Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chicken Wars

Buck and Wise One spread the rich dark mulch over my perfectly weeded and tilled garden and in some of my flower beds. For those gardeners who do not raise free range chicken, this would be deeply satisfying. However, I know mulch means a new season of battle.

Let the games begin.

My cute, cuddly, and annoying chickens will take their luxurious dust baths in my flower beds. They'll dig and scratch willy nilly mulch onto the sidewalk. I'll sweep it back into the bed every few days, but the pattern of scratching and sweeping will last the entire summer. If I want to plant something new, I'll have to create a chicken barrier so it won't be eaten or scratched out of the ground. Last year, I quickly figured out chickens really like to eat hostas, and none of the three Claire gave me for my birthday made it. Frown. The silly birds do, however, leave all the established foliage alone so my bushes, red hot pokers, peonies, lilies, roses, bee balm, seedem, herbs, and spices are just fine. It's the begonias and impatiens which will be most at risk when I bring them home from the nursery in a few weeks. I constantly found them all over the sidewalk in the strewn mulch last spring and summer.

We could and should give away of some of our roosters. I betcha this mulch game might factor into their demise.

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