Last year, a lot of time was spent turning up sod in the back yard to make room for a garden. Thankfully this time, as the work was mostly done already, it was a bit easier to stay organized in turning over the soil every few days, pull weeds early and get the garden prepped for some vegetable growing.
One substantial difference from last year, though, is that we had grown chickens this time. And, by the way, chickens like to eat sprouts coming up out of gardens.
So while we got started pretty early with the garden, the chickens were making it difficult to get anything going. Thus, we spent a Sunday afternoon building a run for the coop, just in time for the green beans to pop up.
The coop has the side-benefit of allowing us to leave them loose on hot days. They can come out in the sun, they can stay in the coop, or they can go in the shady underneath. But, most importantly, they can’t get into the garden.
The green beans are probably looking the best out of everything we’re growing, though we’ve got some tomatoes starting to show up and some buds on the green peppers. We haven’t had the best of luck with peppers in the past, but I’m hopeful this year we may actually get something out of them. Our neighbor grows a metric ton of peppers each year in pots and his seem to work just fine…dunno what our problem is…
The soup beans are the ones the chickens kept going after. We had the fence up around the garden like last year, but the chickens simply laughed and jumped right on over…and ate every sprout that came up. These plants like vining, so it would have been nice to have a fence there for them to cling to. Now, they’ll probably just move out into the yard. Either way, at least we’ll still get some soup beans. They’re just a bit behind because of needing to re-plant multiple times…
I’ve been saving grass clippings and dumping them between the rows to help limit weed proliferation. For the most part, it seems to be working, but as our yard is pretty small, we only get enough grass to go on a single row each time I mow.
In another month, hopefully our little urban farm will start providing a bit. Eggs, green beans (ug…), green peppers, tomatoes, and soup beans (for the Winter…) sound pretty good for living in South City!
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