Thursday, April 14, 2011

Getting Down and Dirty!

I left the hens out around the garden this evening and three of them made for the flower bed as usual. I saw what they were up to and went to get the camera.
They were rolling around in the dirt!
They burrowed down in to the soft compost and then rolled over! The one in front stood up with that 'who me' look in her eye when caught rolling around.
Is this something hens do?
The hens were not the only ones getting into the compost!
I checked the mange tout which I had put into damp compost in the freezer bags. All of the seeds had sprouted in 5 days.You can just see the 'tail' on each sprouted seed.This part is put down into the compost as the green shoot grows up from the opposite end, they actually look a little like tadpoles!I emptied the bag carefully in case I damaged the tender root and set each one into a deep seed tray to grow on.
i have 24 Mange Tout which is enough if they all grow on.


I bought these peas in Dunnes, a national Supermarket chain.They are Bees brand ,one I have not seen before.
2.95E for 250 seeds.
They are Early Onward, they only grow to 24" high so should be easy to manage.
I went with the moist compost in the freezer bags again, this time 2 bags with 12 seeds in each. If they germinate in 5 days I will be doing well!
Planting them directly into the ground takes longer and there is always the danger of pests and predators who like the taste of nice new seeds.

2 bedroom windowsills are now in service, as of today the following are in the propagating process:
Window 1:
Topepo Sweet Peppers, Rosso & Giallo repotted in to 3" pots.
Matron's seeds: Lazy Housewife, Dogbeans & Crimson Flowered Broad beans all germinated.
Yellow french Beans,
Sweetcorn x 2 trays
Tigerella, Moneymaker & Marmande tomatoes.

Window 2:
Peas,Early Onward in freezer bags.
Courgettes x5 in 3" pots
Mange Tout x 24 in trays
Musselburgh Leeks in seed tray.
From now on as seedlings come through and the need to move them on once germinated and also harden off is going to entail some juggling of space on the windowsills and in the greenhouse!

11 comments:

Willow said...

What a clever idea to put seeds in freezer bags. I have never seen hens roll in the dirt either, but it would have been fun to watch them.

Kellee said...

Hi Peggy, Hens like to have dust baths usually in dry soil though, looks like the seedlings are all coming along nicely.

Theanne and Baron said...

Hi Peggy...yes hens like to roll in the dirt...they also will fluff the dirt into their feathers...I believe it's a way to clean themselves! Wow! Have you got the seeds going now. I like the idea of the seeds in the freezer bags too! I have a hard to germinate seed and will try this to see how it'll work.

Why I garden... said...

How interesting about your hens... some days I feel like i've been rolling around in the dirt all day at the state of my clothing after a day out in the garden! How interesting about the Mange Tout, never really seen anyone put them in the freezer to grow (only after harvesting lol). Great to learn from others!

PeggyR said...

Very interesting about your hens!

Peggy said...

Thanks for the comments and hen update!
Seeds are put into freezer bags NOT and I repeat NOT the freezer!!

Matron said...

I found chickens to be little vandals when they are left alone in the garden! Watch them carefully they will dig up anything precious!

Ann said...

You'll have to make your hens a dust bath Peggy, love seeing birds doing this and splashing about in my bird bath.

Why I garden... said...

Oops, sorry about that, suppose I was speed reading... and for some reason thinking you starting them off in the freezer. Kinda funny now I think about it! Thanks for the correction.

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

Hi Peggy! Cute chooks! Mine do the same...roll around in the earth to clean themselves. Your garden is looking lively!

xl pharmacy said...

It is impressive how they can make things right with the dirt.those animal are pretty much organized to do a lot of things.