The City Chicks

The life and times of a couple of urban farmgirls!

Didn’t anybody… May 13, 2010

Filed under: The Urban Homestead,Through the Garden Gate — Flour Girls & City Chicks @ 7:15 pm

Didn’t anybody tell Mother Nature that it was Springtime?  Here at the U.H. we are all starting to get a wee bit restless.  It seems as though the sun has not let her precious light shine in at least a week.  Yes, it has given me a reason to clean up the sewing room.  However, it feels too clean now and I can’t decide what to make next! 

 But then today, about an hour ago, the light peeked through the clouds.  So I simply couldn’t resist grabbing the camera and going for a little stroll through the homestead.  Lord, has that rain been doing wonders for the new strawberry patch…not to mention the weeds loved getting there feet wet too.  As much as I have disliked the weather it appears that Mother Nature was just doing her job.   Things are blooming and growing like crazy. 

May Showers have brought Strawberry Flowers!

 

This is the bush that is technically the neighbors but it is right along our driveway.

 

Well I’ve gotta go get back outside now.  Those weeds are going take over if I don’t go and start getting at them now.

Hugs~ The City Chicks

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How to make Paper Pots April 6, 2010

Filed under: The Urban Homestead,Through the Garden Gate — Flour Girls & City Chicks @ 2:09 pm
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Ok so I promised that I would give you all a bit of instruction on making your own paper pots for all your seedling needs.  It really is very easy and once you get all your supplies in order it goes pretty quickly.  Unless of course if you are making thousands of them!

Here is a list of what you need: 

  1. Recycled newspapers (I recommend the ones that are printed with a soy based ink!)  You could also use old phone book pages. 
  2. Potting soil (I used the organic Jiffy mix)
  3. Old Measuring cup
  4. Scissors
  5. Tape
  6. Either a jar, glass or some other hard round item that is about the size around that you would like your pot to be.
  7. Popsicle sticks to label what you have planted.
  8. Sharpie marker
  9. Old Funnel, optional

I also like to have a bowl of water and a measuring cup on hand to water the seedlings once they have been potted.

 Once you have all your items ready to go you will need to cut your newspapers in half and stack them neatly in a pile.

Then fold one sheet of newspaper in half the long way.

Wrap the newspaper around your jar or glass with the folded edge where the top of your pot will be.  Hint… in this picture the lid end is the top edge.  Once the paper is wrapped around I secure it with a small piece of tape.  

Then after you have wrapped the paper around the jar you will need to slide it up a bit so that you have enough paper to fold over the base of the jar to make the bottom of your pot.  The rule of thumb that I used was if you can fold the paper over and it goes just past the center of the jars base you have enough. 

Then start folding in the paper to create your pot bottom.  Once you have folded all the paper in secure it with another small piece of tape.

Now you can slide your wonderful new, inexpensive organic paper pot off the jar and start making as many as you need.

Once you have enough you can place them in a flat container.  I just reuse the lid and base to my seed starting greenhouse.  Although those are flimsy when they get heavy so I recommend that you put those into another more durable container.  I like to set them in the boxes that hold fruit and vegetables at Costco.  Yes, you know the free ones that ones that you bring your groceries home in!  I reuse those all of the time.  They have a great many uses for my gardening chores.

Now you are all ready to get busy planting!  If you need help on that let me know.  I would be more than happy lend you a hand.  Plus, don’t forget to label your plants…I know almost all those seedlings look the same to me when they are starting out.   

Happy Planting~ The City Chicks

 

Sprouting news… April 1, 2010

Filed under: The Urban Homestead,Through the Garden Gate — Flour Girls & City Chicks @ 3:11 pm
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Things have literally been sprouting around here at the homestead.  

In March I decide to try my hand at starting seeds again.  Last year was disaster on that front and not a single one grew.   Really not much grew for me last year at all.  Only the beans and zuchinni.  Any how this year  I have had every seed I planted sprout.  Now you may be thinking that I got new seed for this…well you be wrong in assuming that.  I used the same seeds that I had used last year.  I think the key this year was that I used one of those little Jiffy greenhouses this year.  I carefully filled each pot with some organic seed starter mix, filled the tray with water and placed my little seeds on top of the dirt.  Once I made certain that the water had soaked into the pots and potting mix I put the lid on it and set it down in my warm furnace room to do its thing.  Well after just a few days they were sprouting!  So I moved them up to the window to start getting some sunlight.   Then out to the cold frame for a day before I could put them in their own little pots. 

