It’s That Time Again!

This is a weird time of year for us here in Idaho with the weather shifting from winter to spring and even summer-like back to winter again all within a few weeks.

It warms up juuust enough for the pups to blow their coats and then partially grow them back (just to blow them out again).

It warms up juuust enough for the snow to melt and for digging to commence again.

It warms up juuust enough to make you want to put your winter gear away for good and get out in the garden to plant your seedlings, but you know by now that it’s a trap of nature that you’ve been snared by before.

So you wait.

And wait.

And wait some more.

It’s definitely a test of patience waiting for the last frost which is when most of our planting is done and according to various sources, that can be anywhere from mid May to mid June. Ugh!This year I am going by the Old Farmer’s Almanac which is quite generous and says our last frost date should be May 22nd but that’s still three and a half weeks away.

Three and a half loooong weeks.

Which feels like foreverrrrrrrrrrrr.

In the interim I have tons of seedlings started, like these different varieties of lettuce that just poked their heads up a few days ago.

We are doing some high intensity planting with the lettuce this year, which means we’re packing them in tighter than you normally would. We will let nature do the thinning and hopefully have plenty for us and all the birds. I got the idea from Luke aka MIGardener.

He is one of the few YouTube gardeners who lives in a similar climate to ours so I really enjoy watching him do his thing.

This week I’ve been hardening off my onion starts and they’ll go in the new bed soon with a bed of straw on top to help keep them alive but the rest will have to wait a while longer.

My sugar pumpkin seedlings are coming in nicely, too.

It’s the first time I’ve started them indoors and I only did so because the last time I tried growing pumpkins they didn’t have enough time to fully reach their potential. If all goes well, we will have a huge, productive pumpkin patch behind the poultry pen this year.

I also started some morning glories indoors at the same time as the pumpkins to lengthen their growing season, too. They are both happy outside together in the greenhouse now with the new pheasant rooster watching over them.

It’s funny, the day after we brought him home our other male who had escaped on us came strolling back from the field behind us and this time we were able to catch him using a trap we put together using an old dog cage and some wire. So now we have two roosters, which is great, and each are with their own hens in separate pens so they don’t murder each other.

Our little quail are doing great, too, and have laid quite a few eggs for us which we are saving for the incubator.

We got our handmade hutch for them but decided to let them free range in a pen instead and we’ll be using that as a brooder for all the chicks we’ll (hopefully) hatch out this year. Last year we hatched a couple dozen pheasants since, like quail, they make terrible mothers in captivity.

Speaking of mothers, our resident robin is still building her nest in the flower box outside my upstairs window! We waited until she was gone later in the evening and added more floral garland and she didn’t seem to mind.

She was working on it this morning some more, so fingers crossed still that we’ll have babies in there soon.

We are also keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll have a litter of pups around July 1st. We have a waiting list of people who want one and we are pretty sure that Rudy got the job done with Sassy last week, so that’s exciting. We love our huskies and so do a lot of other people!

I’m also waiting on a few deliveries of things I’ve ordered online but I’ll keep those a secret until next time. πŸ™‚

7 thoughts on “It’s That Time Again!

  1. Frost dates are sooo hard to keep to when the weather is looking so nice out!

    I use the Old Farmer’s Almanac, too. There are two weather stations we could go by. The nearest one is a town we are parallel to, East/West, which has a frost date of May 28. The next option was a town further to the North of us, with a frost date of June 2. Last year, I figured it was safe to go with May 28, and got some leggy transplants out. The weather was glorious!

    We got hit with frost on June 2.

    So… that’s what I’m going with this year! πŸ˜€

    We’ll be starting our squash and pumpkin seeds indoors this week.

    I’m very inspired by your blog. I am wanting to start having chickens in the next few years, but I keep seeing people who have quail. How do you find raising them, compared to chickens?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you! I really enjoy your blog, too.

      We are actually new to keeping quail but so far we really love these little birds. They stopped laying eggs immediately when we moved them into the hutch but started right up again when we put them back in the open pen so they obviously like free ranging better.

      They are a lot more wild than the chickens and actually remind me more of the pheasants which we’ve been raising for several years now. There’s a YouTube channel called Slightly Rednecked that inspired us (along with Mark from Self Sufficient Me) to add quail for meat and to breed and sell for extra $$. They lay a TON of eggs and they hatch quickly so it should be pretty easy to do that.

      Different quail breeds are white meat, these are coturnix which are dark meat so that’s something to keep in mind if you want them for food. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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