Does anybody garden with raised beds?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Xtina, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. Xtina

    Xtina Chillin' With My Peeps

    729
    0
    149
    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm starting to wonder what I'm going to do to keep my chickens out of my vegetables this year! I got my baby chicks in July so they were too small to damage the vegetable garden last year, but this year is going to be a problem. And most of the designs I have running through my head are expensive or too bulky, or will make it inconvenient for me to tend to my plants.

    Who has pics?
     
  2. erinm

    erinm Posting For A change

    493
    1
    151
    Feb 24, 2007
    Central Massachusetts
    You need to fence it all in. i started raised beds last year , but you would have to raise it several feet high to keep the chickens in. They will only hop up into the beds. Fence it in and most will stay out. My fence is 3 feet i think and only the lightest flyers get in. ErinM
     
  3. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    Yep - you'll have to fence each one individually or entirely as a whole if you get them close enough together - but can your birds still fly?? If so - its sort of useless then to fence as they'll just fly over and into the garden.

    I used to do raised bed gardening when we lived in the suburbs but now I have a huge garden thats like 50X60 or something like that. My birds arent allowed in it though - I keep an ever watchful eye on them when they free range - I herd them then put them back into their fenced pen (12X12) (only have 6 birds though).

    You could also do bucket planting vs. raised bed - get those large galvanized containers from the feed store (the largest they have) - drill holes in the bottom to let water drain - and fill with soil. I still do some plantings this way even with my garden and LOVE IT! I can get 2 tomato plants to 8 feet tall in those - and cucumbers do WONDERFULLY in them especially if you use a tomato cage - they crawl up it (you have to help it though...keep wrapping as it gets bigger) and the cukes just hang off of it. I can get 2 tomato cages in 1 galvanized container. Peppers work in there also - as does corn believe it or not [​IMG]

    Another option to look at for you.
    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  4. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, I'll tell ya, lol...its strange with our birds as we have raised beds due to natural springs in our soil (such a shame right! LOL) then DH places a 3 foot high bunny fence around the boxes. The only time the girls were amazed was when DH placed a 1x2 on top of the row end posts. It was like it was placed there just for them. Needless to say, we had to cover it, yet they never bothered any of the other boxes.
    Of course we mulch between the rows with dry leaves in the fall and it takes them all summer to move them here and there. Also its great to have the birds near the garden, you don't need to use pesticides other then dish soap.
    Good luck!!!
     
  5. Hoot

    Hoot Out Of The Brooder

    98
    1
    31
    Jan 12, 2009
    Canaveral Groves, FL.
    I am trying to figure this out my self. Planning to prepare the soil this weekend for the garden and have this new chicken obsession that has taken over my life. But everything I hear is the chickens will enjoy the veggies before I get a chance.

    I was planning to build 2 run areas and alternate my garden every growing season. But my garden is going to be to large for that plan.

    I guess I'll build a nice run for the chickens and only let them free range the yard/garden area when the growing season is over, or when I can watch over the garden with a broom. That way the hens can help me break down some organics from yard clippings, plus add some fertilizer for my compost pile.

    I am sure this can be worked out, If I throw enough money at it. I may have 8 dollars a dozen in eggs, but it will work.

    Hoot
     
  6. farmerbrown

    farmerbrown Out Of The Brooder

    50
    0
    29
    Feb 3, 2009
    SW VA
    My chickens have two 2 acre fenced in yards to play in. There fence is a 4’6” wire woven fence to protect them form the goats. The 2 yards are set up off there run with a gate on each end. They might have a fence but half of them still free range.

    We built there house in the goat field to cut down on other animal problems. We have found that our hens just think the fence is there for the goats to keep out of there yards. We switch the hens back and forth every week or so we can let the goats in and clean up there yard. The goats do a good job of keeping off protectors.

    As far as keeping them out of your garden I’m not sure but if they want out and see a way they will do it.
     
  7. I'M On Island Time

    I'M On Island Time Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    39
    Aug 23, 2008
    Chain O'Lakes IL
    I learned the hard way.

    It is easier to fence the vegetables, rather than fence the chickens in.

    Don't bother trying to keep the chickens contained to stay out. Just deter the birds from going in the garden.

    After keeping the birds in a pen for a few weeks, chasing them out of the garden 100x per day, and having tomatoes filled with peck marks, I gave up and let the chickens loose and used their pen fencing to contain the vegetables.

    That worked much better! This year I will hopefully have enough stuff to can. Most of it went to the birds last year. [​IMG]
     
  8. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    12,151
    25
    311
    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    I have raised beds, and my chickens stay out of them when they're full of plants. They only get into them during the fall & winter when they're empty and they can see the bare dirt. Maybe I'm lucky?

    They do put random holes in some of the tomatoes that hang over the edge of the bed, though.
     
  9. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    I too worry what I'm going to do. This will be my first year with full grown chickens and they found my garden waaaay down the yard. [​IMG] I'm not going to be too happy if they screw up my canning this summer. I'm planning on fencing but golly gee my garden is several hundred feet long! I hope I can find some scrap fencing from farmers around here.
     
  10. Catalina

    Catalina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2007
    Minnesota
    I use all raised beds in my garden. This is what my garden looked like last summer.
    [​IMG]

    But, I ripped it all out in the Fall and re-did all the beds. I could get many more beds in my backyard if I put them diagonally. I don't have a pic of that and my garden is covered in 2+ feet of iced over snow. [​IMG]

    I can't let my chickens free range, but I think they would eat everything if I did.

    P.S. Join http://www.theeasygarden.com/forum/ !!!!!!!!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by