Weekend plans, Part 2

After some very careful thinking,  much research on the web and some quick email questions to my sister who has much greater experience in such matters we have now decided to stop messing about and just get some chickens to try that out.

First things first, we had to order the chicken house and run which eventually led to Chicken Coops Direct – an online-only company with a very impressive website and a good range of chicken buildings and runs for sale at what seem to be good prices. Perhaps the price charged reflects the use of poor quality wood or poor workmanship but we’ll find that out this weekend.

I also realise that a flashy website is not always a good indicator of the level of service and product quality  provided but so far so good – especially after my own incompetence when checking the wrong account for email confirmation of the order and hassling them with an email!  All sorted out by a quick phone call from them so a plus for that already!

We expect delivery on Friday so I predict construction will take place on Friday afternoon after applying a decent coat of preservative to all the wood. We have a site earmarked already and a spare bag of wood chip to put down if we decide to clear away some of the grass.

Once the coop and run is in place there will be more details and photos…

Update on the raised beds

Raised veg bed with cabbages

Here are a couple of quick pictures as an update on the raised beds I added over the winter. To my inexperienced eye they look pretty impressive but then what do I know! 🙂
Last autumn I planted a few cabbage seedlings out (an impulse buy at B&Q) but they haven’t done a lot so far… At least the wood chip path along one side is looking nice and the bluebells which are everywhere should add a nice bit of colour eventually.

The other raised bed just next door is also looking good and when I took this picture the plan was to keep it covered for a while to keep it protected from any cold weather. I soon realised that the forecast is looking good for this week so I might as well leave it uncovered and get some rain on it!

Covered raised veg bed

Wood chip is the way forward

I can’t believe I’ve never used wood/bark chips in the garden before! After setting up the 3 veg beds it very quickly became clear that I didn’t have enough old paving slabs to reuse when making the paths around them.

My first reaction was to leave the unpaved areas as compressed soil and hope that regular use would mean that weeds did not take over. It wasn’t long before I realised that wasn’t going to work as a permanent solution for weed suppression.

Instead I added 3 bags of bark chips to a recent online order of compost (from Creative Garden Ideas) and threw a couple of them down (after clearing any obvious weeds of course). The result was a major transformation quite out of proportion to the amount of time and effort I had put in.

There was an added bonus as a result of using pine bark chips, my veg beds now small a little like a pine fresh toilet!