Yesterday, March 31st, I spent nearly the whole day getting my little leggy seedlings transplanted into their larger paper pots.  Sure I could have just gone out and purchased some peat pots but my friend Beth (The Seed Queen) recommended that I just make my own from old newspaper.  So I went online to find the how-to directions.  It was easy. Although I did change the directions around a bit to suit me.  I will post the directions on that in another post though!

The point of this rambling though is to let you all know it is not to late to start  your own garden or for that matter even to start some of your own seeds.  It doesn’t have to take a lot of space and as an urban farmgirl I should know.  Even apartment dwellers can grow in patio pots.  

Hugs~ The City Chicks 

    

 

Busy, busy, busy May 13, 2009

Filed under: The Urban Homestead,Through the Garden Gate — Flour Girls & City Chicks @ 6:44 pm

It has been a busy week here at the City Chick’s homestead. It all started with mulching the front flower beds with straw and replanting a couple things. Then we decided to take a little breather from the chicken coop this weekend to focus on the fence that the city is requiring us to put in. Yes, even though we are going to be putting up an actual chicken run we still need to fence in the remaining part of our backyard. Just in case they make a run for it. However, with this mansion I hope that will never even cross their precious little minds. There wasn’t much of an area to fence but for those of you that know me you are aware that if I make one trip to Lowe’s or the Depot that I end up having to make at least one more (sometimes two) for the stuff I had forgotten. Since we are not builders here at the homestead this happens quite often. Which makes me happy that I live only 10 miles or so from Lowe’s. So the fence is all completed now with the exception of the chicken wire that I have to put around the bottom edge.
I am thrilled with how well it looks so i must thank the city guy. Even though the backyard still needs some work I look out upon it and see the real potential. The potential to have little to no grass that is. Of course that means getting those gardens tended and turned this week. Arg! Gardens. I do love to garden and harvest the fruits of our labor but this year I am attempting to start seeds, plant only heirlooms and needless to say it is not going so well. So far none of them have sprouted. What gives? I planted them all according to the directions and in nice organic seed starter soil. At this rate I guess I will just try to start those darn tomatoes directly into the soil and hope for the best. Next year maybe I will have better luck. After all I did just snag two old windows from someones garbage this weekend to make a cold frame. Until next time…Bloom where you Grow.
 

Stawberry Babies August 2, 2008

Filed under: Through the Garden Gate — Flour Girls & City Chicks @ 8:36 pm

I was blessed to receive in the mail this week a package of little baby strawberry plants from a sister Farmgirl in Idaho. Lisa Marie had gone to all of the trouble to ever so carefully wrap up the little bundles of crowns in wet paper towels and plastic wrap. All in the hopes that they would survive their 3 day journey. Well when they arrived one bundle looked as though it had just been picked and the rest were a little worn from the journey; but after soaking them overnight in a bit of fresh water the crown looked great. I am afraid the weather is way too hot right now for them to be outside. So I “planted” them in an old enamelware roaster filled with organic compost and that is where they will spend the next several weeks indoors where they can be monitored and cared for on top of the fireplace mantle . I have never grown strawberries before but I have high hopes for these little babies. I can’t hardly wait till I can harvest fresh berries for jam! Thanks again Lisa Marie.

Hugs~Christina
 

Caterpillars in the gardens… August 1, 2008

Filed under: Through the Garden Gate — Flour Girls & City Chicks @ 5:27 pm

While I was out watering in the garden yesterday I happened upon this huge green caterpillar on my tomato plant. Not knowing what was stuck/suctioned all over it I broke off the branch it was located it on and moved it to another area. After doing a bit of research I found out something interesting. The little white things suctioned to my green caterpillar are actually wasps!! Here is a link to see what I found out. http://goodbugpage.com/wonderful_wasps1.htm.
The other little caterpillars in my southside flower bed have been hard at work eating the plants that were specially planted for them. These plants were given to me so I am not quite sure what they are; but I was guarenteed that they would bring me some butterflies.
Hugs~ Christina