The south-most section of our garden space has been a battle zone for the last two years. Although we sheet mulched as we did for the rest of the space, in that area the grass continued to be too much to beat back, and each spring would start again with a thick lawn. So this year, we decided to take a step we hadn’t before, and till in the garden. Ordinarily we’ve tried to avoid this, primarily because our garden is an old pasture and the load of weed seeds in the soil is pretty spectacular – tilling only invites new weeds!
However, this year, we have a secret weapon in the fight: our trial batch of meat chickens are ready to come off the heat lamp and join the real world! We set up a fenced area for them, and put them on the newly tilled soil — they’ll help us scratch up any new sprouts that come up, and keep the tilled area from becoming a weed patch overnight.
And in return, we’re expecting to harvest 15-20 delicious roasters in mid-June, after which we will amend the soil with some compost and plant in a cover crop to keep the weeds down for the rest of the year. A couple hundred more square feet to garden, tasty chicken dinners… so much to be excited about!