No, this isn’t a post about real estate investing. That’s not the only game where location is important. Even rookie gardeners know that location in the garden is critical. The basics are obvious: how many hours of sun does the spot get, what’s the soil like, where does the water go when it rains. And then there are the more subtle factors like whether roots from nearby trees might steal nutrients, how companion plants might support or harm your crop, micro-climates within the garden and on and on it goes. I’m still somewhere in the middle of this learning curve.
What I had never thought about when considering the location of a plant was how close to the fence I was planting it. That’s all changed – mainly because of Bronwyn. Check out some of my kale plants in the photo below (you have to look closely to see the bottom row).
When I showed these leafless plants to Frank he cleverly pointed out that we should put the chicken wire outside of the bed. The question is, how far outside? Bronwyn (all the chickens do it – it’s just Bronwyn is the most energetic about it) not only sticks her head through, she’s been known to lean in with her considerable weight to gain that extra centimetre so she can reach her favourite plants – all of which are brassicas. The cauliflower and cabbage have suffered similar damage to the kale. The rocket and basil are safe though. Each hen has sampled pretty much every plant in the garden (that they can reach anyway) and, after spitting out nasty leaves, they will leave the offending plant alone.
Here’s Bronwyn putting in very little effort (not even a hint of a lean) to get some chickweed. We don’t pull out chickweed from some of the less fragile beds. We save it for treats for our chickens. In this case Bronwyn isn’t patient enough for me to harvest her a snack so she’s helping herself. Like I said, it’s all about location, location, location (and, obviously, taste).