I think that many of us are relieved that temperatures are finally dropping. Still too dry but I’ll take anything & the wonderful, refreshing mornings the last few days are glorious. I love sitting on my back porch watching the birds, especially the hummingbirds. It won’t be long before the hummers disappear on their annual migration so it’s important to keep their feeders full until they’re gone.

What a storm we had earlier this week – no damage was done thankfully. My rain gauge measured an inch of rain. Think that was a low number because we had ‘horizontal” rain during the height of the storm that may not have been measured. Do you all notice how much better plants like rain than irrigation – does so much more for our plants!

Changes in the Vegetable Garden

In the years since I made my vegetable garden, the nearby oak trees have grown considerably. It’s not completely shaded but there is too much shade for my veggies to really grow successfully. So I’m repurposing it into a Pollinator Garden. I’ll be able to grow plants that deer love to eat because it’s still protected from them.

Oh the choices! I paid a visit to Rainbow Gardens on Thousand Oaks at the weekend and was blown away by the numbers of bees on their plants. There were large numbers of native Carpenter Bees on some Esperanza and I was intrigued by their behavior. They seemed to be hugging the base of the flowers. I’ve since found out that they can’t get deep into the flowers to reach nectar so they use their mouthparts to make slits in the base to reach in! Learned something new every day!

This is a great time to establish new plants in the garden – probably better than the spring because they can get really established over winter and will be better prepared for our hot summers. As temperatures slowly drop, the ground is still warm and this can help new plants establish a good root system. I’ve applied fresh compost to the whole area to help everything grow well.

Hydroponics for Veggies

Hydroponics is what I’m thinking of for my veggies next year. I’ve read several books on the various types of systems that can be built. I will have to do more research and talking to experts over winter so that I can be ready for spring planting.

Stuart and I work well together when it comes to gardening projects. I decide what I want and he’ll design and build it! He sometimes gets a little frustrated with me because I want stuff that works and that also looks good. Call me fussy, but I don’t like “ugly” in the garden. We have a lot of PVC pipes left over/acquired from various projects and that’s what we’ll use. And, of course, I’ll let you know what we do and how well it all works in the future.

Chickens & Bees

My chickens definitely like the cooler weather and I’ve discovered that they love pumpkins as a treat. Apparently pumpkin seeds are a natural dewormer for chickens. Whether or not pumpkin deworms, it is packed full of vitamins, potassium and zinc, all of which are good for your girls. In less than a day, my girls devoured the whole pumpkin shown in the photo below. They didn’t leave much behind!

All that’s left of the pumpkin I gave the chickens yesterday afternoon!

Haven’t seen much from my other “girls”, the bees, because of the chill and the rain. I’m hoping that the rain will spark some late blooming flowers so that the bees can top up their honey reserves for winter. I’ve put some sugar syrup in their central feeder to help them with their stores. At this time of year you need to make a thicker syrup 2:1 sugar to water – makes it easier for them to evaporate and turn it to stored honey.

This weekend (10/19/19 10am-2pm) I’ll be at the Guadalupe River State Park for their Pollinator Festival. Come and see me at the Mamman Family Public Library booth where I’ll be with Sam. Some of my friends will be at the Comal County Beekeepers Association booth too. Visit, learn and have fun with us.

Caroline xo


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