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Mint Lovers Beware!

If you’re going to plant mint, of any kind, please beware. Mint is invasive and will take over everything and spread everywhere. It’s a great companion plant for many vegetables, but mint loves to spread it’s wings wherever it wants. So, if you’re going to plant it, make sure it’s in an area with lots of space and away from plants that like space.

My mint went from tiny little bush last year, to giant Godzilla this year. Personally, I don’t mind. The strawberries nearby, however, do mind. Strawberries are pretty invasive themselves and now my mint and strawberries are fighting for dominance. The mint is winning.

Mint and strawberries don’t go well together for a number of reasons, so they are not good companions. I did not originally plant my mint in this spot. A person who shall not be named (my dad) decided it was a good idea to move said mint after I specifically said not to because they would invade everything around them, including said persons strawberries. I guess we’ll see who wins this battle.

 

Green Beans

Green beans are a yummy snack and a great addition to any meal. If you like a good crunch, raw is the way to go. My favorite garden vegetable is fresh green beans and I eat them right in the garden.

Last summer I got these nice big bean bushes (pictured below) from seeds bought in the store. I collected the seeds left over and planted them a few days ago. Lets see how they turn out this year!

Chickens, Hawks & Reflective Things

Attention anyone with chickens: I’ve been trying to find different ways to keep hawks out. I did research and looked up many different methods of keeping them away. Although, I love to see the hawks, I don’t like it when they attack the flock of chickens and ducks on my yard. My method is anything and everything shiny! They don’t like it and in my research, (I think is was from a post on Backyardchickens.com), I learned reflective stuff confuses hawks. It’s not a fail safe, so always keep an eye out. Vigilance is always best because they can be scared easily by human presence.

After Christmas, I thought it would be great to buy some silver Christmas balls on clearance (nice and cheap) and hang them on the tree where my chickens hang out. Jingle bells work well too because they make noise and are reflective.

I think this works moderately well with a few scare crows thrown in. And, if you’re like me and love a little sparkle in your life, they make nice outdoor decorations. They unfortunately don’t keep foxes away. That’s a story for another day.

Tips:

  • Plastic Christmas balls stand up pretty well to weather. Stay away from anything glass and always pick up broken ones.
  • Move your scare crows and shiny things around. It confuses predators into thinking there are humans around.
  • Always secure them well on anything you hang them off of.
  • Don’t buy the foam ones. Chickens like to eat those. Not good and they are less weather resistant then the plastic ones.
  • My chickens got used to the shiny things, but it’s always a good idea to hang them where they are not easily accessible.
  • CD’s work just as well: I used some decorative Washi tape, Mod Podge clear drying glue as a sealer, punched a hole and added some glow in the dark beads (for the night critters), and used fishing line as string (it’s durable). WARNING: Always dispose of fishing line properly. Cut it into small pieces and throw it away in a bag. Birds can get tangled in them. I don’t like fishing line, but it was the most durable string I had.

Garlic Festival

At the end of September, I went to the Garlic Festival in Saugerties, New York.  This festival is well known in my area and a fun trip for anyone who has a love for the stinky stuff. Personally, I love garlic and grew up eating the stinky but very yummy thing. My absolute favorite part of going was the garlic vanilla ice cream. I’ve never been to the festival before this and was shocked at the weird, but truly delicious pairing. It’s my new favorite ice cream flavor and I can still taste it as I write this. It has this unique sweet roasted garlic flavor that isn’t too strong, but goes absolutely perfect with vanilla ice cream. I sadly cannot remember who made it because I was to involved in the ice cream to find out. Oh well! There’s always next year!

End of Summer and The Four Musketeers

Now that summer is over, there’s not much to do in the garden besides weed and get ready for next year. That means more time on here! I love fall and all the beautiful colors, but it means it’s time to wind down from all the spring and summer gardening fun. I have a ton of pictures from bugs to flowers to ducks and chickens from the last couple of months, so I’ll get to posting those soon. For now, here’s a little story of cuteness to get you by:

20161004_173141These guys hatched over the summer and became my babies. I call them my 3 musketeers and d’Artagnan (the chick). From Left to right, we have Penelope Pussycat, Charlotte (recently found out she’s a girl, not a boy), Daisy Duck (chick), and Pepe Le Pew. Pepe ended up imprinting on me. Imprinting is basically what happens when a bird hatches and thinks the first thing it sees is it’s mom. The little cutie would follow me around and snuggle with me. Who could resist a duck snuggle??

Penelope just did what Pepe did and ended up being my second baby. Then we have Daisy who imprinted on Pepe and just loves to snuggle with her duck brother and two sisters (and me).

Charlotte has a sad tale. She was the first hatched of 9 ducklings and the oldest of these four. Sadly, 8 were lost to a fox, or a raccoon, or a hawk. I don’t really know, since we have so many predators around. Poor Charlotte was left all alone, so I had to bring her inside with Pepe, Penolope, and Daisy. I’m very overprotective of all of them now and don’t let them wonder too far anymore.

They are all so much bigger then in this photo now, but still so cute!