Godless in the garden

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Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees, backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 180
Latest Activity: 11 hours ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, grow flowers, putter around the yard, dig in the kitchen garden, raise backyard hens, or just like daydreaming about the garden, this is the place.

Many topics have been discussed in the archive.  Revive a topic by adding your 2¢ or start a new topic.

Everyone likes photos of the garden, so if you like to share photos of your prize dahlia, your favorite hen, or your first tomato, go right ahead!

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Comment by Daniel W on August 8, 2017 at 8:32pm

Actually, Joan, you just inspired me.  I think when rainy season starts, I will move the chicken tractor to garden beds that need tilling and working.  Why wasnt I doing that already?  :-)

Comment by kathy: ky on August 8, 2017 at 5:24pm
Joan, very interesting information about the chickens. I did put rough compost in the enclosure several times and the chickens cleaned it of everything. Unfortunately they took the good with the bad. All that was left was pure black dirt with some extra feathers and manure. Be I've been using it to places around the plants that need a boost. It makes very good fertilizer even though it's missing the tiny bugs that go after spider mites. But there are no weed seeds in it.
Comment by Joan Denoo on August 8, 2017 at 4:01pm
Comment by Joan Denoo on August 8, 2017 at 3:36pm

Well then, let's sing the praises of grasses and chamomile! At least they have roots in the ground and nourishment from the hens. According to permaculture, turn a problem into a solution! Use nature, don't fight it. 

Since the chickens are "destructive," use that destructive power to work for you.

1. Pile your compost in the center of the hen yard and let the chickens compost if for you 

2. If you have a place where you want to start vegetables, put an electric chicken fence around it, put the hens in there and throw their daily ration in the fenced area. Let the hens scavenge for the seeds and till the ground for you, or at least get the ground loosened up a bit. 

3. Figure out how much ground you need for the number of chickens you have, fence it with electric chicken fencing and let them do the work of eating and scratching. 

4. Do you have a bug/pest situation, turn your hens out on them. You may lose some vegetables or fruits, but it beats picking bugs and slugs. Again, use fencing to keep them where you want the chickens. 

If I were asking your question, I would want at least four plots for chickens so that I could get the seeds or plants started in all four, then rotate the chickens from plot to plot throughout the summer.

Electric chicken fencing could be used because it is light and easy to move. Also, it protects chickens from predators. 

Have you tried any of ground covers - Annual Ryegrass - Perennial Ryegrass - Buckwheat - Flax - Millet - Forage Peas - Red Clover - Alfalfa?

12 Chicken-Friendly Plants To Grow Next To Coops

Cover Crops In The Fall Garden: Winter Rye And Red Clover

Top Ten Plants for Chickens
"These easy plants are hands down my chickens’ favorites
Some I make a point of purchasing and some, Mother Nature provides at no cost. These are crops that anyone can grow, anywhere across this country, no matter your gardening zone."
I hope I haven't bored you with my imaginings. I would love to have a flock, but taking my health into consideration, I would have to depend on others doing what I can't. If I were 20 years younger ... 
Oh, by the way, plant nitrogen sequestering plants if you can. The chickens will add to the nitrogen, and the plant roots will go down very deep and draw water up from the lower levels.   
Comment by Daniel W on August 8, 2017 at 1:58pm

Our chickens are very destructive.  About the only ground-level plants that grow among them are grasses and chamomile.  I don't know how that chamomile got in there, although I used to grow it in my kitchen garden.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 8, 2017 at 1:38pm

Thomas, I don't remember; let's hope it was green peas. I don't remember sweet peas, but what would a kid remember?

Thanks for that information, I will put it in chicken file. 

Comment by Thomas Murray on August 8, 2017 at 9:52am

Joan,

Did your grandma use sweet peas or green peas? I understand that sweet peas are toxic to chickens.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on August 8, 2017 at 7:29am

Daniel, I'm jealous of your zinnias. I've tried to grow them without much success.

Comment by Randall Smith on August 8, 2017 at 7:16am

Gee, I just about forgot zinnias exist! I should plant some next year. Thanks for the reminder.

Comment by Idaho Spud on August 8, 2017 at 6:26am

Daniel, that pot of multicolored Zinnias is attractive.

Thomas & Joan, I like your chicken garden stories.

 

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