Filling Raised Beds

by Robert Bradford

Our chicken coop, garden, compost beds are all in the fenced (deer proof) orchard. They are alternated garden, compost, garden so the compost has up to 6 months to cook and be worked by the chickens before planting. The beds are 4' wide and multiples of 16' long bordered by cattle panels. The width is so that no insects can get more than 2' from the chickens who eat almost anything smaller and slower than a chicken. We add kitchen scraps, garden scraps, grass clippings and/or leaves gathered with a bagging mower to the compost daily. Twice a year we swing each 4' gate at both ends of every other bed the other way to close the compost bed, plant garden there and open the just harvested garden bed which becomes the new compost beds. At this time we clean the coop to bare earth and the old litter added to new compost beds. Twelve inches of shredded paper, new grass clippings and chopped leaves is then added to the coop to restart the deep litter system. God continually mulches, composts in His garden, and gardens in His compost. We do too. This system has given us bumper organic crops at zero cost except for the permanent fencing and fuel for the mower. It has the added advantage of rotating crops, giving compostables at least 6 months and up to one year to work before harvest, weeded, rid of insects, weed seeds, cast fruit and the compost is manured and turned daily all by the chickens. It also helps feed and entertain the chickens.

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Dec 04, 2011
Filling Raised Beds NEW
by: hotchaiguy

Here is a good example of " I wish we could post photos on this blog". I am trying to imagine how close those cattle panels are to the raised beds and how you would be able to tend the garden through them. Maybe it is just my brain.
I built two 6' x 5' 4 ' bins with two inch gaps between the 1 x 4 side boards and they sit side-by-side with gates in the front. Thee bins abut my main garden andI put leaves, grass. shredded corn cobs, old straw, table scraps, some weeds and coffee grownds and the like. In the Spring I toss the unprocessed top stuff into the empty bin and then scoop out the finished product where it is needed. This season I didn't get it scooped out because the newer gardens I had crea
ted this Summer still had (Still has now)brooccoli producing fruit.
N.E. Indiana

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