May 1, 2017

Hello May!

May has arrived all fresh and green. The air is sweet from honeysuckle!

Meowy on the fence post with honeysuckle.

With all the rain we got last month, the ground has been muddy, so I still have lots of planting to do!

Buck pasture

In the pastures I've been overseeding the winter forage with warm weather seed. Above you see a mix of wheat, oats, and peas growing. I'm filling in the bare spots with brown millet and sudan grass seed. The trick is to keep the chickens out until some growth is established.

The winter wheat is heading.


Soon I'll overseed this as well, also with pasture seed for the does. That way the girls will have more summer forage as soon as the wheat is harvested.

Our field corn is up.

Sam walking through the corn seedlings.

This year I want to experiment with living mulch, so I spent Saturday sowing clover in the corn patch. Even rain compacts our soil, so I used a garden rake to lightly prepare the surface for the seeds. The corn rows are parallel to the gentle slope of the land and I made my scratches going the same way.

This will give the new seedlings something to grab on to, plus, I hope, help keep the seed from being washed down the slope by rain. That should work for a gentle rain; if it's a gully-washer all bets are off.

Last year I only planted a seed patch of field corn, but for the previous three years I experimented with cowpeas in the corn. In the end I decided that the cowpeas needed more sun, so this year I'm trying something different. The cowpeas will get a spot of their own elsewhere.

In critter news, the ducklings are getting bigger.

We started with twelve but are down to ten. One drowned in the water dish and one disappeared.

The kids are all going on three-months old and most of them will be going to new homes this month.

Conner with Beau to his left

Sky with Jessie in the background.


Goals for the month include getting the rest of the garden in and planting our first experiment in silvopasture. Next time I'll have a garden update, and I'm working on a workshop blog post as well. That's coming along slower because of Dan's work schedule, but he's making progress.

How about you? Moving in on summer or winter? What are your goals for the month?
Hello May! © May 2017 by Leigh


Mrs Shoes said...

In our area we can have frosty mornings in May still; the only thing coming up in the flower beds so far are the irises.
I keep hearing that this will be a bad year for ticks - makes me think I should get a guinea or 2, but seems everyone is thinking the same thing & birds that go for $15 most years are $50 this year.

Ed said...

We had about 300 acres planted but have since had five inches of rain with more forecasted for today. So instead of planting traditionally being half over by this point in the year, we haven't yet started since we will have to replant what little we had planted.

Rain said...

Hi Leigh :) Your critters are so sweet, I love seeing photos. :) Sorry about the ducklings though, that's sad news...
May I ask...did you plant all that corn seed by seed? You're such a hard worker...I wonder if I would have that in me? So far I'm loving my gardening efforts, but your corn field looks like tons of work!! I can see the clay in the soil in that close up photo. The colour reminds me of the soil and sand on Prince Edward Island, all red. Even the dirt roads are red. It's very pretty, but I know it's a challenge for you.

My biggest goal for May is to wait out the weather so I can start my outdoor garden!!! Typically we wait until after Victoria Day weekend (that's our holiday the weekend before your Memorial Day weekend), which is "normally" when the last frost is possible.

If I can bear the wait...I'll be okay, I just might have to make lots of pizza to keep myself comforted lol...

Also, another big project is screening in our porch. We have the supplies, so we're waiting for a nice day to do it.

AND...going fishing! As soon as the lake thaws, we're out there!!! :)

Leigh said...

Hmm, maybe the people with guineas to sell started the rumor! We had a bad tick year awhile back (lost a dog to Lyme) and the next year I got guinea fowl. We only had the for a little while, but the really did seem to take care of our ticks.

Leigh said...

That's a heartbreak, Ed. It's one thing to know the perfect time to plant, and then there's reality! I hope you get everything in in a timely manner and that the weather cooperates.

Leigh said...

