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Jillra65

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Welcome to TEG @Jillra65 , from the now not-so-chilly state of Wisconsin! :frow

Nothing wrong with a brown thumb; good soil = good plants. :)

There are a lot of animals you can fence out, discourage or have a "live and let live" coexistence; but IMO ground hogs are not one of those. If you begin a vegetable garden, it is only a matter of time (and probably not long) before they overcome any barriers and become a problem. Their appetite is enormous, and they can completely raze a garden in a few days unless stopped. They can also dig burrows under things, to the point of causing structural collapse (as they did under the gravel floor in my pole building). Trapping or killing are really the only way to deal with them (or get a large dog). You may want to check your local ordinances regarding what is allowed for ground hogs, since catch & release may be
 

Jillra65

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I don't have the heart to kill it. It has been here for a long time. It mostly stays at another area of our property, but I am sure it would notice a garden, lol. I have a humane trap if I ever need it. I can check with South Carolina's laws on handling it. We have a skunk, too. My son' dog was sprayed by it. His dog is a big one, but he is in and out. Do they climb...say, if I had a raised metal bed...could they climb up into it? I plan to put hardware cloth down under it.
 

Jillra65

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I am still needing to learn composting. I am not really strong enough to turn it is the problem. But my friend told me to be careful where I buy my soil because there is no telling what bad stuff could be in it. She talks about good soil often. My thumb will one day green up, lol.
 

baymule

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You have chickens, and building a coop. Build your coop with a dirt floor so they can scratch and enjoy it. Give them grass clippings or in the fall, rake up leaves and put in the coop. I used to get bagged leaves at the curb, before the trash ran, in the fall when people were cleaning up their yards. My hens LOVED the leaves and scratched them to bits. And they pooped on the leaves. In a few months, the leaves were reduced to a fine crumble and I dug it out and put on the garden. I had a covered run for them too. Sometimes I got so many leaves that I piled the run 2 or 3 feet deep. Leaves, all raked up, bagged and sitting on the curb in town, are a great resource!
 

Jillra65

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You have chickens, and building a coop. Build your coop with a dirt floor so they can scratch and enjoy it. Give them grass clippings or in the fall, rake up leaves and put in the coop. I used to get bagged leaves at the curb, before the trash ran, in the fall when people were cleaning up their yards. My hens LOVED the leaves and scratched them to bits. And they pooped on the leaves. In a few months, the leaves were reduced to a fine crumble and I dug it out and put on the garden. I had a covered run for them too. Sometimes I got so many leaves that I piled the run 2 or 3 feet deep. Leaves, all raked up, bagged and sitting on the curb in town, are a great resource!
That is an awesome idea! I was considering wood chips or sand as a substrate for them, but we have a lot of trees and lots of leaves. I am going to try this. 😀
 

baymule

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I practiced deep litter and cleaned out the coop twice a year. I just added leaves, pine shavings, grass clippings, garden trimmings, anything organic and the hens broke it down. Digging it out had an “earthy” smell, but it was ready to use compost for the garden. I sprinkled garden lime ( not builders lime) on the coop floor and put in more litter. I used a shovel to dig out the coop, put it in a wagon and spread it on the garden.
 

tripletfeb

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Thank you for the warm welcome! I forgot to add that I live in the Upstate of South Carolina. Thank you for reminding me, Mary. I see such neat ideas and pretty gardens. I really want cattle panel trellises. I just love them. I hope to have a separate rose garden, but that will be later. I mainly want to start with herbs and vegetables...and a few flowers. Especially ones for hummingbirds. I got a cute one from my friend called candy corn. Cypress vines are pretty. She always sent a firecracker plant with me. I am like a kid in a candy store when I visit her lol. I love the fragrant plants like mints and basil. My main trouble is figuring how to get dirt without going broke. Especially since I want raised beds. I saw a man on YouTube successfully grow corn in a raised bed. It was enough for he and his wife. And he is pretty new to growing a nice garden. I envision my thumb getting greener, ha. - Jill
We have raised beds and have successfully grown corn for years. As for the dirt, use what your chickens give you. We also have a town nearby that gives away what we call black gold. It's their leaves they pick up from the town residents and they compost it. Anyone is free to grab some of the dirt, it just takes work. You might want to see if any town by you does that too
 

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