Gardeners - fertilzing suggestions needed

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by fatcatx, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. fatcatx

    fatcatx Chillin' With My Peeps

    I need help from my fellow gardeners. This is our first spring with 4 full grown girls. They roam free for 2-4 hours each day in our small city backyard. I have plants and fruit trees that need fertilizer. I am stumped how to accomplish this without fencing off all the plants as the chickens will dig up all the granules and probably eat them. Does anyone have another strategy that has worked or am I stuck fencing?

    Available liquid fertilzer (eg Miracle Grow) not an option as the N-P-K is not apporiate for the plants in questions. Most liquids are too high in nitrogen. Maybe someone knows of a brand I'm not familiar with?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The only strategy I use is fencing, either fence the chickens in or fence them out.

    I don't know what N-P-K ratio you are looking for. For trees you might try burying it a little and put something over that are so they can't scratch. I have no idea what kinds of plants you are looking at or how they are planted.
  3. bwr719

    bwr719 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2013
    Chicken tractor. Move as needed and fertilize where you want/need it
  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    It seems that you could dissolve the fertilizer in water and apply it. After all, aren't we waiting for watering or rain to get the fertilizer to the plants?

  5. flickerloo

    flickerloo Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2013
    NW Washington
    Put some hardware cloth over the areas where you fertilize?
  6. fatcatx

    fatcatx Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have a variety of fruit trees (stone, citrus) which each benefit from fertilizer suited to them due to our soil composition.

    I like the hardware cloth idea which may work for some areas and our wine barrel planters. (They left them alone until one started climbing in and then they all had to try it.) The larger fruit tree area have me stumped though. I guess it will come down to which is cheaper - the hardware cloth or the rabbit fencing.

    Thank you for the suggestions. If anyone has a new one, please post.
  7. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
  8. ChickenCurt

    ChickenCurt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2014
    I'll guess you have a coop; if you add fresh straw fresh straw daily you'll have the perfect fertilizer to add to your garden. I do that daily and then at months end I spread over the garden beds then in Spring I till in and plant adding more straw around sprouting and mature plants and trees for weed control and continued feeding. The straw locks in the well balanced chicken poo without the adverse effects of spreading straight chicken poo that could burn plants or over feed them. Plus the monthly cleaning with the daily adding of straw eliminates the packed poo on the coop floor that can grow nasty pathogens that sickens the flock and farmer alike. If your straw piles up just compost it and essentially save it for when you do need it. DO NOT let the chicks run amuck in a fresh garden as seed and sprout will vanish. You can let them roam a mature garden periodically for pest control. :) Happy planting.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  9. fatcatx

    fatcatx Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have a spinning composter that I put the coop poop in. I figure better safe than sorry. Luckily the veg garden was already fenced off pre-chicken to keep the dog out so the kale is still standing! However my beautiful annuals that would reseed themselves every year have not faired well. We are in a drought so I'm not sure how much is chicken damage and how much is lack of rain this winter.
    A+ - I didn't even know about these! They won't be cost effective for my full size trees they will be perfect for the dwarf ones! Thanks for the link!
  10. nab58

    nab58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2013
    Had to fence my garden a few years ago when my dogs decided they liked vegetables. They'll pull radishes right out of the ground, carry them out into the lawn and munch down the red radish. It's funny to watch but annoying as anything.

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