First Raised Bed Filled

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I took a couple of hours today in the sunshine to fill up the first raised bed I built. I need this bed filled before I can start on the other beds, because there are a few things that need transplanting when I clear the area, like my leeks.

The entire top half of this bed was filled with earth taken from my chicken pen floor. A little over a year ago my lovely boyfriend dug out the pen about a foot deep and we filled it in with wood chips. These did a really good job of keeping the mud down and providing the chickens a loose surface to scratch. It also mixed with the droppings and broke down over time into beautiful, rich black earth.

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It’s time to dig it out again and put in another load of wood chips, and luckily I had the bed ready to be filled. I probably transferred about 20 wheelbarrow loads out of there, and there’s easily another 20 to go which is good because I’ll have another two huge beds to fill soon.  The chickens were beside themselves with joy at the layer of worms and fresh earth I uncovered for them.

I loaded it right to the brim as it will settle with time. I also plan to top dress it with some finished fish compost that I have left over from last spring. I can’t wait to get planting!

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First Raised Bed Complete

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I had to take time off after the last time I worked on this bed, since it got cold and the ground froze. Now it’s nicely thawed again and I spent a little while before farm chores today to finish it off.

It now has both its ends completed, two cross bars in the middle to keep it from bowing out, and I have ground down the tips of a few screws that pushed through the wood into the inside. The tips were barely visible, but I did not wish to be reminded of them later on while gardening.

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If you’re wondering how the thin ends of the triangular side pieces are attached, there is a block of wood inside securing them to the top piece.

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The bed is already almost half filled with rabbit manure, chicken manure, kitchen scraps and kitty manure. It will be good to get bed number two started soon, since I don’t want to overload them with fresh manure. They have only a few months before spring planting to mellow out, and I don’t want my plants to burn.

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