A Chilly Day

It’s been a chilly day here today.  A perfect day to organize seeds and do an inventory.  Of course, that means I get to do a little seed shopping too (happy dance).  I mean, it will soon be time to start summer vegetables.  We are to have the first freeze of the year tonight.  I know, can you believe it is nearly the middle of January and this is our first.  Crazy weather.  It will not be, what I would call, a hard freeze but a freeze none the less.  I think my pepper and eggplants that have been holding over from last summer will not make it, but I did put a couple of my hot pepper plants in pots that I moved into the garage to keep from freezing.  Also, I am curious to see how my peas do.  This is the first year I planted them in the fall, so I’ll have to let you know how it goes.

Organizing all my seeds and doing an inventory.

Seed inventory.

I have also been making a seed inventory.  I have to admit I spent a little too much time shopping, or better said, making my wish list, and have just started my inventory.  Here is a picture of what it looks like.

seed inventory

Seed Inventory.

I made one of these spreadsheets years ago, but that was lost when I got rid of my old computer.  This time around I decided I only needed to know the variety of seed, year it was purchased or saved, and days to maturity.  Hopefully, this time I can do a better job of keeping it up to date.

I am still trying to decide exactly what veggies I want to plant this upcoming season.  When looking through the seed catalogs and different websites there are so many different varieties it makes the decision nearly impossible.  I have learned from experience that there are some things we really like and grow well, while there are others, not so much.  For example beets, I have never liked beets but last year I decided to try growing them anyway.  I figured that if I grew them I would like them.  I mean, homegrown veggies are always better right?  Unfortunately, I still didn’t like them.  I tried cooking them several different ways and still they were a no go.  So I gave the rest to my friend and now I know not to bother taking up garden space with beets.

This year I have more than doubled the amount of growing space from last year so I am hoping to add more varieties.  What to get, what to get.  Are there any veggies that grow really well for you or maybe an obscure veggie that you really like that you would recommend I try?  If so please let me know.

Gardening Lessons from 2015

As the new year begins I can’t help but sit and think about the gardening lessons I’ve learned from 2015.  Gardening is a lot of trial and error and no one wants to continue repeating the errors.  Overall 2015 was a good gardening year for me, but hopefully 2016 will be even better.

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned and things I hope to do in 2016:

  1. Be more flexible growing things out of season.  Peas are normally planted late winter here for zone 8B but this year I planted them in the fall, and I sure am glad.  I have gotten lots of peas thanks to the abnormally warm winter and with no hard freeze in the forecast I hope to get even more.  A friend of mine planted green beans, now that is brave, not sure that move will pay off.  But she got the seeds on sale and was willing to take the gamble.  Maybe I won’t go that far, but I definitely want to push the boundaries as far as planting times go.  The weather has gotten crazy and I think a lot of the old ideas of what to plant when are changing.
  2. Start more seeds in seed trays rather then in the garden.  This is the first year I have started my fall veggies in seed trays rather then in the garden and I have had much better results.  You can control temperature and moisture in seed trays, whereas mother nature may or may not cooperate out in the garden.  Of course, some veggies do not do well being transplanted so that needs to be taken into consideration.
  3. Allow seedlings to get bigger before setting them out into the garden.  In the past, I have planted my seedlings directly from my starter trays into the garden.  But another friend of mine takes his seedlings and up pots them into SOLO cups, then transplants them out into the garden.  This takes space but I think that having larger starting plants will result in higher success rates.
  4. Strive to never have open garden space.  I am on a mission to grow all my own produce and the way to do this is to continually be growing things.  Succession planting is the key to this.  I hope to get better at this.
  5. Keep a gardening journal.  I have been very negligent in this respect but I hope to do better this year.  As I mentioned earlier, I want to improve my succession planting and keeping a journal will help this a lot.

Gardening is a challenge and sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the trouble.  Like when I had to replant my back garden three times because the rabbits kept eating it.  But then I bring in the harvest and it makes all that hard work worth it.

First Harvest of 2016

First Harvest of 2016

Not only is the harvest rewarding but equally as important to me is that I know my veggies are grown organically and are non GMO.


I’d love to hear if there are any lessons you’ve learned, or things you tried that worked for you.


Here’s to hoping that gardening in 2016 will be even better then 2015.  Happy New Year!

