Planting in the greenhouse

Finally, I’ve planted the greenhouse.  Sheesh.  Embarrassingly late, but it is a season extender, after all.

We had to build screen doors for the greenhouse to keep the hens out before I could plant in there, too.

A while ago, we threw a truckload of wood chips in there, hoping to mitigate the baking of the already packed down bare soil (post chicken habitation all winter).

It worked far better than I expected.  The chickens have been in there still, especially on rainy days, kicking around the chips, which are so light and crispy dry in the heat of the greenhouse that I worried if it was a fire hazard.

However, when I raked away the chips from a swathe of dirt for a garden bed, the soil was dark and moist.  Wow!  Best of all, no sod!  The hens took care of that this winter.

Exactly as planned.

The top crust of dirt is very black (due to hen fertilizing, I’m sure), and since there is no meaty layer of tangled roots, the broadfork worked completely differently.  Instead of lifting out a big chunk of sod, it just sank in and made a line of neat holes.  Like sticking a fork into a pumpkin pie.  More or less just a big aerator.

So I did a pass with the broadfork/sodbreaker, and then a once over with a pitchfork, to lift and loosen it a bit.  I did not bother turning it, or making it all fine and crumbly garden soil, just disturbed it a bit.  Lazy.  Plus I think the soil is super moist and properly strata-ed already, so the abundant worms will keep it as loose as it needs.  time will tell.

The chickens were in the greenhouse with me, very well behaved (ie, ignoring my starts).  I had one sharp-eyed shadow, though, watching every plunge of my fork for any glimpse of a worm in the cracks of the upheaved earth.  She’d pull them out as neatly as pulling a sewing needle.

2015-07-06 09.12.28

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