I have been taking the chicken wire off from our raised garden beds this week. We had put them around the boxes to prevent the ducks from eating our produce. We no longer needed the fencing after we got rid of the ducks but are only this year getting around to removing it. And we are only removing it now because EJ wanted to rearrange the boxes for our raised garden beds so we have a greater area to grow corn.
I got a lot of the fencing removed before EJ woke up yesterday morning. Later he came out to the garden with me because I wanted his input on where to place the boxes. After he left for work, I went out to the garden to work. I had to take the dirt out of the boxes, then pull them off the pallets, then move the pallets to the new place, then arrange the boxes back on the pallet. Getting boxes on the pallets just right was sort of like putting together a puzzle or playing Tetris. I had to carefully “fit” the boxes together on each pallet. The boxes aren’t beautiful, but they are functional. We use whatever box or container we could find. It is wonderful when the herbs and veggies are growing.
I also had to make sure that the raised beds were far enough apart for the wheelbarrow or lawnmower could fit between. At first I paced the distance–three and a half of my steps were a good distance. But after a while I found a board that was about the right length and I used that for the spacing.
Many of the boxes were heavy even without any dirt in them. I didn’t try to lift them though. I just sort of tipped them on their sides and “walked” them to wear I wanted them. EJ feels bad when I works so hard, but I do as much as I can to help him because he has chronic back pain from an old injury.
The weather yesterday was very pleasant. It was 60 degrees (F) outside and sunny. I got so warm working in the garden that I took off my coat. Today was much colder so I had to put my coat and hat on. It snowed, sometimes quite heavily, although none stayed on the ground. It still was enjoyable working outside. I finished getting all the raised garden beds arranged today. EJ said he really liked my arrangement. I was able to gain a strip of land 8 feet wide for the corn.
The chickens hung out with me while I worked. Often they climbed on the boxes and pallets I was trying to move. Whenever I lifted a pallet up off the ground, they rushed in to search for worms or insects to eat. I had to be very, very careful that I didn’t trip over them or accidentally drop a box/pallet on them. Fortunately, we got the job accomplished with no injuries. I also had to be careful of the cats. Theo repeatedly jumped on my back and climbed up on my shoulders while I worked. Life can be tricky in the Enchanted Forest.
Chickens are actually very beneficial to a garden. Their scratching in the soil helps prepare it for planting, and their poop is good manure. I call the chickens my “essential workers.” I took this video of them on Tuesday morning:
Our next task is to refill the boxes with soil. We can use the soil I took out of them but I’m not sure that will fill all the boxes. Meijer’s has the soil we need at a really good price, but I’m not sure how we will be able to get it with all the “social distancing” restrictions put in place. EJ said a co-worker told him that Meijers is only allowing a small group of people in their stores at one time. I tried to order it from their website but although they had the soil available, all their pickup times were “unavailable.” Oh, well. We will fill as many boxes are we can with the dirt we have and then shrug.
You can get boxes filled for your early crops, and then maybe start putting leaves, grass clippings, etc. in the others and top off with “store bought soil” when you’re able. I like the idea of putting boxes on pallets!
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