A Tale of Survival and Loss

As a owner of chickens and ducks I have come to understand that sometimes things happen that are completely out of my control.  No matter how hard I try to protect and care for my feathered friends, sometimes weird things happen.  On November 2 one of those weird things happened.  I went out to let the chickens and ducks out around 6:30 AM, which is my normal routine.  Upon reaching the chicken run, where the two boy ducks slept at night, I saw that Duncan was laying on his back and his best friend Grant was standing right next to him.  I quickly picked Duncan up to see what was wrong with him.  I realized he had a broken wing and wasn’t sure what else was wrong.  I quickly went inside the house and called my partner to come help.  The previous night it had been raining and storming so Duncan was wet and dirty.  We tried to clean him up but he walked away from us over to his pool and got in.  We knew we had to stabalize his wing so we got him out of the pool and wrapped his wing.

poor duncan

Duncan with his wing wrapped.


In all of the craziness of trying to attend to Duncan I hadn’t realized that one of my chickens looked as if she had been in a boxing match.

BB beat up

Poor BB really looked rough.

I get very queasy at the sight of blood so it was tough getting BB cleaned up.  I set up a hospital area in my back room and that is where she went.  While we were inside getting BB settled in, Duncan had laid down with his head on the ground.  I ran out to check on him and got there moments before he drew his final breath.  I was very upset, he was my favorite duck.


RIP Mr. Duncan

To this day I do not know what happened that night. The boy ducks slept in the chicken run ever since the bear attack the previous year.  After that attack I had made them go into thier own coop for a few nights but they were terrified.  I felt sorry for them, relented and let them stay in the chicken run at night.  I have an electric fence all around the chicken and duck area and we have not had any bear problems since the fence has been installed, so I felt confident they were safe.  My best guess as to what happened that night is that something spooked the boys.  I do not think it was a predator or they would have been eaten, or at least been beat up.  Out in the chicken run there is a doorway leading from one section of the run to the other and I think when the boys got spooked they tried to get from one section to the other.  Duncan somehow hit and broke his wing on the doorway.  The chickens in the coop hearing all the upheaval must have started flapping around and BB decided it was best to get out of the coop and go into the run. When she went out into the run she must have gotten hit by one of the boys and was thrown into the side of the coop, crushing her beak.  Who knows if that’s actually what happened but it’s the best guess I have.

I had BB in the house but she couldn’t eat or drink on her own.  I mixed up electrolytes and ground up baby chicken food and fed her threw a syringe for almost three weeks.  I was certain that she wasn’t going to make it, she couldn’t breathe through her nostrils and eyes were swollen shut.  I hoped that once the swelling went down she would be able to see and once the scabs fell off she would be able to breathe through her nostrils and then she could learn to eat with a broken beak.  I know it seemed like a huge hill for the poor baby to climb but I was going to do whatever I could to help her.  After about a week and a half I began taking BB out to be with the other chickens for short periods of time before and after work, and was continuing to give her electrolytes and food with the syringe.  I had to keep a close eye on her when she was out with the others, as she looked funny to them, and they would peck and chase her.  But then I saw her fight back when one of the others pecked at her and I knew she had a fighter spirit,  if she could only learn to eat on her own.  After a few days of in and out,  I made a pen in the chicken area so she could be around the other chickens, chickens get depressed by themselves.  I was still taking her in at night, feeding and giving her electrolytes.  One day I let her out to move around with everyone else and she was fine, none of the other chickens bothered her, but she still came in at night and I still fed and gave her electrolytes.  About three weeks from her injury I got home late one day and she had made her way into the coop with everyone else.  I decided the rest was up to her.  She was either going to learn to eat on her own or she would not.  A few days later I saw her scooping food into her bottom beak and moving her neck to help throw it down her throat.  The poor girl was so hungry she ate and ate, her crop was the size of a softball and so it was for the next few days.  She had missed a lot of meals and was making up for it.  It was a very long three weeks for BB but she is a survivor.

A picture of BB almost 7 weeks after her injury. I am not sure she will ever be the same but she is a survivor.

A picture of BB almost 7 weeks after her injury. I am not sure she will ever be the same but she is a survivor.

I have made some changes to ensure that never happens again.  The 5 girl ducks are big, and they go into the duck coop.  They were not here last year and so are not afraid of it.  I let Grant decide whether he wanted to be with the girls or the chickens, and big surprise he chose the girl ducks.  So the ducks are closed up safe and sound each night and now the chicks also get the door of their coop closed each night too.  I think this was a freak accident, but I never want to go through that again.  I feel so sad for my poor Mr. Duncan.

