I have tried really hard to grow a lemon tree or even any kind of citrus for that matter and over the years I have failed miserably. Then recently I thought I’d try again, but I would kill two birds with one stone. However there was a point when killing birds with stones seemed like a good idea. But at the time I thought I’d be kind and plant the two victims – I mean citrus trees, a lime and a lemon, in the chicken coop so it can grow up and give them shade. I thought I was being nice to the chickens.
Chickens don’t seem to have any sensitivity at all. They didn’t care how much these precious trees meant to me and what value they would receive in the future. No all they think about is ‘scratch, scratch, scratch, I wonder if I can destroy this?’ So they began to dig up my trees.
I thought I’d foiled them by putting down some coconut fibre linings to act as a mulch. While a great mulch it is absolutely useless as a chicken deterrent as the chickens reduced it to fluff in no time and continued with the tree destruction and root extraction of my precious wee trees.
This situation was intolerable – I knew that the trees were up against the odds just by being in my possession, but to be attacked by chickens made me see red! Something needed to be done. I cast my eye across the garden hoping a simple solution would come to me. I saw the mini raised beds that had come off the black currants and I saw a load of chicken wire that I hadn’t put away from a previous project. I came up with a crazy idea that may just work.
I put the mini raised beds over the trees, and added more soil and compost to replace what the chickens had scratched away. Then I laid down some more coconut fibre to act as a mulch and protect my trees from weeds. Around the inside edges I sprinkled some special chicken plant seeds from a pack I had just recently bought and then attached chicken wire to the top of the bed with a hole in the middle for the tree to grow through.
Hopefully I have created an impenetrable fortress to keep my trees safe and provided the ungrateful chickens with a perpetual snack, because as the plants from the chicken plant seeds grow up to the top of the chicken wire they will be able to peck the top off, but the plant will be able to continue to grow as the destructive birds won’t be able to scratch it up. This should work… in theory. And hopefully I have done everything to protect my citrus trees and we will get lemons…. In theory!
Come again soon – aside from being distracted by chickens the garden is still a productive place!
Sarah the Gardener : o )