Fall planting and chicken problems

We don’t really have fall in San Diego County, and this year is even worse than normal.  Generally, the weather will be a bit cooler in September and October with some hot days.  We also get Santa Ana winds (strong, hot, and dry winds from the desert) that help to cause the horrific wildfires we have every few years.  This year the weather people are saying we are going to have El Nino.  That is really messing up our usual weather.  It has been much hotter and more humid then normal.  That is really messing up my plans to plant cooler weather plants.

I bought my seeds a couple of weeks ago, but was holding back on planting while waiting for the weather to cool a bit.  The weather still hasn’t cooled but I decided to plant anyway.

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Spinach, beets, mizuna, broccoli, celery, and romaine lettuce

Everything I am planting is from Seeds of Change.  They have only organic seeds and so far I have had good luck with all the seeds I bought from them.

A week ago, I attempted to start some of my celery and broccoli seeds.  I had just had the broccoli start to sprout, and my neighbor’s chickens tore up my garden bed.  My neighbor’s have around 15-20 chickens and a duck they allow to free range in a tiny area.  The chickens love to escape and get into my yard.  My neighbors have built a 12 foot tall fence, but are uphill of my yard.  Some of the chickens can sort of fly over the fence into my yard; it is much harder for them to get back home though. Typically, they are hens and I don’t mind too much.  However, there have been 5 or 6 juvenile chickens that have been tearing my yard to shreds.

I enlisted the aid of my brother in law to chase down chickens.  We caught one which we put in a box with a note asking my neighbors to do something with their birds, and we left the box in front of their house.  We were able to chase 4 other birds over the fence.  I also found and removed three dead chickens that were between my fence and the neighbor’s.

Yesterday, I attempted to plant more seeds in hope the chickens will not tear them up.  I replanted the broccoli and celery in one of my raised beds.  My other raised bed has carrots, beets, and onions.  I have another small area by the house where I planted the spinach and lettuces.

During the day, I have my wife and kids going outside to chase chickens out of our yard.  Once I get home I go outside every hour or so to look for chickens.  I have two pieces of wood that I bang together and that seems to scare the birds enough to get them over the fence.  I really hope they stay out of my garden beds this time as I am hoping to get two crops of broccoli in this year.  If I lose this one and have to replant again then I doubt I will get two crops planted and harvested before spring.

-Joshua

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