The girls are getting big.

The girls are getting big.


Back in October when the weather was finally cooling off after the long hot summer, I decided it was time to mulch the paths of my, by now, not so new garden.  I went to a tree removal company, that is only a few miles from my house, and asked if they could deliver a truck load of mulch to me.  They said they could and it would be about $100, but I could take as much as I wanted for free.  I was hoping to not have to load the mulch myself but I didn’t want to pay $100 to have some delivered.  You guessed it, I decided to get it myself.  Honestly, I figured I could use the exercise, so off I went to get my first load.  Much to my surprise there was an elderly gentleman by the mulch piles with a front end loader.  I went over and asked if he could load me up and he said he was happy to.  I felt like I had hit the mulch jackpot!  Since I had access to this free mulch and temporarily had someone to load it for me, I wondered if I shouldn’t, mulch not only my garden paths, but also all my flower beds.  I normally use pine straw as mulch in my flower beds because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to spread.

Huge piles of mulch for the taking.

Huge piles of free mulch.

In previous years, as part of my volunteer hours for being a Master Gardener, I have helped spread wood chip mulch in a few of the different gardens the Master Gardeners take care of.  Each year in the fall they “put the gardens to bed” by spreading a nice thick layer of wood chips in all the beds.  Of course, Master Gardeners have been doing this for years, but the soil in these beds is absolutely amazing.  To have soil that is anything but sand here in Florida is quite an accomplishment.  I realize that I have only had my flower beds in for a few years, but the pine straw does not seem to be decomposing and leaving that nice rich soil like the wood chips do.  Whether or not my observation of wood chips decomposing to leave nicer soil than pine straw is accurate I don’t know.  But since I had this jackpot of mulch I decided that I would not only mulch my vegetable garden paths, but  “put my garden, aka. flower beds, to bed” using the wood chips.

Unloading mulch one wheelbarrow load at a time.

Unloading mulch one wheelbarrow load at a time.

To date I have used 10 truck loads of mulch and unfortunately am not done.  Thankfully I had help loading the first few truckloads.

I am going to leave you with one of my favorite pictures of Sunny and one of her pals, she doesn’t have a name yet.  They are Indian Runner Ducks and are about 9 weeks old in this picture from a few weeks ago.

Sunny and her pal

Sunny and her pal

Adding More Garden Space

Back in the spring of 2015 I decided I needed more garden space.  In the later part of 2014 I realized I had a severe nematode problem in my west garden.  I had a number of choices of how to deal with the west garden.  The first was to remove all the soil from the raised garden boxes and fill them with new dirt. The second choice was to solorize the garden boxes, this is done by covering the soil with plastic and the heat of the sun bakes the soil and kills the nematodes.  With this option the garden would have to remain covered, and thus useless for at least one season.  The third choice was to remove my boxes and give the area to the chickens.  I opted to give the area to the chickens.  Because of this, I was back to only having my east garden and  needed more growing space.  The decision became, where to put more raised beds.  I decided on the front yard.    There is a skinny part in my front yard that was just perfect for this.

A friend of mine told me there was a saw mill about 30 minutes from my house that sold slabs of wood for just a dollar a piece.  Slabs are the side pieces that come off  logs.  They are flat on one side and have bark on the other. The sawmill had cedar and white juniper slabs.  These slabs are perfect for making garden boxes.

A load of cedar and white juniper from the sawmill.

I used a chop saw to cut slabs into uniform lengths.

Six more garden boxes were installed.

All boxes were lined with weed fabric before soil was put in them. I did this not only to keep grass from growing into boxes, but if there are nematodes in this part of the yard it will help keep them from getting in the garden soil.

After building the boxes, I filled them with compost and mixed some peat moss in.  Since they are in my front yard I try to take extra care to ensure they not only are productive but are also aesthetically pleasing.  The other day when working in the front yard one of my neighbors stopped to tell me how much she loved seeing my garden and how it reminded her of her grandmother.  That made my day.

Here is a picture of what the front garden looks like now.

I will be taking some time off from work between Christmas and New Years and hope to add more raised beds to this garden space.

