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The Garden Chronicles - Week 21

  
By:  Dig  •  Gardening  •  4 weeks ago  •  54 comments

The Garden Chronicles - Week 21

August turned out to be fantastic. One of the driest on record, but with the exception of a handful of hot days it was strangely cool and mild, and the lack of rain kept the humidity down most of the time. Dryness aside, I wish every August could be like this one.

Hurricane Laura turned east before any of its rain could reach me, but I got a little from a regular storm a couple of days later.

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A few evenings ago I was doing some hoeing under a cloudy sky and noticed this as the sun was setting. It hadn't rained, but I guess there was enough moisture in the air for a rainbow. A double rainbow, in fact. It was bigger and brighter than this when I first saw it, but by the time I ran in and grabbed the camera it had faded. I think it's the only rainbow I've seen all summer.

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While I had the camera I went ahead snapped a few more shots of the sky.

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I can never see the setting sun because of the woods to the west, but sometimes the clouds light up beautifully.

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- This morning, August 30 -


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It rained a little yesterday, the first time in more than two weeks. Only half an inch, but it was welcome.

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It was still overcast this morning, and the air was a little chilly.

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Rutgers and carrots.

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Beets and turnips. The Bull's Blood beets in the foreground aren't doing very well, but the Detroit Dark Reds are moving right along. Now I wish I'd planted the whole row with them.

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More carrots.

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Lettuce.

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Beans.

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Looking back.

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Maestro peas, where the corn had been.

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The rain beat a few of them down, but they'll pop back up in no time.

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The hybrid kohlrabi. The package claims it only needs 45 days, but it's already been at least 12, so I'm not so sure about that. It better grow fast.

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Two different kinds of spinach, both started under boards. One is up, the other isn't. The one that isn't has had plenty of time, so it might not come up at all. I hate when that happens.

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The butternut squash, with a couple of vines growing up into the asparagus. The leaves are dying back now, but I'm never sure if it's on purpose or if something is killing them. It happens like this every year, and I always worry about it being too early, but I always end up with decent squash.

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Some of them are pretty big this year.

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Looking back.

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The Big Beefs, with poles tied across the posts for them to keep growing on.

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Still making plenty of new ones.

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The nearly-drowned peppers.

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Flowering and setting fruit.

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The other peppers (the backups) on the ends of the trellises.

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Another angle.

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The mystery hot purple peppers.

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A couple of zucchinis, looking better than any have all year.

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Another one.

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The last of the larger watermelons still in the garden.

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A few vines have crept through the fence and are trying to make new ones on the outside. They might have time to grow and ripen, as long as turtles don't get them.

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The third and final cucumber, with flowers all over it. It's producing now, and has been getting picked for about a week. I hope it lasts through September.

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Baby cuke.

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Some kind of bee that wouldn't hold still for the camera. I don't know what it is. It's bigger than a honeybee, but smaller than a bumblebee.

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Miragreen peas on the rest of that trellis.

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Another trellis of Miragreen.

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Cantaloupes.

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Just hanging out.

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These two look like they'll be ready soon.

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From the outside.

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Zucchini in the side plot.

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Finally, some normal, healthy looking plants. I only had to wait until the end of August. jrSmiley_80_smiley_image.gif

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A big zucchini flower.

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New plants. The stronger of these two will be the last of them.

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I'm winding down the lettuce for the year. I might start 4 more later this week, but that'll probably be it.

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Some goodies from last week.

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Help yourself. jrSmiley_2_smiley_image.png

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Watermelons.

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Stuff from this week. It's nice to have lettuce again — Cimarron romaine in the small bowl, Red Mist leaf lettuce in the large one.

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The largest cantaloupe of the year so far, with a steak knife for size reference.

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Looking good.

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- Random flowers -


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- Trail cam shots -


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Look at that, a black-faced deer. You don't see that every day.

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*******

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It looks like autumn has begun. jrSmiley_24_smiley_image.gif

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See you next time.

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Dig
1  author  Dig    4 weeks ago

How was August for everyone else?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
2  Perrie Halpern R.A.    4 weeks ago

Hi Dig,

Wow, you have an amazing crop! Well done!

