The Noobie Gardener

Trying to get my thumb green, and going in the deep end!

Leave a comment

Grafting lil chicks and hoping Mama will take em in!

“Would women find vampires even sexier and more romantic if instead of fangs they had rose thorns?  It’s thoughts like these I think of when digging in my garden, looking for my one true love ( If only I could remember where I buried her!)”
Jarod Kintz

HELLO!! Ahhhh a brand spanking new glorious day especially after yesterday, how are you? I hope you’re doing well! My goodness that was such a sad start yesterday but hey new beginnings with a new day!  I am so so so so tired, I know this sounds silly but after last night I couldn’t sleep very well.  But more about that later, in the meantime  let me introduce the other chicks that have come our way. Fresh from my Chicken Guru’s brooder, here is :

the hopefully adopted chicks!

the hopefully adopted chicks!

I know it’s hard to see , from the above picture, in the meantime the one on the far right upper trying to get under Scarlett is Cashew (husbands idea that we should have a brother to Peanut ) she ( i hope) is a Wyandotte silver laced chick, the yellow chick who decided to be in everyones food including herself is a Peckin Bantam called ” Popcorn” and the one next to Mum is another Peckin Bantam called “Munchkin” and way in the back all confused and happy like is , who everyone knows “Pip”. So thats the whole gang! Okay I got pictures of them all!

Cashew; Wyandotte bantam chick

Cashew; Wyandotte bantam chick Pretty shy lil one, always hiding under Mum or runs away!

Popcorn : Peckin Bantam chick

Popcorn : Peckin Bantam chick, bit of a ditzy one.. the only chick i’ve ever seen who does.. circles.. litterally and a bit clumsy. Entertaining and cute to watch! Survived the onslaught of Rosie! the Survivor!


Munchkin : Peckin Bantam chick, bit of a Brat, already today pecked both mums eyes and made her squawk LOUD! Not to mention around her face and a little adventurer. This one is one to watch, I’d call her Cheeky if she didn’t already have a name!


Pip: Peckin Bantam Chick; who looks just like Munchkin although you can tell the difference as she’s a bit smaller. Must’ve been born a day or two after Munchkin but a bit more placid and settled as she was with Mum all yesterday and the day before.

As suggested by my Chicken Guru aka Fleur, we managed to quietly and with as little disturbance as possible swap her eggs out for chicks one by one. However Rosie was in the coop. Now I checked them again at 12 midnight to be sure everything was going okay which they were.. and then woke up first light to check on the coop. Worried however that Rosie was getting into the chicks when we checked this morning. Really pecking at Sunshine ( who seems to be alright) and Munchkin. So we closed up the coop and Rosie is hanging outside for the day. Our dilemma is tonight when everyone has to go to bed, where will Rosie go? As we don’t want her to attack Scarlett or the chicks and also be alone. This is the question that i’m posing to my chicken Guru as we speak.

I guess the reason why I was worried last night was that Peanut when we found him was smooshed. I’ve heard of Broody hens/mama who thought that the chicks were intruders, not theirs, for some reason didn’t belong and killed their own chicks. ( thanks Dr. Google!) But so far so good. I keep checking now and then and rest assured they’re kinda doing okay.  So that’s the chicken side of the story. Any suggestions on what to do with Rosie would be greatly appreciated!

Also the noob that I am in the gardening side, i’m really excited for someone who has never really grown anything that developed vegetables before!

So i’m doing the whole cycle of cleaning out the pen, putting it on the Garden, and letting everything feed my garden and so far even though they’re in pots temporarily the vegies are doing great! So after checking out the chickens, the cats, myself and hubby and I perused the garden and low and behold this morning I noticed some vegetables growing! Baby chicks and Baby Vegies!!Firstly the broadbeans that i’ve planted from seeds are sprouting onwards and upwards pretty fast!

Broadbeans shooting for the sky

Broadbeans shooting for the sky

This is my first tomato! ( great guns!! you would’ve thought that i’ve never seen a tomato before)

Small as a cherry tomato at this stage but hopes for it to grow more!

Small as a cherry tomato at this stage but hopes for it to grow more!

as well as..

My first eggplant! (YAY!)

Yes that purple thing there is a small small teeny weeny eggplant but my first. My dad keeps boasting that his eggplant plant has 15 on it... I'll start with one and hope for more to come!

Yes that purple thing there is a small small teeny weeny eggplant but my first. My dad keeps boasting that his eggplant plant has 15 on it… I’ll start with one and hope for more to come!