More Ducks

I know I had sworn myself off any more ducks, but well, I just couldn’t help myself.  I saw pictures of Indian Runner Ducks and I just had to have some.  The problem was no one around me sells them, so I was going to have to mail order them.  When mail ordering ducks there is always a minimum order.  I wanted ducks but I sure didn’t want 10 of them.  Thankfully my friend said she would go in with me on an order.  Once she said that, it was on.  I ordered from Metzer Farms.  I decided on 3 fawn and white runner ducks and 2 cayugas, all girls.  They hatched on October 5th and arrived bright and early on October 7th via the post office.  Metzer farms gives you the option to pay $.50 extra per bird for some grow gel, food in gel form.  Since the babies were traveling from California to Florida I thought that was a good idea.  They ate all the grow gel and were very hungry and thirsty when they arrived.  One extra ducky came in the order.  Unfortunately one of the ones my friend got was blind and sadly didn’t make it.  Metzer Farms sent out 2 more duckies to replace the one that didn’t survive, so I would recommend them.

Baby ducks arrived safe and sounds via post office.

I have never had any baby chicken or ducks in the fall, but here in florida I would say I love it.  The day temperatures are not too hot and night temperatures are still very mild.   Last time I had baby ducks in the early spring, they stayed inside for the first few weeks, and let me tell you, ducks are messy!!  So this time around there was no way I was going to keep them inside.  I got these fabulous brooder/hutches from my friend’s mom who used to rescue rabbits.  Sadly her health has declined and she is no longer able to care for so many rabbits, so she needed to get rid of the hutches and I needed brooders.

These are the baby brooders. Yes I also have baby chics. The ducks are in their grow out pen but come back to the brooder at night.

Here are some pictures of the duckies.

Baby ducks are soooo cute!

Baby ducks swimming.

They never run out of things to talk about.

Baby ducks in their grow out pen.

They are finally starting to show their colors, at three and a half weeks of age.

Here are the things I had learned the last time I had baby ducks:

-Make sure their water dish isn’t too deep. They can drown.

-They must have enough water to cover their bills when they drink. They need to flush the vents on their bills.

-They must have water when eating in order to help wash down the food.

-They need a place to go to warm up after they are done playing in the water.

-Feed the growing babies a feed that has 20% protein, which is a higher percentage then the baby chick’s food.

All those things are still true but I would like to add:

– Make sure you do not feed them medicated baby chicken food, it will stunt their growth and possibly kill them.  The reason for this is they eat a lot more then baby chickens and will overdose on the medication.

– I realized they did not need as much heat via a lamp as I originally thought.  This may be because the ambient temps have been so mild.  I was surprised how young they were when they chose to sleep away from the light.

– Make sure their area is large enough for them to get way from the heat if they choose.  They will move closer and further away as needed.

I am so glad I decided to go ahead and get more ducks.  They just make me happy!

Cleaning and Disinfecting Pots Is It Really Necessary?

Cleaning and disinfecting pots for reuse is one of those jobs we tend to want to skip.  As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until last year when I was volunteering for the master gardeners plant sale fundraiser, that I realized how vital of a step this is.  The reason cleaning and disinfecting is so important is because used pots can harbor disease organisms, which can reinfect the newly planted plants.  If you are reusing pots for seedlings this is a step you don’t want to skip, especially, if your seedlings are going in a greenhouse, or other enclosed space, where diseases can spread.

Cleaning and disinfecting plastic pots:

1.  Knock any dirt and trash out of pots.

2.  Clean pots in a bin filled with water using a sponge or brush to remove any debris stuck in the pots.  This is done because if debris is left in the pots, diseases can hide under it and not be killed in the disinfecting process.

3.  Submerge pots in a 10 percent, one part bleach to nine parts water, bleach solution for 10 minutes.

4.  Rinse pots with clean water after they come out of the bleach solution.

5.  Air dry.

Cleaning and disinfecting Terra Cotta pots:

1.  Knock any dirt and trash out of pots.

2.  Clean pots in a bin filled with water using a steel wool or a wire brush to remove any debris stuck in the pots.  If there are tough mineral deposits use a knife to scrape them off.

3.  Submerge pots in a 10 percent, one part bleach to nine parts water, bleach solution for 20 minutes.

4.  Rinse pots with clean water after they come out of the bleach solution.

5.  Air dry.

Clean pots of all debris.

Disinfect pots by soaking in bleach solution.

Use a 10% bleach solution to soak pots. 1 part bleach 9 parts water.

After rinsing the bleach solution from pots allow them to air dry.

I still have more pots to clean and disinfect so I must get to work.  I want to have them all ready for when I up pot my veggies.

Happy Planting!