I had some time and wanted to check in. My veggie garden was eh, although I had an amazing year Hydrangea and tulips. You referred to your climate, and I was wondering if you could share where you hail from? Maybe that was the issue this year. We had a very hot Aug on Long Island. 

 
 
 
Dig
2.1  author  Dig  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2    4 weeks ago

I'm in the Missouri Ozarks. Summer heat and humidity can be often be oppressive, and June and July pretty much were, but aside from a handful of days August was wonderful this year.

I didn't know you gardened. That's always good to hear. It's one of the best hobbies a person can have, IMO.

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Dig @2.1    4 weeks ago

I lived in the Missouri Ozarks for 6 years. Right on Table Rock Lake in Lampe.

 
 
 
Dig
2.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  Kavika @2.1.1    4 weeks ago

I remember that from back when that duck boat sank. I'm closer to Lake of the Ozarks than Table Rock.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
3  Paula Bartholomew    4 weeks ago

If I were a veggie person, I would be greener than your garden.  Still, they are beautiful pictures.  Congrats on your amazing garden.

 
 
 
Dig
3.1  author  Dig  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3    4 weeks ago

Thanks Paula.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
4  sandy-2021492    4 weeks ago

That looks great, Dig.

 
 
 
Dig
4.1  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4    4 weeks ago

Thanks, Sandy. Did you ever get your cucumbers to grow? I remember you saying you were having a hard time getting the plants started.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
4.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1    4 weeks ago

No, I gave up on them after replanting with similar results. 

 
 
 
Dig
4.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.1    3 weeks ago

Ah, that's too bad. Maybe next year.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
4.1.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @4.1.2    3 weeks ago

Yeah.  I'm hoping maybe next weekend to do a fall planting of lettuce.  I got a fair bit of that this year, but it went to seed pretty quickly.  If I can find some older seeds from past years, I might try some spinach, too.  It didn't do nearly as well this year as it usually does.  Since the lettuce planted right beside it did ok, I think it might have been a seed problem.

 
 
 
Dig
4.1.4  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.3    3 weeks ago
I think it might have been a seed problem.

I had some of that myself this year, especially with beans.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5  Buzz of the Orient    4 weeks ago
"How was August for everyone else?"

OIP.M6F3xeTWXkLBB4jn6AB67wAAAA?w=209&h=196&c=7&o=5&pid=1.7

 
 
 
Dig
5.1  author  Dig  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5    4 weeks ago

Do lower latitude summers make you miss Canada, Buzz? jrSmiley_4_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @5.1    4 weeks ago

Although I miss the white pureness of a fresh snow, and the crystal world on a sunny day after a freezing rain, it is only to look at them.  However, I need the air conditioning when others here do not, especially to sleep.  

 
 
 
Kathleen
6  Kathleen    4 weeks ago

Looks like your garden has come along quite nicely. 

 
 
 
Dig
6.1  author  Dig  replied to  Kathleen @6    3 weeks ago

Thanks, Kathleen. This summer seemed to go by fast. Probably because the spring rains delayed so many things for a few weeks. I hope my fall plantings make it before the first killing frost.

 
 
 
Kathleen
6.1.1  Kathleen  replied to  Dig @6.1    3 weeks ago

You're welcome, I have enjoyed watching the progress of your gardens. 

 
 
 
Ender
7  Ender    4 weeks ago

The purple mystery peppers...Haha

Man I want some of the cantaloupe and watermelon.

The flowers to the left of alien go nuts around here. I planted some one year and the next year they sprouted up everywhere. Even had it growing up from a crack in the concrete.

 
 
 
Dig
7.1  author  Dig  replied to  Ender @7    3 weeks ago
The purple mystery peppers...Haha

LOL. I have no idea what they are. They're super hot, though.

Man I want some of the cantaloupe and watermelon.

If you have any sunny back yard space, a 6 ft long wire trellis will make a cantaloupe plant only have a footprint of about 8 ft x 2 ft. You can get several off of one plant, too. It's fun. No jumbo varieties, though. They won't hang. :)

The flowers to the left of alien go nuts around here. I planted some one year and the next year they sprouted up everywhere. Even had it growing up from a crack in the concrete.

