March 21, 2011


Do you have helpers in your garden ?
" I see you have been out in your garden", visitors say as they comment on the raked areas throughout our flower beds and raised bed garden. 

But it wasn't me, it was them! My helpers.

But there comes a time that I need to say, Thank you but no more! No more eating the earthworms and other beneficials deep in the soil of the garden. 

I fill up the raised beds with our rich compost. . . 
 and then protect it from the chickens.

 I lay chicken wire, or other wire I have on hand, over each raised bed and secure it with a rock, heavy branch, or piece of lumber. 

The hens will still try but will be easily discouraged and move on their way.

Once I start planting, I set up a temporary fence so they can't get in the garden at all, but for now it's just the raised beds I protect.
I'm not willing to keep my chickens from free-ranging throughout our land, so there are extra steps I need to take to protect our plantings. 
A tip when putting in transplants, in an area that is not fenced in, is to surround the actual plant with rocks, right up to its stem. Flat rocks work best.

I learned the hard way. All my transplants were tipped upside down, with roots facing the sky, as the chickens made their way through the yard. Something had to be done.

The rocks protect the plant from the hens scratching. They still can scratch nearby but the transplants stay in place. Once the plants grow and their roots are secure in the soil, the rocks can be removed and growth can continue.

happy day! happy gardening!

Linking up to BARN HOP #5


Olives and Pickles said...

Just to let you know I just posted a raffle to help Japan.
If you are interested on helping you are more than welcome to participate.
thank you : )


Our Cedar Cottage said...

What wonderful ideas! I doubt our chicks will be big enough to endanger our garden this year, but I'll remember your tips in the years to follow.

I found you through the Homestead Revival Barn Hop. :)

Unknown said...

I know exactly what you mean! I had to think of a way to protect my plants from those helpers of mine too! The quickest fix I came up with was to scavenge around for rocks! It works! No more exposed roots! Wonderful tools, those rocks.

Cheryl said...

What a great idea. I love our hens scratching and pecking around the garden. They are brilliant at raking and I'm sure help with the weeding. I'm going to adopt your rock idea. Thank you.

Christy said...

My problem is my henhouse is by my neighbors gardens. We will see what happens this year. I hope keeping them in eggs will make for good neighbor relations! (did you link up to the Hearth and Soul hop and I missed it?)

Alea Milham said...

Hens are definitely a mixed blessing when it comes to gardens! Once your plants are established they should be same...but don't let the chickens near any berries!
Thanks for linking up to the Hearth and Soul Hop.