I think it is probably time that we put the garden to bed, don’t you? It does seem a bit late in the season to be doing this now. We had such a fantastic October that it was not even on my radar to close up the garden. Sure, there were occasional afternoons where I would go through and pull some of the plants. Mainly the tomatoes, because they all go in a trash bag – I am still very concerned about blight after the past couple of bad seasons with regards to tomatoes.
This year is going to be a bit different because we have the 4x4 boxes to work with. Typically, we will get a truck load of horse manure from a friend, and Matt will just spread it all over the entire garden space. But, this year, we don’t really need to fertilize the pathways where we will not be planting. Matt had suggested pulling up the 4x4 beds to hopefully avoid them rotting over the next couple of years, but I think we will leave them there this winter and instead just put the horse manure, and also the bedding from the chickens, into the beds. We will be expanding the garden next year, so I will also be spreading manure and chicken bedding where we will be digging up next year.
I have been utilizing the chickens’ wonderful ability to scratch up and eat weeds and bugs as well. Every year I have trouble with bugs in the garden. This year, the one spot I didn’t have trouble was where the chickens had pecked and pecked the previous fall. I do not quite understand why some of the garden would have bugs, and other parts wouldn’t, but I am not questioning it. Instead, I am hoping that my chickens were the reason, and I am unleashing them on the rest of the garden. It is a bit of a slower process because I have to move fencing and put a new top on so that the chickens stay in the dedicated area for longer than 30 minutes.
I am not entirely sure what I will do about the pathways. It seems this summer I spent more time weeding the pathways of the garden, than the actual garden beds themselves. I would love to put rocks down in between the boxes, but if we ever decided not to garden and wanted the grass back, it would be a little complicated to remove all kinds of rocks. We also do not have a ton of money to spend on beautiful garden pathways, so any ideas would be greatly appreciated!