Okay okay, i know it’s just vegetables Detty I know, nothing to be really excited about. I guess the difference is that i’ts not from the grocery store, i’m reducing my carbon print by doing exactly what i’m doing now.. growing and eventually eating from my backyard! I’ve never watched vegetables really grow and after looking after and hatching pip, and watching my vegetables grow it’s sparked a deeper respect for where food comes from and how.  We really do take our food for granted and how it gets on our plate.

So other than that, there’s a whole stockpile of clothes to iron, clean, do the floors and recheck Scarlette and the chicks! ( so much to do in so little time!)

Well seeya later alligator!



Leave a comment

You have your Good days and your Bad days

“You know Detty, Gardening is the most expensive hobby that you’ll have, but it is by far the most rewarding.”

My Mother

Hey there!

Let me just tell you that today has been mixed up with highs and lows. Nevertheless I’m sitting here at the end of the day with the aim of doing some more planting and watering at night before I go to sleep. Apparently though the night time around Summer is the best time to garden as it takes you away from the heat ( which I wish I had listened to my Mum about), it allows for better transfers and gives your plants ample time to adjust and recover from being transplanted.

So after this I still have some work to do.  But I dont mind this. I have actually found that I like repotting and gardening in general allows you to just zone out and do your own thing. I’ve also learned that your wheelbarrow is your best friend in this whole process and a really nice shovel, gloves and mask.

Mask? You ask? Well using potting mix, lucrene hay, blood and bone and soil , the air can get contaminated with microbes which aren’t fairly particularly healthy for your immune system, or lungs.  So you have to take precautions!

So what went wrong today?

Well.. as I was checking on Scarlett and Rosie ( it is a hot autumn day today so I just wanted to make sure that they were okay) i looked on at Scarlet and she looked really lethargic. Scarlett is my broody hen who is sitting on the eggs ( day 20 ). Anyway, from day 18 to 21 is lockdown you’re not meant to touch them, you’re meant to let them do their own thing. These eggs have to stay warm constantly at this stage and 18-21 days is the last days of the process of hatching eggs.

So I lift the roof of the coop and look at Scarlett who is teaming with mites. I then go to look on what is involved with a broody hen , last days with mites. This in addition to an exceptionally hot day is not good for Scarlett at all. I look online and low and behold it can be quite dangerous for Chickens , in fact broody chickens with mites can be deadly. So it was kinda an emergency. I contacted my lady who owns BookAChook and basically pestine /dust chickens away. I also read that it’s a good idea to change the bedding as well and dust inside as well.

So I get the pestine , the bedding and get back home asap to dust Rosie and Scarlett. I arrive home and quickly make my way to the chicken coop. Firstly I dust Rosie. Rosie is fine she takes the dusting and goes on her merry way into the garden. I then make my way to Scarlett. Scarlett being broody is not in the mood for a good dusting. On top of that she detests and fights but as I dust and set her down she makes her way to join Rosie. I take this oppourtunity to then clean out the coop, dust and replace the bedding and in the meantime put the eggs back in the clean nest.

However as time went by after the clean rosie and scarlett didn’t go back in. They were in a sense.. i guess all knowing that it wasn’t the old bedding or something wasnt quite right. Unfortunately during this whole phase the eggs cooled down considerably. Apparently the temperatures can play a vital role in the viability of a chick or hatching or even death. Eventually scarlett realised that these were her eggs and settled down but by that stage my heart sank as I knew that those eggs cooled down. They are meant to be / due to be hatching tomorrow / Wednesday. So… I guess the rule of thumb is, that if they dont hatch on the specific day, wait a couple more days and if they don’t hatch then there is a question of whether to replace those with fertile eggs. Although seeing Scarlett broody like this , I almost want to also say, lets give her a break so that she can recover and try again at a later stage. It almost kinder that way.

So that was my drama. Otherwise I decided to repot my fruit trees and put them temporarily in pots.

So here’s the before picture of the Right side of my back yard

This is exiting my alfresco to the right. We plan to have this an area that we can keep clear for future kids.

This is exiting my alfresco to the right. We plan to have this an area that we can keep clear for future kids.

So in went the fig, lemonade tree, dwarf red delicious trees and pineapple guava trees. Again it’s only temporary until we  build a permanant plot for the trees to go into. Anyway this is what it looks like now.

Temporary places for my fruit trees for now.

Temporary places for my fruit trees for now.

So for now im hoping that after transferring the fruit trees into a sunny position in the backyard it will flourish for the time being.

Okay well back to it and I guess we’ll see how the chickens go tomorrow.



