After barely missing the star role in a slap stick comedy/tradgedy, as the shovel set in flight by the airborne straw bale came close to whacking me, then narrowly avoiding poking out my left eye with the branch of the butterfly bush I was pruning, my front driveway area is looking much nicer. So much for peaceful gardening. It was more like “Momma’s Day Out!”… which is why the kids try to keep close tabs on me.
I’m adding two more straw bale gardens this year, in locations that needed a boost. Since they were filled and covered a with soil dug from the chicken pen, I’m not worrying about letting them compost before I plant. One of them already has potatoes in it. The other will get some flowers or lettuce while it waits for squash.
I also divided and planted some comfrey in the area of straw bale garden 2. My chickens think it is candy, and I think they are nice looking plants. I had a panic moment, however, right after I had transplanted. The chickens’s necks exhibited amazing elasticity and they began to eat the small plants. The plants were going to be ingested within a matter of minutes unless I acted quickly.
The new straw bale garden had some loose, available leaves of straw on the end of the bales. I managed to fit thin sections between the comfrey and the fence. Fortunately, chickens have very small brains. The moment they couldn’t see the comfrey, it didn’t exist. Once the plants are large enough, they will provide a nice snack for the chickens, as well as add softness to the fence lines.
I have also spread straw in between some of the raised beds to help keep down weeds and provide a dry floor for my ripe tomatoes to rest on. I’ll add more later in the season. I find that the ripe tomatoes keep much longer which they aren’t hitting the dirt. I also seems to help keep the pill bugs away. They don’t seem to like to crawl through straw.