Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Sticky Chicken Wings - Not the Edible Kind!

It all started with flies. Lots of flies. The warm weather caused them to be attracted in large numbers to the chicken run. Only to be expected really, if you could see the amount of S*%t they produce every day. I clear up as much as I can and pop it in the compost heap but, inevitably, I miss some. 

So after a day of very annoyed hens, I decided to try and deal with them. Fly paper seemed like the way ahead. If only I had known! Have you ever used it, I never had and was amazed at how sticky it was. Having pulled it out of the tube and stuck it to everything I walked past on the way to the run I was left wondering how and where to secure it. 

After a quick look in the run I decided the easiest and safest place was as high as I could get it in the top of the run, outside the henhouse.I secured it at either end with garden wire to the roof and went off happy. A quick check later revealed a large number of bluebottles ,who had made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Now as I didn't think this simple job was going to cause an entry on this blog. I have no pictures of what followed. 

I went out to the run before I went to bed that night, in the dark and closed the door. 

The following morning I walked up to the run. "Wheres the fly paper?" I was left scratching my head for a moment then I began to wonder. Oh no, did one of the hens manage to get hold of it? So I opened the door and waited. 

A flurry of feathers and out they came Geri, Babs and then nothing.. Oh no (Well thats the polite version) where's Margot. It had to be her, It always is. Leader of the escape committee, chief digger of holes and flower dead-header, even if they aren't dead. 

Suddenly with a very loud squawk out she popped, or more like shuffled. What a sorry sight. The fly paper was wrapped around her legs so she had trouble walking,  then went up one side of her body and was stuck to the side of her face. 

Now having experienced its grip the previous day, I knew how sticky this paper was. How on earth was I going to get that off. She stood, obviously feeling very sorry for herself, peering at me through the bars. I decided there was only one thing for it. Like a plaster or a waxing strip, the only thing to do is pull it off quickly, a brief sting and then its over. So thats what I did. I caught hold of the loose end at her feet and pulled as quickly as I could. A flurry of feathers lots of squawking and she was free. I was left holding a strip of sticky paper covered in dead flies and feathers. Lovely. 

I thought that was the end of it, but of course again like a sticky plaster, some of the sticky remained. The next time Margot had an enthusiastic dust bath she ended up with a dirty stripe along one side of her body. Each time I pick her up she sticks to me!  So I asked one of my Chicken specialist friends on Twitter what to do. Andy who runs a website called chicken street has suggested bathing her with some baby shampoo. Well thats going to be a new experience for both of us. Watch this space, and this time I will make sure I get some pictures. In the meantime, heres Margot when she is on top form. 

As I said in my last post, I am now finished all the planting so now its just maintenance of the patch until I get some crops. I was though, left with a few plants that I had nowhere to put, so I thought I would give them away, not a easy as you might think. Firstly I loaded them in my wheelbarrow and made a suitable label.

And then parked it at the top of my drive on the lane, my husband did mention in passing that he hoped no-one would take me literally and wheel the barrow away as well! Luckily for me no-one round here seems to enjoy gardening as much as me. Two days later, 5 tomato plants had been taken and 2 broccoli but the rest remained. So with much sadness I was forced to dump them in the compost. 

And now onto whats growing. Strawberries everywhere, I currently have meringue's in the oven and tomorrow when we have visitors from Australia we shall be eating them alongside these beauties.

The tomato's in the greenhouse are growing at some speed, only a few weeks and they will be ready. 

And my basil and chills are glorious

Outside, my first row of carrots and broccoli that have been sitting safely under enviromesh, seemed to need some attention. I was a bit nervous about exposing the carrots to weed, as I don't want them infested with the dreaded carrot fly, but they were being chocked and it was all looking a bit messy, so time to uncover them. 

A bit of a mess under here then!

I worked quickly so they could be covered again, and it didn't take long to get it looking ship shape and weed free. 

I had time to admire my already formed heads of Broccoli and lovely wispy carrot leaves, before wrapping it all back up in its protective cover. 

So thats it for gardening and chicken news, that only leaves Gibson, I don't know who was more surprised last night when not one but two of his large back baby teeth fell out within a few minutes of one another! We decided that rather than keep them for the puppy tooth fairy, it would be more appropriate to give him a dental stick. 

He is on top form this week. He graduated from Puppy classes and won top puppy. 

he doesn't look that impressed with his certificate and rosette! 

Finally as its Jubilee Weekend and an English Bank Holiday, the Veg Patch has had a few Visitors, Thanks Jon and Jo for visiting it was great to see you, and we are looking forward to the arrival of Australian friends and followers Bev and Carl tomorrow. 

Hope you have had a great long weekend and enjoy the rest of the week. 


  1. You are going so hard work for you gardening i am really so inspired from you.
    Thanks for sharing...

    garden centre London

  2. Tomatoes already well done! We haven't planted out ours yet in their final spot - no ripe strawberries yet either.

  3. Margot is such a pretty chicken. I thought your flypaper story was hilarious. Your veggie patch looks really nice, too.

  4. Your tomatoes are looking good. I really love the updates your shared.

  5. Veggie patch looks amazing and easy to see how much you love gardening.
    THe fly paper made me laugh :)

  6. Poor Margot! What an experience for her and for you (your comments about it made me laugh, you took it with good humor!) Hope the baby shampoo works. If I lived nearby, I would have grabbed those extra plants! Your garden is growing nicely and your strawberries look luscious! And four paws up to Gibson for graduating from Puppy class!

  7. Everything just looks so green and lush it's beautiful. Don't wish to be horrible but it's a shame you didn't have a picture of Margot stuck to the paper, a picture for the grandchildren and one to put in the diary, ha ha ha. Poor Margot must now have a fear of paper! I know I would. Lovely post.

  8. Poor Margot indeed, (glad it wasn't Babs though!) wellies, dressing gown and sticky fly paper, no wonder you didn't want it recorded, I have a great mental picture of it though!
    What with your veg & fruit blossoming (or do only flowers do that?) and Gibson top of puppy class, you must be very proud parents!
    Jealous of your visitors, new posh garden furniture to lounge around on whilst eating home grown fruit on top of home baked meringues, yummy!