. I know people say you will grow hay and weeds if you use it.. Well you guys have seen it piled in my vegetable garden. That simply isn't the case. I have since read a lot of articles on people using hay and they are saying the same thing. Its a wonderful mulch and works great. Stray is so stiff and it doe not give the nutrient level to your ground as it composts that hay does, so I have read. I also use push mower with bag to mow as much as I can. Ok let me clarify that I have a self propelled push mower with bagger so no I am not pushing it without some help LOL. Never waste those clippings! For one the girls(chickens) get a few bags each time as they love them. The rest goes straight down around something, a shrub, a flower bed, dumped in the fruit orchard. To fill Keepers giant holes he digs LOL Thats another post but it has actually stopped him digging where I use those.
Leaves, I mow up all the leaves we have and I use them right out of the bagger as well, Same places.
 For some perspective on how tall the roses are, That is honeyman. He is twisting some Pink wisteria vines around the post by the gates. Keeper is obviously focused on something he sees on the ground LOL.
Keeper is sporting his summer hair cut. 

 Honeyman again, just cuz I got another picture :O)...  Honeyman is not a gardener, its not his thing. But he likes Wisteria. He specifically asked about putting it on the post around the gate. I said great idea! So I got two pink ones to put there. It was all I could find at the nursery at the time. So he always works the vines onto the post and keeps it moving up. I find it funny in a way cuz he truly does not like to garden, mess with the plants. He enjoys the gardens and how pretty it all looks but he doesn't like to do gardening or deal with the plants etc. He likes for me to do it ROFL... But now he does help me.. He builds what I need building. He built the hoop frames for the veggy garden. He and I both built the raised beds. He built the gate and surround here in the photo. He builds the fencing.  He does that end of the gardening. If I need a really big hole that is a bit much for me to take on to plant a tree or something he will do that for me too :O)
I didn't even know Wisteria came in pink. I usually only see purple. So far it has not bloomed. I hope it will as its the only flower honeyman has asked me to plant. I have three more Wisteria I am going to plant somewhere. They roots were given to me last year and I know have them up a nice sized plant in pots, they are the purple ones. 

 Our driveway. I have always liked our driveway. Our home sits a good 1/4 mile off the road.

 Keeper is surveying his kingdom LOL , he looks so cute with his new cut :O). I did it myself. He was so good. As long as he gets tummy rubs he is game for just about anything ROFL. 


Terry said...

Love the coloring on that chicken's head. Crazy.
Wow, your Texas lilacs and roses are stunning.

Sandy said...


Your chicken is adorable, I love all the feathers....I bet it's girl??

I prefer living a distance away from the road, so having a nice long driveway like you have is a wonderful thing to have.

Pretty Texas lilacs and roses, I see Keeper is growing mighty fine. Please give him a scratch behind his ears for me.

Dani said...

Oh, that Texas Lilac is amazing!!

Thanks for the link to Back to Eden - I'm going to google it now :)

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

We tried Back to Eden this year, but I still got weeds. I think I didn't put the layers on the ground early enough. I got a late start.

Yes, I'm working part time. I've been doing mental health support services with one client for a year and a half now, plus I'm teaching a class at a local college. It's a little much sometimes, but what can you do?

sandra hagan said...

The land looks good. Shrubs and fig tree took.

Keeper is awesome and I love his summer cut.

TexWisGirl said...

keeper looks good. :) your vitex - i need those!!!

your driveway is just like ours.