The much expanded garden has had the best of me this summer. I am getting squash, cucumbers, beans, peppers, tomatoes, and some greens, but to get to them involves a hike through the weeds. I just haven’t been able to stay ahead of them since I took out the rotting boxes and returned to wide rows. This move I think was a mistaken one. The second error was not using the bales of spoiled hay to heavily mulch after planting or weeding. I was on the verge of just giving up for this year, accepting whatever harvest I could wade in and get, but then knowing that the work would be even harder next year if I did, I kicked myself in the tush and set about to remedy the problem at least for this year.
A friend of mine has a beautiful garden with boxes, a flower bed outside the garden fence and wood chips spread over cardboard in the paths and flower bed. Once I finish weeding, planting some fall seed, and breaking up the other bale of hay to mulch the lower half of the bed, I will begin my search for cardboard to mulch a 4-5 foot bed for herbs and flowers outside the garden fence and a path inside the garden fence. Relocate the wood pile and get the area ready for this winter’s wood. As the harvest ends, I will again establish boxes, locate more cardboard and lay in a supply of wood chips to mulch the flower bed and paths. The two terrace walls need to be improved to make the heavily sloped garden into three fairly flat areas.
I realize that I tried to expand too much too fast and one section that was taken back from the chickens will be returned, not to the laying hens, but incorporated into the meat chick pen to give them plenty of space. This will involve moving one of the gates, but that too can be done. I just need for the pole beans climbing the fence to produce and die back.
If I don’t get the weeding and mulching finished by Thursday afternoon, I hope Son #1 and DIL will help me finish one evening over the weekend or early next week while they are here visiting.
The two garage chicks never really integrated in with the coop chicks. A few nights ago, one of them came to me when I went out to coop everyone up for the night and it didn’t seem to have any energy. The next morning, the chick didn’t leave the coop and before I could do anything to help it, it died in my hands. There didn’t seem to be any evidence of injury and none of the others in the coop seem ill. I wonder if the chick ate something that it shouldn’t since it didn’t have a Hen Mom to teach it. On a more positive note, the remaining chick, though it seems to think I am its Mom, is eating with the other chickens in the morning and nests with the Coop Hen Mom at night. Perhaps it will eventually become part of the flock.