Seed Starting Guide

I know it’s early but I’m getting excited about my summer garden.  I searched for a seed starting guide of zone 8 but didn’t find one.  So, I made my own, which I am happy to share with you here, or you may notice I added a new page to my blog.  For those of you who don’t live in zone 8 and are needing this info, organic gardening has a seed starting plan that I found very helpful.  The first step in designing your own seed starting guide is to pick a frost free date.  When doing this I went to the National Climate Data Center , this site allows you to pick your state and city.  If you are in a small town like me, pick the nearest city with weather closest to yours.  Once you’ve selected this, the site gives you the data.  For me, at first glance this was a bit confusing.  It gives you three temperatures 36, 32, and 28 and dates that correspond to each with either a 10, 50, or 90 percent chance of frost beyond/before these dates.  For the seed starting guide I made, I choose the date that had only a 10 percent chance of frost later then this date.  My house seems to have a micro climate that is colder then the surrounding areas, and I would rather be safe then sorry.  All that being said, as gardeners, we know that there is no guarantee mother nature will do as we wish.  Just pay attention to the weather and if it predicts temperatures below 40 degrees in the week following  your plant out date, hold off on planting or be prepared to cover your veggies.

The other day I did an inventory of my old seeds.  A few of my seeds are about 3 or 4 years old, but I can’t bring myself to throw seeds out.  I figured I would give them a try, and if they don’t germinate, well, I wasted some seed starting mix and a little time.  But, for me it’s worth the risk.

This is the newest member of the family, Misha, helping with the seed inventory.

I also ordered some new variety of vegetable seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  These haven’t come in, but I can’t wait for them to get here.

I started planting my seeds and well, you know who, decided she needed to help.  But really, with a face like that, of course, she got to help.

It’s always nice to have a little extra help.

But by the end she was exhausted and needed a nap.

My helper, Misha, was exhausted from all the planting and needed a nap.

I hope for those of you living in zone 8 my seed starting guide helps.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Happy Planting!!!

2014 At A Glance

I can’t believe I have been away sooo long.   2014 brought so many different things.  Winter brought an ice storm, spring brought flooding rains, summer brought severe heat, and well fall, I’ll get to that in a bit.  For me personally, it was a crazy year.   For the garden, it started off good, but then I got busy and the garden hit some pitfalls.  The chickens and ducks also had their ups and downs.

Spring of 2014 brought 20″ of rain in two days.

Above is a picture of my back yard after the flooding rains.  The ducks only had to exit their coop to be able to take a swim.  At that time, I only had potatoes planted in the garden and thanks to our sandy soil the water drained away in a matter days and I ended up with a bumper crop of potatoes.

2014 brought some new baby chicks.   Where I live roosters are “allowed”, but I don’t want to upset my neighbors so I always buy pullets to ensure I don’t get roosters.  I bought two batches of babies last year, with the first coming from my local feed store and my second batch from TS.  As luck would have it, I got one rooster in each batch.  I have to say the roosters were beautiful, but they had to be re-homed.  Thankfully, a kind couple who live in the country took them in and they have lots of room to roam and many animal friends.

The first batch of chicks taking a nap.

The roosters were beautiful.

My veggies in the west garden did not do well this past year.  I finally figured out I had nematodes.   Here is a picture and information about nematodes.  I talked to our local extension office and they could give me no real way to get rid of nematodes.  They said I could solarize the soil but there was no guarantee that would work.  Solarizing the soil is basically baking the soil.  Black plastic is placed over the soil and the heat from the sun kills the insects.  I had to make a decision to completely remove all the soil from the beds, figure out a way to raise them, and keep the native soil and nematodes out of the beds, or just remove the west garden.  For now, I have done away with the west garden.  My hope is to plant some fruit trees in this area.  Bu first I must find fruit trees with a root stock that is nematode resistant.  Until I do that, the ducks and chickens are enjoying the extra space and fertilizing the area for me.

