To begin with we pulled up all the ivy and dug up all the roots. Then after we were satisfied with that the dirt was turned over with a shovel and a hoe. Compost wsa added and turned under again after the dirt had been softened up the first time.
The chickens had free reign over this area for a week or so to get everything turned and settled in.
While this was going on I gathered up the empty egg cartons. I put dirt mixed with potting soil in them and planted a couple seeds in each one. Then a thin layer of soil was added over that. I also have a home made flood and ebb hydroponic setup I planted seeds in as well.
Once the seeds are big enough they are either transplanted to a bigger pot and then hardened, or placed directly outside. In Seattle Im afraid of the frost so I opted to transplant them and wait.
I used empty plastic tubs and tin cans to replant them in. I placed them along the basement wall where the windows let in natural light. They did fine.
To harden them off put them outside during the day and gradually leave them out until they get used to the colder temperature.
Once the threat of frost is over they can be transplanted outside. The crows tend to love pulling things up when seeds are sprouting so this helps with that as well. Once they get to a certain size the chickens shouldnt, or usually won’t, eat them completely. If they do you can seperate the two until later.
In the early part of the season I planted Swis Chard, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes (to keep inside until much later, I started them early), and carrots. There are some platns that do best early, or will be okay early.
After the seeds were started and outgrew my seedbed I moved them outside after acclimating them to the outdoors a few days. They were put under a poly plastic sheet home made cloche or cold frame. It is a simple A frame design made with PVC pipe and some cut from wood stakes. I tried many different designs to make it look better. Short of building a greenhouse this was the easiest and best.
It’s the end of February here in Seattle and there are some plants outside already. I have radishes, chard, carrots, broccoli, and some others out. All are supposedly early variants. We will see. They all look pretty well considering how early it is. Its an early spring though here. Im still watching for frost though.
Find out what you like to eat and when you can start planting it. If you plant inside early you willhave early vegetables. Watch the frost and watch them grow.