Oh, yeah. Vincas come back from seed here, too. Not as bad as morning glories (which I can never seem to get rid of), but pretty bad (or good, depending on how you look at it).

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
7.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @7.1    3 weeks ago

I looked it up, and there are purple varieties of both jalapenos and cayennes.  The other purple varieties I found were sweet.

 
 
 
Dig
7.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.1    3 weeks ago

Hey, thanks. I just did an image search for 'purple cayenne pepper plant' and some of the pictures had the peppers growing downwards, but some also had them growing upwards like mine. I've never seen a jalapeno plant grow them upwards, so they have to be the cayennes.

Mystery solved! Awesome.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
7.1.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @7.1.2    3 weeks ago

One of the women I work with had the same problem as you - thought she was planting bells, ended up with jalapenos.  She said some of them turned purple as they ripened, but they didn't have purplish flowers like yours do.

 
 
 
Dig
7.1.4  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.3    3 weeks ago

I've never had so many seed packets with other seed mixed in as I have this year.

Also had a problem with viability. One of the butternuts was late, and I had to replant another because it never came up at all. I actually got to where I was putting 7 zucchini seeds in the ground for each plant, and only one or two would come up.

It's so irritating, especially when you're trying to grow things successively on a timetable.

 
 
 
pat wilson
8  pat wilson    4 weeks ago

Your chronicles are always a welcome respite from all the crap on the FP.

 
 
 
Dig
8.1  author  Dig  replied to  pat wilson @8    3 weeks ago

Thanks. Glad to hear it.

I can't stomach the front page political nonsense at the moment. I've been intentionally avoiding it. Everything that's going on has put me in a 'life's too short for that shit' mood all summer long.

 
 
 
Dulay
9  Dulay    3 weeks ago

I envy you all of the green tomatoes. I have had a hell of a time catching mine before the start ripening. I have been porch bombing my neighbors every day with plum and cherry tomatoes and greens. My freezer is about full of tomatoes and squash. I'm trying to avoid canning this year so I've resorted to making tomato paste. 30 plum tomatoes becomes on ice cube tray of paste, 12 trays dumped into ziplocks are in the freezer so far. I think I may be topped off on paste...time for stewed with my banana peppers. 

Your garden is so well kept. Being so close to the woods, mine gets 'volunteers' from all around. WEEDS! Maples, grasses, 'heavenly' tree [who the hell named that?] and whatever the damn squirrels plant.  

 
 
 
Dig
9.1  author  Dig  replied to  Dulay @9    3 weeks ago
My freezer is about full of tomatoes and squash.

I envy you of that. I've played hell trying to get zucchinis to grow this year. I've had a few, but that's about it. They look better now, so maybe I can get a good batch in the freezer before the end. I sometimes like a lasagna-type dish made with zucchini slices instead of pasta in the winter.

I'm even low on tomatoes. They should be coming out of my ears, but production has been slower than usual.

I'm starting to wonder if all that spring rain didn't do something to the soil chemistry or the soil biology for a while. Looking back at pictures from early in the summer, the soil even looks wrong. Grayish almost. It's only now really starting to look right again. Weird.

Your garden is so well kept.

Secret weapon — a Hula Ho pro. It's a miracle worker. I don't know how anyone ever gardened without stirrup hoes. They beat regular hoes hands down. Not even a contest.

 
 
 
Dulay
9.1.1  Dulay  replied to  Dig @9.1    3 weeks ago

I've had a hula ho for decades. In fact I have 2, both nice and sharp.

My issue is that the air quality has sucked here and the heat and humidity keeps me in AC with the heppa filter on overdrive. So I can hit it in the early evening sometimes but I'm like a vampire in the heat of the day. Last couple of days have improved but now my issue now is the FISHING or WEEDING debate. I think tomorrow FISHING will win!

 
 
 
Dig
9.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  Dulay @9.1.1    3 weeks ago
I've had a hula ho for decades. In fact I have 2, both nice and sharp.

Awesome. I have 2 as well — an old wooden handled one, and a newer, longer, metal handled one for more leverage. Fantastic, aren't they?

