I feel like I’m horribly behind getting my garden plan in order, but I think that it’s still too cold to start planting. Of course it’s 62 degrees here in February and I feel like I could have planted things all winter. This year’s weather has been very reminiscent of my native Louisiana weather minus the rain. I can only hope that it doesn’t mean another hot and humid summer for our part of Virginia. You would think because I grew up in that horrible heat that I could tolerate it better, but I really can’t and I can promise you, it’s the same humid heat we had in south Louisiana. Maybe it’s my Cajun genetics longing for those cold Nova Scotia temperatures
So, I’ve finally used some of my pallet hoard to create a fence for our chicks’ run. Part of it is temporary because it needs to be enlarged. We have 23 chickens, who just turned 2 months old and the run will not be large enough to sustain that many chickens. 8 of them will be leaving the flock starting in about 5 weeks. These are the White Leghorn roosters that were added to our pullet order for packing peanuts. We plan on eating them and will be thankful for what they provide to us and in return, they are getting great care and even hand fed sometimes. That will leave us with 15 hens. It’s recommended that they have 2-4 square feet of space for each one.
I do like when they want me to pick them up and get special treats, even if it’s one of the soon to be eaten roosters.
In the photo above you can see the right side wall which is the temporary wall. In the future, the run will be larger with this one moving over to the back side of the coop incorporating a much larger area. It will probably be 7 or 8 more pallets longer and wider, providing plenty of space to these hens and allowing us to add a few more.
The left side wall, shown in the photo below, will stay were it is and that’s where my first plantings will go.
Now, what to plant??? I think strawberries are a given and so are herbs. I read something recently that said to incorporate thyme and marigolds for bug control and will try that. Plants that will be good for the chickens will also go here. I do want pretty things to make a pleasant atmosphere. As you can see in the photo, we moved our two lounge chairs from our front porch and hope to spend some nice evenings out here checking out the wildlife that live in our backyard and woods. We’ll set up our fire pit and I even have 2 half barrels that will also contain veggies and flowers. I’m hoping to have something similar to this, but much livelier and more colorful.
If you have any experience with this type of gardening, would love to hear about what has and hasn’t worked for you and I’m taking suggestions for plants that will do well in this type of environment. Will update as I get things planted and harvested.