Rain, pizza makes the best comfort food! Yes, the corn was planted by hand. I worked on it a little at a time for several days until it was done. In one way it is a lot of work, but in another, this is what I do instead of going to a job and then buying everything. I does have to be manageable! What that means won't be the same for everybody, but this plot is manageable for us. Now I won't have to do anything for awhile, so at least it's not ongoing work. :)

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

It is a dreary day here on May 1st and not a very good beginning for May 1st! I love the picture of the cat on the post! Have a good day! Nancy

Leigh said...

Thanks! Ours is a rainy day, but what can you do?

Debbie - Mountain Mama said...

My property is mucky also, we've had so much rain. Oh those poor sweet ducklings, that would make me so sad! I guess I'm not cut out to be a farmer, sigh.

Mama Pea said...

My goal is to get some transplants and some seeds in raised beds under cold frames. We're still quite cool. A rain/snow mix was forecast for today into tomorrow but we lucked out and have had only rain. The grass is quite green now and the trees are starting to form leaf buds. Winter may actually leave and spring/summer have a chance to arrive . . . and stay!

Your ducklings are starting to look like pre-teens! Ours are still little fuzz balls but that won't last for long!

Leigh said...

It's always so sad to lose a critter, but it's just nature's way. Death is as natural as life, unfortunately. :( But here's hoping for sunny skies ahead and good planting weather!

Leigh said...

The ducklings do grow fast!

I can't even imagine thinking it might snow on May 1st. I'm just happy if it stays below 80°!

Anonymous said...

Hello. Thank you for sharing your updates and the reason you do things the way you do. We planted cow peas this year for the first time, my daughter said she read about them in her school work and was excited to plant them. *smile* I hope to get our garden's really a multi-purpose area, cleaned up and level possibly planting more over there so when we get new chicks next spring we will be ready for them better than when we moved our current hens here. *smile* My husband is getting our yard tool shed built and our fence moved back in addition to working outside the home and teaching math in the evenings so it's taking time, but it's getting done when we get to it. *smile* Thanks for posting and sharing the cute pictures of the pets too. *smile* Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

Leigh said...

Sounds like you all are busy indeed! I hope your cowpeas do well for your daughter's sake. It seems that everything is an experiment at first, but I've learned to not give up if it doesn't seem to do well at first, just to keep trying until there is a pattern of not doing well! Eventually we figure out what does well, what doesn't, and garden accordingly. :)

C said...

Enjoy your posts and live vicariously through them. Being in a wheelchair, not a lot of gardening happening of late. Had to laugh today though, when I heard a kerfuffle outside my window, looked out and saw a local bird eyeing me, a minute or so later and it was a big fluffy squirrel followed by a grey and white cat looking exactly like Meowy and sitting on my fence post in the same manner. Thanks for the smiles!

Leigh said...

Thank you for that! I agree that the internet allows us to enjoy so many more things than we can on our own, plus expand our horizons in wonderful ways. Lots of fun to be had as well. :)

Sandy Livesay said...


You have a cat who loves to supervise I see :-)

How adorable...little ducklings.

We have strawberries planted in containers, no other vegetables or fruit. Right now we're working on things around our new home dealing with water drainage. We've place rain gutters in, and next will be working on placing a french drain to route rain water to the pond.

Leigh said...

Sandy, one good thing about all your rain is that it points out areas of drainage problems! Dan would give you a hats off for making that a priority.

Farmer Barb said...

I am just getting broccoli heads forming. I have two ram lambs waiting to come here. Both are Finnsheep because I like the wool quality. Both boys are curly to compliment my curly ewe. I have built a more sturdy cage for my fruit bushes. Same pipes and fittings, just more of them. I am finally in "live it" mode instead of "build it" mode. I weed peacefully as the herd grazes. The dog is now a part of the herd, so he gets to be outside, too. We are having a deluge today. I will over seed the pasture tomorrow. It seems pretty peaceful. I am also getting my wires removed from my sternum, so I couldn't ask for more! All healed!!!!

Leigh said...

Barb, it's so good to hear about you being back to normal! I'm guessing you're getting a lot done now.