Mavis Garden Blog – Garden Clean Up

raised garden beds

10 months from now if I ask you if I should spread straw all over my whole freakin’ garden, please tell me no. Because yesterday I spent half the day cleaning up our 16 raised garden beds. Of course there wouldn’t have been so much work to do had I not spread straw all over the garden beds last fall, but I’m a sucker for punishment.

I had intended on growing vegetables in the raised garden beds over the winter, but after I reached my goal of 2,000 pounds, I decided to needed a break, and stayed inside and got caught up on House reruns instead.  So unless I’m going to fully commit to growing vegetables in the backyard all winter long, I think laying down straw is  just plain silly {and a HUGE waste of time}.


While I was raking up all that straw, I also found a few worms for Black Fatty. When I’m out working in the garden and the chickens are “free ranging,” Black Fatty will often come over to where I am and just stare at me until I dig her up a few worms. It’s cute, for the first few minutes or so, but when she plants herself there for a half an hour it gets a little old. But a few worms, hey, no problem.

heirloom beet

And holy crack people. Beets.  Winter beets! The chickens had devoured all the tops so they were hard to detect under all that straw, but man oh man, guess what’s for dinner tonight. Just don’t tell the Handsome Husband though, if he finds out I’m feeding him something that was previously gnawed on by chickens he probably wont eat them.

rainbow swiss chard

And last but not least,  I also dug up 4 the large clumps of Rainbow Swiss Chard. I was going to toss them so I could start from scratch, but decided to transplant them to another area in the garden instead. I may not be a fan of Swiss chard, but the chickens sure do love it. And hey, anything that gets me closer to my goal of growing 4,000 pounds of food this fall, works for me.

How was your Saturday? Did you do anything exciting?


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  1. Robin says

    Hey, nothing too exciting I roasted and shredded some of the fairy tale pumpkins that were grown this year. I followed Alton Brown’s recipe for pumpkin bread. It’s a winner. Dinner with parents and getting ready for kids to go back to school tomorrow. A pretty laid back Saturday. I’ve got beets to harvest too. Have you has sucess growing broccoli rabe? I’m trying to grow right now seems to be taking forever to produce any buds. Have a great Sunday.

  2. says

    1. That swiss chard will promptly go to seed in the spring (it’s a biennial), but the chickens will still love it!

    2. For awhile, my sister wouldn’t eat our chicken’s eggs because I told her about how when I let them out they come up on the back deck and eat all the dog’s food! She got over it. 😀

    Happy Sunday!

  3. says

    Have you tried growing a cover crop instead of laying straw/hay down? It helps with the nutrients in the soil during the fall/ winter.

    My Saturday was full of filling 2 new garden beds with soil and compost as well as setting up our corn patch area.. let me tell you, lifting what felt like 100lb stumps (we’ve been cutting trees down) to the location was hard!

    I also started some of my seeds but had to stop because my grow lights I ordered had not come in so I’m working with only 2 lights.

    • says

      Cover crops are great- just make sure you’re willing to pull them or that it gets cold enough in your area for them to die off. Remember our oat fiasco? It didn’t get cold enough (for long enough) here last winter and the oats never died as planned. Thankfully, they pulled out pretty easily, but it took some time:-). They did do a great job keeping the weeds down!

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