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My kitchen gardens are finally ready for fall!

Preparing the Kitchen Garden for Winter

I love this pic because Son looks like the boss at a construction site.

In my previous post I discussed using straw mulch in one of my kitchen gardens over the winter to help prevent weeds and retain moisture. I intend to fence that garden still. All of the posts are in place and I just need to go out and attach the fence. However, the straw does attract a lot of garden pests so I am fine leaving it un-fenced until planting time this spring. The chickens are doing a lot of work in there right now.

The mulched garden is my largest garden. However, I also have the sunken hugel bed garden on the other side of the house. It has been completely harvested, the peppers dug up and brought inside to over winter. I thought I would try a cover crop on that garden. I had winter barley and I was excited to try Fukuoka style farming. Basically that means I was going to grow the winter barley and inter-sow my spring seeds among the maturing barley.

Why barley? It was cheap, I didn’t want to do wheat as we are surrounded by it and I thought it would be interesting to try eating it.

I broadcast sewed my barley seeds during a rain storm and was excited. At least until the next morning. The chickens, the ducks, the turkeys, the peacocks, hell, everyone. They were all eating my seeds. They ate every last one. This just will not do.

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So I decided to do this up right. I took the bedding from the chicken coop and spread it over the entire garden area. Then I spread compost on top of that. Fenced it off, made a gate out of Sons old crib mattress and planted the barley again. Success!

I had 2 very good assistants helping me with every step of this project. Don’t you just love the little shovels my Mother-In-Law gave them!

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Filling up another raised bed. I put raised beds all along the east side of this garden because of sunlight requirements. Should elevate those plants so they get enough sunlight and having them on the east side prevents them from shading out the garden.

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Kids are spreading seed (mostly in one place as you can tell) while I finish the fence.

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Where there is a will, there is a way. Chickens!

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Gate from the old mattress and pallet wood. I kind of like the wonkiness of it. It’s so unique!

I took yarn and strung it over the top to prevent my peas flying in. I was ready to plant again.

So the barley has been planted again, I’ve watered it, it’s raining now, time will tell. I’ll keep you updated on the success of this experiment!

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