Monday, May 17, 2010

garden solutions


Look at that gorgeous basil! It smells amazing too. More about that later.

We’ve been racking our brains to come up with a good solution for keeping the chickens out of our raised beds since last year. That’s when we covered them with netting that got caught in the lawn mower and tangled into a frustrating mess every time I uncovered the beds to maintain the contents or harvest the fruits (or veggies) of our labor.

Our chickens love doing this in the raised beds on warm spring days...

sunbathing chicken

Which is all good and fine as long as there isn’t anything planted in their midst. But we just can’t have them scratching and destroying the newly planted starts and seeds.

So here’s what we came up with...

building cages for raised beds

building cages for raised beds

building cages for raised beds

cages for raised beds

We built six of these wire cages in about three hours yesterday. All you need is a roll of wire fencing, a good wire cutting tool and some pliers to create these. Today my hands are covered with cuts and feeling a bit numb, but I think these are going to do the trick, at least for getting several veggies started, like lettuce, carrots, potatoes, radishes, cilantro. I don't mind sharing with the girls, but when they dig up seeds and starts... grrrrr.

If you live anywhere near a Trader Joe’s, you must get there right away and pick up some of these basil plants. They’re only $2.99 and each pot contains 6 (six) plants! And these are not small, immature plants... they’re already a foot high!


Thank you to my friend Theresa for letting me know about this great deal.

Happy spring!


Cathy said...

Thanks for the great tip. I've been to 3 places and they were sold out of basil. I'll try TJ's tomorrow.

I want to raise chickens too.

Susan said...

Oh, wow! I'll be going TJ town tomorrow, so I'll pick one up. I have one already waiting to go in the ground. I've just been waiting on the rain to stop.

You guys did a good job on the fence boxes. Let us know if they work out. My chickens would love to get in our raised beds, too. Alas, they have to make do with my flower beds!!

Fannie said...

I haven't put my basil out yet. First the nights were too cool and now we've had so much darn rain it's too wet to plant. I'm finding Mother Nature vexing at the moment!

Cindy said...

Cathy, chickens are very fun and funny little creatures. They really aren't much work... it's all the things we have to do to keep them free roaming that creates the work.

Cindy said...

Thanks Susan, There's just something about a raised bed that says "come frolic" to a chicken! I'm thinking of adding some river rocks to our backyard to keep them out of certain areas. They're so much happier when they get to run around, I hate to keep them contained.

Cindy said...

Fannie... the entire country seems to be cursed with a late spring this year. The forecast here is calling for rain until next Sunday. At least it's keeping the allergies at bay!

62TeeBird said...

When I planted my TJ's basil last year, it got huge - over 2 feet - way more productive than the basil starts I got at the garden store, which just stayed wimpy.

Cindy said...

TeeBird, They're already pinching size. What a deal! Thanks for the tip.

Six In The Northwest said...

Your basil looks fantastic. I hope it survives this recent cold and rain. My basil starts were ravaged by our friendly Northwest slugs. So bummed. I've started some more seeds but I'm sure they won't catch up to the original batch. I loved it when our hens were able to get into the garden during the off season. They feasted to their hearts content on slug eggs.

Cindy said...

Hi Six, SLUGS! Arg, I forgot about those! I haven't seen any yet, but then it's so rainy, I haven't spent much time in the garden. I'll put out some beer traps. That beautiful basil... not as pretty now that the rain has beat it up. I'm thinking another trip to TJ's will be in order once the storm subsides.