Well I’m happy to report the quail garden is looking pretty good, even though I haven’t actually finish the sanctuary or ordered birds. In some ways it feels like I’ve failed but when I walked in this space the other day I realized this wasn’t failure at all.
This was a moment of perfect planning because these raised beds are growing in all directions; I can see what’s working and what isn’t prior to birds arriving.
I’ve realized my #1 priority for July is to get this project done and get birds ordered in August. I’ve also learned it’s okay to ask for help when your plate gets piled so high it feels like you can’t breathe.
Now let’s dive in and see what’s going on in this space because things went a little crazy after we cut down more trees and let in additional light.
Growing Crazy Corn
I’m calling this “crazy corn” because when we cleared for light the new growth went wild but the quality of growth was bizarre. I planted by seed and for awhile I wasn’t even sure if this was corn.
Little details like planting late, forgetting to water and not enough light just didn’t get them off to the best start.
We’re still fighting for more light but I choose to stop clearing until fall because we don’t have enough hours in the day to keep up with everything right now.
So, as I’ve watch these plants grow and even though Robert and Quail love corn I probably won’t plant it again in raised beds. I’m thinking next year we may give it a whirl again by planting straight in the ground.
Amazing Roma Tomatoes
The Roma Tomatoes are doing amazing and they happen to be my favorites. Quail enjoy tomatoes when cut in pieces, they nibble as a treat like we would enjoy a slice of watermelon.
These two plants really took off and instead of using cages I went with a trellis to support their weight. I didn’t do much with them after transplanting other than make sure the soil was prepped with natural materials. Read more here.
There’s something magical about gardening with blackland clay especially when you incorporate natural elements. I water about once a week, pull weeds after it rains and that’s about it. Nature is taking care of the rest…
I’m guessing these two plants will be producing a lot of wonderful tomatoes for us. They were also planted late and it seems I should be able to keep them producing through fall.
I’ve also found keeping track of my journey has been important this year, especially since it’s so different from everything we did at the farm. I’ve taken grandma’s advice using our garden planner to record everything.
This has been really helpful and already given me ideas for fall planting.
Lettuce and Peppers
Quail are finicky when it comes to lettuce, some like it and others won’t even bother to taste. After a couple rains these plants went to seed; that was a little frustrating but sometimes details get missed when too many other things are going on.
Quail would probably prefer using the lettuce and pepper plants for shade, guess we’ll find out in a few months. They’re less destructive than traditional poultry so growing a variety of food in this environment can compliment everyone’s appetite.
Both pepper plants are loaded with new blooms and I expect in July we’ll be harvesting quite a few. So, what did we learn from all this?
Starting from scratch at a new location with a new soil type took me almost back to square one. Notice I said, “Almost” It’s also been very exciting because I never thought growing in black clay could be so exciting.
I discovered the idea of planting a garden for us and the quail in the same space is more than a neat idea it just makes sense; this may be something to consider on your own homestead?
I’m now planning for fall and ready to get started after this spaced is covered in chicken wire.
Even though the birds haven’t arrived just yet, I can assure you this project will be done in July. Little quail will be roaming inside around the end of August or first part of September. I’ve been inspired to move forward and get things done.