14x100 greenhouse homed 44 birds this winter

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Freindly farmer, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. Freindly farmer

    Freindly farmer In the Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2018
    Hello all,

    I am trying to figure out what to expect or how to prepare my greenhouse this coming season. I live in a zone 3-4 area and have been housing 44 chickens in my catapilar green house all winter(about 5 months so far). My original idea was to do this to boost the fertility, keep weeds down, and to lower the slug population throughout the winter months. Come about May i was hoping to start my tomatoes and such in there..

    My main concern is how good my soil is really going to be in there with all the poop everywhere? Is it going to be safe for plants? Will it burn or prevent growth? I know chicken dropping are pretty potent, but my hope was they will be scratching away excellerating the breakdown process and essentially tilling and readying it for this years planting. I will add that fertility to start in there was low to moderate at best. How much time do i need before planting? Should I scrape the top layer off, or should i just till everything in? Any thoughts will be much appreciated.
     
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  2. sfgwife

    sfgwife Crowing

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    Are you gonna add anything else to the dirt in there or just till it up and plant?
     
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  3. Freindly farmer

    Freindly farmer In the Brooder

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    Till and plant was the idea. Im hoping i get 4 weeks with them out of there before planting. There was a lot of mulch added last year and the overall residue amount was extremely high. Also i will be adding landscape fabric to the whole thing except two walkways. This area is in a low spot and sees a LOT of water. My weed management issues because of all the water needs something like this till i knock out the unwanted populations.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
    penny1960 likes this.
  4. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

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    I would just turn everything under and get planting. If you start plants in pots the most tender roots will be protected by the potting soil. By the time the roots spread to the soil the poop will of mellowed and the plant is stronger.
     
    Freisian likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    What is a "caterpillar greenhouse"?
     
  6. Freindly farmer

    Freindly farmer In the Brooder

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    Something similar to this... sorry for the bad spelling in the title.
     

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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    OooooK...wasn't sure if you were growing caterpillars in a greenhouse or what! :D
    (NP on the spelling, I knew what you meant)
     
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  8. Freindly farmer

    Freindly farmer In the Brooder

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    What about the higher nitrogen? I am worried i will get crazy tomatoe vines with no fruit. I only mention because i am running a csa and a market for this years income. Have you had experience with a similar circumstance?
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I'd mix it in in one place, then test the soil.
     
  10. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

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    My soil is heavy clay. My garden gets all the deep litter added to it spring and fall plus gets worked over by the chickens in the winter. I just till everything under 2-3 times then plant. Never had a problem with tomatoes not setting fruit. However, my garden is not a business so a marginal crop is not a crisis. You need to test your soil to amend it properly and maximize production. The high N in the poop has probably been mostly used to break down the mulch. If the soil tests out too high adding more C products (wood chips, leaves...) plus watering will drop it dramatically.
    A soil test runs about $20 at your extension office.
     

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