It is the middle of January and John has already started preparing our raised bed gardens. He was doing this in the rain this weekend! I looked out the window, and our three raised beds in our front yard looked so neat
. I asked him what he had done. Well first, he had finally cut down our asparagus from their summertime overgrowth. (We are in year two of our asparagus crop.) Then, he weeded the rest of the summer stuff out, and kept our kale and my lemon balm, the only herb that had survived the winter thus far. Then he fertilized the three beds in a uniquely natural way.
We have used this method of “fertilization” for several years now, and our raised beds have performed excellently for all the years we’ve had them. John and little Farmer #2 cleaned out our chicken coop, and put the poop in wagon, and spread it all over our raised beds! Chicken manure works wonders for your raised bed gardens. The chicken compost is naturally full of nitrogen, which is good for the soil! It is also higher in phosphorus and potassium than other common composts. No need to worry if your vegetables will smell like a chicken coop. It does seem to disappear after a few months of rain and winter weather. You will need to do this in the wintertime, or at least a few months before planting your gardens. Too much of this fertilizer will actually burn your plants.
Raised beds tend to drain very quickly. This goes for water, and also for the nutrients in the soil. So, in order to successfully raise healthy vegetation, it must be fertilized. From our experience, chicken poop provides what our soil needs to thrive!