Three weeks ago, I planted seeds in my raised garden beds. The end.
Just kidding. Before I planted the seeds, my neighbor drove me to pick up a yard of dirt from the local organic dirt and mulch supplier. They gave me more than a yard, but it still was not enough to fill three 4’x6′ and 1′ high raised garden beds. In between shoveling the dirt out of the truck and transporting it by the wheelbarrow full into the back yard, I laid chicken wire down in the bottom of each bed to deter any tunneling critters. After planting the seeds, I covered the the beds with deer netting to keep the neighborhood cats, squirrels, possums and raccoons out of my precious beds.
I experimented with the soil composition with what materials I had on hand and now I have some results to post. Raised bed number one is filled with just the topsoil purchased from the dirt yard. Raised bed number two is fill with a mixture of my compost (made from a mix of chicken manure, hay, and whatever greens and scraps the girls didn’t eat) and the topsoil. Raised bed number three is filled halfway with the topsoil (all of the dirt we had left).
Here are my results. This is really interesting, and believe me, the chickens are on the edge of their seats because they will benefit greatly from whatever I manage to grow.
This is raised bed number one (topsoil only). It may not be very noticeable, but there is a small amount of growth happening here. Some seedlings are sprouting, sparsely.
This is raised bed number two (topsoil and homebrewed compost mix). I already have to thin the plants growing in there.
This is raised bed number three (halfway filled with topsoil). Sparse growth, except for the one weed growing at the top.
I realize now that I should have composted each bed, but did not because I had only a limited supply and I did not think it would matter all that much. I have a full load of compost cooking in the composter at the moment and will probably amend the other two beds if I decide I need to start over.
If only I can remember what the heck I planted in each one.