Leave a comment

The Before pictures

“A garden requires patient labor and attention.  Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions.  They thrive because someone expended effort on them.”

Liberty Hyde Bailey

As the Sun dips down onto the horizon setting the sky into an amazing aray of hues of oranges yellows and blues, I am sitting in my living room excited with what is around the corner. With this excitement i’m posting these before pictures of my backyard garden with hope that they will be completely different at the end of this year.  How much will have happened then? The worst thing would be.. that my house will be surrounded by a sea of never ending weeds that are like trees. ( Fail to the ninth degree!)  The best thing would be.. somewhat of a structured functional garden that serves as pleasing to the eyes, as well as producing fruits, veg, and eggs! Also the Alfresco to actually be a place where we can entertain and just enjoy in the next summer.

So lets take a tour of my epic garden so far (well.. the blank canvas as they say). Okay it’s not epic btw ( that was my attempt of sarcasm and humor mixed in.. I don’t think it worked hey?) Anyway lets have a look at my backyard!

This is the view from my kitchen. We have yet to pave the alfresco, or do anything for that matter. I'd like to make this area into a really nice outdoor room .

This is the view from my kitchen. We have yet to pave the alfresco, or do anything for that matter. I’d like to make this area into a really nice outdoor room .

This is the view exiting the alfresco to the left. We have the view of growing weeds alongside the fence… a nice features and my attempts to temporarily grow Kiwi Berries until there is a permanent place in the garden. And also the chook house were Rosie and Scarlet Live

This is the view exciting the alfresco to the right. Here we see ample room to do anything really except for the drain covers right in the corner. I’m excited to use this space! Or transform the space!

Basically this is the right side of the house. You used to not be able to see the garage door!


This is the left side of the house where they cleared the jungle and basically my backyard heroes put in place a garden bed alongside the house. This is my respite for my acquired vegetables/herbs at the moment. majority of these vegetables are in pots until everything is finalized on this side!


As I may have mentioned there are some casualties!

IMG_0846 IMG_0854

Now the gardener came over this morning and he’s estimated that doing the left side of the house will cost us around the $1090 dollar mark.  He’s going to, build a gate around the beginning of the garden bed, level out the dirt, finish the second garden back towards the back, top up the garden bed with garden soil, with the path, putting a weed matt down and then more dirt followed by a good sprinkle of lawn seeds. He is going to try to attempt this in a weekend.  With the amount of work and materials needed I think the amount of work that he’s going to embark on ( may the force be with him)  is essentially fair.

Also it’s handy to note that my hubby is not a handy man. His last ditch attempt was putting shelves up in the garage which he accidentally whilst drilling the walls.. hit a pipe which ended up with the entire garage and it’s contents flooded and myself immediately trying to find a plumber whilst hubby tried to shut off the water to the house.. Since then he’s developed a phobia to all things handy ish.

I’m willing to learn.. but with my past history of mishaps ( including hoeing the garden only to find the hoeing tool lodged in my leg.. an unfortunate misjudgement) and clumsiness leads me to being very prone to hurting or killing myself in the process of learning. So im going to learn from the gardener all things handy .. as that would then be .. with supervision!

So in that respects it’s probably a good idea to see what the gardener does and see the plans of myself and husband come into fruition.. safely!

Will put the compost around the back of this side of house as well as the worm farm. Hopefully the cycle will be once everything is in place:

  • Cleaning out the Chook house once a week.
  • After replacing bedding of the chookhouse, placing the castings as well as the weekly clean into the worm farm/ compost
  • This breaks down to rich fertile mulch which I can distribute into the garden
  • Garden benefits from this rich Mulch.
  • Collection of food from the Garden
  • Leftovers go to the chickens
  • Repeat from the top!

This initially is the grand plan or scheme of things! I also know that hopefully the water feature will also do the same for the garden as well eventually. I hear that the fish poop as well as the ammonia in the water is great fertilizer for the plants. I might actually ask Rod the gardener who worked at the horticultural center for years before transferring this year at the hardware store about what his opinion is on this!

So that’s it from me. The sun has now well and truly set and there are a TON of plants to re-pot and new herbs to plant as well however this will have to wait till tomorrow.  So i’ll let you know what i’m re-potting tomorrow. But that’s it. I guess, that and chick proofing my back yard. ( there are a lot of gaps in the fences and we have neighbors who have dogs!!… there is going to be no baby chicken snacks for them , this I vow!)

Here’s hoping that you’re doing great. If you’re in Australia please be safe this is a long weekend! And for everyone else out there have a wonderful weekend!

Till tomorrow!