That reminds me. I need to order some new blades before long. My rocky soil wears them through every few years.

So I can hit it in the early evening sometimes but I'm like a vampire in the heat of the day.

I hear you. I'm mostly an evening gardener, too.

You probably also have a much larger garden than I do. More to take care of.

now my issue now is the FISHING or WEEDING debate. I think tomorrow FISHING will win!

LOL. Can't blame you. Have a great time.

 
 
 
Dulay
9.1.3  Dulay  replied to  Dig @9.1.2    3 weeks ago
You probably also have a much larger garden than I do. More to take care of.

No they look to be about the same size but mine is right behind the house. When we moved in the area had a 24' above ground pool with a deck around it. Out that came and in went the garden. 

My whole back acre is densely tree covered, left wild for the rabbits, mink, raccoons and deer so the tree line is only about 20' from the garden fence. Gives me late afternoon shade to work in. In fact, since I'm averse to cutting down trees, it's on of the only areas on my property that gets full sun for over 8 hours. The other is where I built my lean to greenhouse attached to 40' of the south side of the house. 

LOL. Can't blame you. Have a great time.

Well that't on hold because the MIL called and the wife went to see her Momma in Michigan. So my excuse now it to go get the lug nuts on my new tire torqued. ANYTHING not to WEED! LOL. 

 
 
 
Dig
9.1.4  author  Dig  replied to  Dulay @9.1.3    3 weeks ago
So my excuse now it to go get the lug nuts on my new tire torqued. ANYTHING not to WEED! LOL.

Haha. Well, it's September now. As far as weeds go you could probably just call it a year if you wanted to, or just limit weeding to whatever fall stuff you have going and forget about the rest.

 
 
 
Dulay
9.1.5  Dulay  replied to  Dig @9.1.4    3 weeks ago

I like the way your mind works. The weather screwed my fishing AND my weeding today, which meant that I had to cook. 

I want to do a third seeding of greens and root vegies like onions. Plenty of hay should help. 

 
 
 
charger 383
10  charger 383    3 weeks ago

My garden is a swamp again, Many tomatoes are bursting from too much water, especially the bigger varieties, but Early Girls are doing real good. 

The compost pile is very hot and breaking matter down quickly

 
 
 
Dig
10.1  author  Dig  replied to  charger 383 @10    3 weeks ago

Have you had a wet summer? I can't remember if you said. 

I've had some luck with Early Girls in the past. Great variety.

I'm really going to have to learn how to cook compost one of these days.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
10.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @10.1    3 weeks ago

Charger and I live in the same area.  We had a cold, wet spring, then a somewhat dry summer, and now we seem to be having an early, wet fall.  Late tomatoes are taking a hit from all the rain we've had lately.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
11  Mark in Wyoming     3 weeks ago

We got a freeze warning for the 30th sure enough we got it , and even had a few of those white flakes descending in the mnt passes. yes im talking snow. been an odd year garden wise so i threw in the towel and decided to get a jump on next years fertilizing , i figure a couple good pickup truck loads of BS and horse manooder and get it deep tilled in and let the winter moisture do its thing and next year the garden plot should be ok

 
 
 
Dig
11.1  author  Dig  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @11    3 weeks ago

A freeze on August 30? Oh, man. Gardening must be a challenge up there. Do a lot of folks garden in greenhouses?

I just checked a Wyoming elevation map. I didn't realize it was so high. Denver may call itself the mile high city, but it looks like you guys could call yourselves the mile high state.

 
 
 
Kavika
11.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Dig @11.1    3 weeks ago

Hi, Mark and DS, 

In parts of northern MN the average first frost is between August 21 and 31. It's not called the ''ice box of the nation'' for nothing. 

 
 
 
Dig
11.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  Kavika @11.1.1    3 weeks ago
In parts of northern MN the average first frost is between August 21 and 31.

Wow. I knew it was colder up there, but I didn't know that.

 
 
 
Kavika
11.1.3  Kavika   replied to  Dig @11.1.2    3 weeks ago

In the winter temps of -30 below zero is not unusual.

The coldest temp ever recorded in the town I grew up in was -57 below zero.

