I’ve been putting up fencing between the chicken yard and the front yard.

Lately the chickens seem intent on hanging out only where they’re most unwanted; specifically around the front porch. I got tired of having to sweep the walk every day. And one too many chicken poops on the front walk – and nibbled-off emerging tulip shoots! – meant the girls needed some, uh, persuasion to stay back in the woods. I had about 100 feet of freecycled fencing, too, so that was awesome.

I mean come on, girls, you’ve got like a whole acre back there! Do you really need to come poop on my hydrangeas?

It’s made of 1×6 pressure-treated lumber. I used my pocket-hole jig and exterior wood glue to join the pieces together. The miters didn’t work perfectly so I don’t know how long it will last overall. But it swings well, is very light but seems fairly sturdy, and I’m pretty happy with it!

Sofía’s unhappy that she doesn’t get to chase the chickens around any more, but after I caught her trying to “ride” Orange yesterday, that’s probably a good thing.

Run, Jopari!

I got a few other gateposts sunk and set in concrete at the same time – I am tired! – so as soon as I’ve built a chicken tractor, finished mulching my paths, split some more logs, moved the beehives, made a new chick brooder, spread wood ash over all the garden beds, and seeded some more flats… I’ll make another gate or two.

Gateless main entrance to the garden on Backfill Hill, with row covers behind.

I thought the winter months were supposed to be easier on farmers?

5 Responses to “Gates”

  1. ohiofarmgirl Says:

    yes. they do need to poop right on your hydrangeas. hey baby! i’m talking about you over here:

  2. diana Says:

    I’m heading over thatta-way to see what you’re saying about me! 😀

  3. Lauren Says:

    they just want to come in and warm their buns in front of the toasty fire!

  4. Erin Says:

    Wood ash on beds..what does it do? I looked into ash a while ago, because I heard you could just throw in in with the compost. But several opinions said just a little bit. What’s your take?

  5. diana Says:

    Hey Erin! Wood ashes will sweeten acidic soil. I know my soil is very acidic because I had a soil test done. The general rule of thumb is to work in 1 lb ashes per 25sf; that works out to a 5-gallon pail per 500 sf of sandy soil (10 gal for clay soil). It’s not as strong or fast-acting as dolomitic lime, but it’s also free for me and organic! And a good way to make the most use of all the trees we cleared out of there. So I’ll spread the ashes and wait a couple weeks, then get another test done and sprinkle more if I need to. (They do basic tests at the farmer’s assn for $5). I agree that you shouldn’t put them directly in your compost because it will be so concentrated that it will completely change the pH and the bacteria won’t be able to get their work done and the compost won’t degrade quick enough.

    Just sprinkle them over your garden instead of on your compost heap. They won’t hurt anything (everyone in this state has acid soil) and can even help repel pests like whitefly later on. In fact, cabbages and brassicas LOVE more basic soil anyway, so concentrate the ashes in the area where you’ll plant those. And keep them away from the strawberries and raspberries.

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