Our first eggs

It was the day we have been waiting for since we brought our chicks home when they were one day old. The first egg. What an exciting moment!
My husband was the lucky one to make the discovery while I was at work. He had gone out to check their water and food and found an egg laying by their feeder. At least it was in the coop. Now to get it in the nesting box. But wait! He saw even more than that. Another chicken was exiting a nesting box (glad we finally got those added onto the coop a couple weeks ago) as he was standing there. He looked inside, and yes, there it was. Another egg. So we got not just one, but two in one day. They were about half the size of a regular egg, but they were delicious when we had them for breakfast the next morning.
Sadly, there have been no more eggs since then. It’s probably because I check every few hours. A watched chicken never lays? I think that might be my new saying. Well, I’ll keep watching and waiting for that next egg. There’s nothing like a farm-fresh egg.

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Mulching? Learn where to get it for free

Last time I told you of the great benefits I had been seeing from placing a layer of mulch over my garden this year.
It not only keeps the soil moisture more even, it also prevents most of the weeding.
Now you say, that’s great, but it’s got to be expensive to cover that much area with mulch. A bag of mulch here runs around $3.50, times the number of bags to cover the entire garden. I don’t even want to think about it.
But, I mulched my entire garden for, get this, free. Well, there was a cost, a lot of sweat and strained muscles.
Our community provides a compost facility where you can drop off your tree limbs and leaves at no cost. In addition, they chip those tree limbs and maintain the piles of mulch. That is offered free back to the residents. All you have to do is go load it up yourself. That’s where the sweat and strained muscles comes in. It took two large truckloads for me to get the entire garden covered. Actually, I could probably use a little more, but I don’t think I can lift another shovel.
One thing I have found over the past year is depending on the time of year, they have different qualities of mulch. Over the winter it was mainly leaves, then this spring there was a fresh supply of wood chips. It makes for great landscaping too.
So contact your local city office to see if they offer such a service and don’t hesitate to take advantage of it. Happy mulching!

To mulch or not to mulch – definitely to mulch

Usually by this point in the summer, I’m sweating, straining and griping about the weeds that keep invading my garden. But not this year.
Why you ask?
I decided to cover my garden in mulch, mainly to help keep the moisture in and prevent as much fluctuation in the soil temperature. I was hoping it would help with weeds as well, but never did I expect the results I have seen. I have pulled a few weeds here and there, but not near the back-breaking labor I’m used to at this point in the gardening season in past years. I put the mulch around my plants when they were planted if large enough or as soon as they had broke through the surface of the soil if planted as seeds. Not only does it cut down on the watering, but it has nearly eliminated the weeds. What used to take hours to complete, now only takes minutes. I’m hooked. I’ll never garden without mulch again.
You’re probably thinking, that’s great, but it’s quite an expense. I’ll let you in on where I get my mulch for free next time.

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It’s amazing the difference

It’s amazing how much difference some cooler weather can make. I’ve been watering for hours each day with my soaker hoses, but my garden and flowers continue to battle the heat and wind, with the heat and wind winning.
The last week it cooled down some, and by that, I mean it’s not 100 degrees anymore, which is unusual for Kansas in July. I’m not complaining though. Not only are we able to get in some needed outdoor work without melting, but my flowers on the deck have really bounced back and my garden is on a growth spurt. The remaining lettuce in my garden, which had started to turn brown around the edges, even has greened back up and has grown tremendously in the last couple of days. I’d better get back out there and get some more work down before it heats back up. Here’s a photo showing the progress on the garden so far…Happy gardening!!!

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