Overall, I would say the most trying time of year was fall.  I live in the panhandle of Florida and over the past few years that I have had chickens I have had my trouble with the black bears.  This fall brought with it a bear who was unlike any other bear that had come my way.  On November 2nd, I awoke to the bear having broken into my chicken coop and him sitting by my coop still feeding on some of my girls.  I lost 7 of my chicks to the bear that night.  I was beyond upset and contacted the Florida Wildlife Commission. This was not my first time talking with them.  They agreed to send one of their contractors out and have him put up an electric fence around my chicken coop.  My ducks have their own coop on the opposite side of the yard from the chickens, and the contractor assured me that bears do not like ducks, as they are noisy, and they should be safe.  Well, a couple of nights later the bear was back and after much work was able to break in my duck coop and killed both my girl ducks leaving the two boys.  I moved my boy ducks in with the chickens, which in hind sight is what I should have done to begin with,  so they could be protected by the electric fence.  After losing my ducks I once again contacted the FWC and they told me they thought this bear was the same bear causing trouble at other houses in my area.   They sent out a biologist and contractor and they set up the bear trap.  On the second night the bear was trapped and the biologist and contractor took him away.  It took me many week ends, but I put an electric fence around the entire area where the chicken and ducks are allowed to roam.   Now they are safe.  It broke my heart to see the boys so depressed looking for their girls.  They have adjusted to the girls being gone, but even now, months later, do not like to go into their own coop.  They want to be with the chickens.


Chicken coop after the bear broke in.

Damage done by bear to the duck coop.

Bear trap.

The bear was trapped. The biologist and contractor came to take him away.

My entire chicken area is now protected by an electric fence.

I am looking forward to 2015 and all of the ups and downs it is sure to bring.


Winterizing The Garden

I’m sure that most everyone has already winterized their garden, but for us here in zone 8b temps have been very mild this year.  The forecast has it dipping into the upper 30’s this week and although I have my doubts that it will actually get that cold, I figured it’s better safe then sorry.  I’ve had a very busy weekend getting the garden ready for winter, but am glad to say I am finished. This year I decided to build  low tunnels for most of my garden beds after the huge success I had with the one bed I covered last year.  I got the idea for low tunnels from Mother of a Hubbard.  Although I built mine a little differently, the principle is the same. Since all my beds are raised beds made out of wood I decided to attach the PVC pipe to the beds using metal brackets.  I found the brackets at my local box store in the electrical section.

Drill, screws, 1/2″ brackets

Attach the PVC pipe to the side of the bed using metal brackets.

Once the first side is attached just bend the pipe over and attach the other side.  It took less then an hour to attach the pipes here in the East Garden.

This is what the beds after the PVC pipes were attached.

Once the PVC pipes are secured it’s time to put the plastic on.  Since temps here in Florida don’t get too cold, and it never snows, I went with a 4 mil plastic.  The rolls I got were 12′ by 100′.  The plastic went over the beds perfectly with about a foot on either side.  I secured one side by laying some 2×4’s and whatever else I could find on the plastic to weigh it down.  I used clips to roll up the other side to insure the hot air could escapes and the veggies didn’t overheat.  Putting the side up and down only takes a few minutes.  When the side goes down I’ll just weigh that side down too.

Here is what the East Garden looked like once the plastic was put on.

Not only did I have to get my beds covered but I have a few papaya plants, which are tender tropicals, that  I want to keep from freezing.   The easiest and cheapest way was to build a frame out of PVC and cover it with plastic.  I used 1″ PVC, only because it’s what I had, I don’t think I would use thinner pipe but thicker stuff would be fine.  I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the frame before I put the plastic on, but I didn’t.  The plastic was quite a job to get on so once on I didn’t want to take it back off to take pictures.  🙁   I used the same plastic as I did for the tunnels, with one layer going from back to front and a second from side to side using clips to secure it in place.  If heavy wind is predicted I will tie a rope around the top and bottom, thankfully it’s not hurricane season.  Here are some pictures, and I hope you get the idea.

The structure is 9 feet tall with a center pole about 13′ tall to try to keep the water from pooling on the top.  The upright pipes were driven at least one foot into the ground to give it some stability.

A look at the top corner or the stucture.

A picture from further away with plastic clipped open.

Here’s what it looks like all closed up.

The other thing going on in the garden is there has been a rabbit eating my asparagus.  It has taken over a week but it has eaten the entire bed down.  I think it will continue returning to eat any new shoots that come up so I put some chicken wire around the bed.  Not sure if that will work but I had to try something.  I secured the bottom of the chicken wire to the bed with staples so it will not be able to squeeze under.  I don’t think they can climb so I am hopeful this will work.   Not sure how I will get in the bed if needed but I’ll figure that out when that day comes.

Chicken wire around the asparagus bed. Sure hope this keeps the rabbit out!

I thought since it has been so long since I posted I would add a few pictures of the chickens and ducks.