Well I’m folding on the entire lot of seedling in my two newest garden beds. Beds #2 and #3.
Luckily I had instant success with my very first raised garden bed, bed #1, so I’m not giving up. When preparing bed #1 I first did some research and gathered ideas (which is how I approach most new things). I read about no-dig gardens and layering the vegetable gardens like lasagna with newspaper first then straw, garden mix, manure and compost. Can’t quite remember the extra laying we did for the first garden, but thought we had done the exact same thing for beds #2 & #3, except we used sugar cane mulch instead of lucerne. We had decided to use sugar cane mulch for the chicken’s nesting shelf so just got extra for these garden beds. (Sugar cane mulch isn’t hollow like other straws and therefore less likely to harbor mites, it also breaks down quite quickly so would be good for the compost and later the vegetable gardens) The other big thing we didn’t do with beds #3 and #4, which we did with bed #1, was let them sit and settle for a month before planting. Yes i was impatient and obviously too confident from the success of bed #1.
Images below of bed #1
Yesterday was such a gorgeous warm winters day. In the afternoon as our son chased the chickens, I sat on the edge of garden bed #3 and drank my tea. As I looked down at the garden beds I noticed lots of tiny flying ants. Hmmm…couldn’t seem to find the same bugs in bed #1. Plus all the seedlings were looking yellowish.
That’s it, I decided, I admit defeat. The beds are sick and need a health overhaul! No point doing the same thing and expecting a different result (Love this saying BTW). The chickens can have the run of beds #2 & #3 and can feast on the seedlings and bugs. They can scratch around and aerate it for me for the next month. I will take up Denise’s offer to have a look at the soil and do some more research of my own. Hopefully in a month’s time I can plant again? We’ll see.
So this morning we have moved the temporary fencing that kept the chickens out of my vegetable garden area and allowed them access to beds #2 and #3.
Gee are they happy! Go girls - do your work!