 
 
 
Dig
11.1.4  author  Dig  replied to  Kavika @11.1.3    3 weeks ago

I don't think I could handle that. Temps in the teens are painful to me.

 
 
 
Kavika
11.1.5  Kavika   replied to  Dig @11.1.4    3 weeks ago

That is why I left there when I was 17 and lived in CA. NV. TX. MO (too cold) FL. WN. Australia and Samoa.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
11.1.6  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Dig @11.1    3 weeks ago

yep greenhouses where they can , and most do their starts indoors  or have a "mud room" the catchall for the heavy winter gear so it has multiple purposes.

when i got my pullets in apr , i kept them in the mudroom, with a heat lamp , then transfered them outside , they just started laying in the last month , will have to work something out in one of the outlaying sheds for a perminent winter home, 4-5 eggs a day from the 7 pullets i got . just changed their feed due to one of them laying without a hard shell , look like oversized zorbies my grandkids play with,.mixing in some calcium and oyster shell to their feed since i dont know which is doing it .

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
11.1.7  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Mark in Wyoming @11.1.6    3 weeks ago

This year has been hit or miss for peoples gardens , they either had great ones , or they didnt , such is life i guess

 
 
 
Dig
11.1.8  author  Dig  replied to  Kavika @11.1.5    3 weeks ago

You've been around, Kav. That's amazing.

You weren't in southern MO for that 2007 ice storm, were you? It might not have been so bad if it hadn't destroyed so much of the power grid. Some towns were powerless for weeks, right in the dead of winter. Tore the hell out of the woods all around, too. That was a mess.

But still, not 30 or 57 below. Brrrr. 

 
 
 
Dig
11.1.9  author  Dig  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @11.1.6    3 weeks ago

I don't know much about chickens. I was thinking about getting some once, but never did.

Are there breeds that are adapted to longer winters like you have? Or does that even matter?

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
11.1.10  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Dig @11.1.9    3 weeks ago

Im a newbie myself , i did some research and found that the ones sold here at the co-op are pretty hardy for the area , and were suppose to start laying between 16-24 weeks old , ones i got are red comets , and they are about 3-4 # a piece right now, med to large chicken , and they lay brown eggs, just have to shelter them from the wind .

 I got them they looked like easter chicks so that tells one how fast they grew from apr 5th to now .little yellow fluff nuggets  right now i go out the door in the AM and the girls all line up talking to me , and the lone cockrel i got gives me the evil eye  like he is saying feed us you moron, he is a nasty ornery pecker. pun intended , but he is a dick.

 
 
 
Kavika
11.1.11  Kavika   replied to  Dig @11.1.8    3 weeks ago

I moved there in 2012 so I missed that ice storm. We left for Florida in 2018.

 
 
 
Dig
11.1.12  author  Dig  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @11.1.10    3 weeks ago

Fluff nuggets. LOL.

Sounds like you're enjoying them. I hope they lay for you well into the winter.

 
 
 
Dig
11.1.13  author  Dig  replied to  Kavika @11.1.11    3 weeks ago

That's right. You said 6 years. I should have remembered that.

Did you like living on Table Rock when you were there?

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
11.1.14  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Dig @11.1.12    3 weeks ago

my understanding is its dependent on the amount of sunlight  and that they produce the best when there is more sun , and do so for about 3 years , after that how much they lay decreases , so at some point , the BBQ grill becomes an option , I am starting to think of raising some meat birds , usually those are all roosters / cockrels , after my experience with the one for sure cockrel , im not that sure if i want to do that .

 i did joke i likely got 6 roosters and one hen when they were delayed laying ,  was told i had a 90% chance when they were chicks i got females and a 10% chance i would get a male. with this breed its hard to tell and i wasnt about to look up the vent as they grew to see if it was blank or had the "pearl".( thats a roosters sex organ, looks like a pearl im told).

 
 
 
Kavika
11.1.15  Kavika   replied to  Dig @11.1.13    3 weeks ago
Did you like living on Table Rock when you were there?

Yes, we did. Our house had a great view of Table Rock and I love bass fishing so I was out on the lake fishing 3/4 times a week. 

Just didn't like the weather.