Growing grass from seed/fertilizer question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChookHappy, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. ChookHappy

    ChookHappy Dances with Chickens

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Petaluma, Ca
    Hey folks, I'm planning on seeding my backyard soon and will be pretty much starting from scratch. We are renting and from the looks of the backyard initially it seems the last few tenants never utilized the space but we have clearly changed that with our girls. I plan to section off a decent chunk of the space and grow from seed and work my way around the yard in this fashion. I understand this is the only sensible way of seeding while still letting the girls range a bit under a watchful eye in our case.

    My question to you all this this, they suggest you use a fertilizer after seeding. Is the commonly reccomended fertilizer going to harm the chooks? Most likey it's going to be some chemical that they want you to spread on there and that concerns me. Am I wrong? I was going to buy seed today and go to town soon but I wanted to run this by yall first.
     
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Buy some bagged manure for fertilizer. It won't harm the chicks, & its weed seed free.
     
  3. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sowing seed?????? It's -20 here and your thinking of starting grass!!! What the heck????

    Don't use a weed and feed. An actual liquid fertilizer will be fine after a day or two. Just keep the chicks on lockdown and let the soil/grass absorb the fertilizer.
    Maybe water the lawn as soon as the directions allow you to? It should state on the package how long to apply before a heavy dew or rain.
     
  4. ChookHappy

    ChookHappy Dances with Chickens

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Petaluma, Ca
    Quote:Ok cool, that sounds way cheaper and safer. We happened to walk by a bag of chicken manure so I had to stop and check the price, you know curiosity... besides who doesn't stop on a dime when they see a bag of crap for sale.

    Quote:LOL yea I know! I lived in Denver the last ten years and it's 1F atm out there. [​IMG] This weather out here is soooo much warmer. Very foggy everyday in this huge valley we live in although. The ground is constantly wet out here.
    Quote:Thanks. This will be my virgin attempt at growing a lawn. I think the girls will really like it. We learned that during the winter, the wet seaon out here, the backyard just becomes a muddy mess. We have a lot of adobe clay in the soil out here so this might not work great but we shall see.
     
  5. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think the key is to find a grass that is native to your region. It may not be the chicken's favorite to dine on, but in all honesty, that may work to your favor.
     
  6. ChookHappy

    ChookHappy Dances with Chickens

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Petaluma, Ca
    Schweet! I'll head to the garden center today and get some seed. Are most liquid fertilizers going to be fairly similar?
     
  7. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Quote:Ok cool, that sounds way cheaper and safer. We happened to walk by a bag of chicken manure so I had to stop and check the price, you know curiosity... besides who doesn't stop on a dime when they see a bag of crap for sale.

    Quote:LOL yea I know! I lived in Denver the last ten years and it's 1F atm out there. [​IMG] This weather out here is soooo much warmer. Very foggy everyday in this huge valley we live in although. The ground is constantly wet out here.
    Quote:Thanks. This will be my virgin attempt at growing a lawn. I think the girls will really like it. We learned that during the winter, the wet seaon out here, the backyard just becomes a muddy mess. We have a lot of adobe clay in the soil out here so this might not work great but we shall see.

    If you were not renting, you might consider adding sand to the soil before cultivation. It would break up the clay somewhat and aid in drainage. As some posters said, after rain hits the chem fertilizers just another day is good enough to keep them out of it. Personally, I would keep the chooks off of it until it gets well established. They will rip it out by the roots even while they are eating it. Some breeds are worse than others. My Black Aussies do not seem to do that as much as my other breeds do.

    Another thing to consider is to note where the worst muck is out back and be sure to NOT put the coop/run there. Nothing is worse than a mucky chicken run that does not get a chance to dry, [​IMG] especially if it is as warm as it is in Calif.
     
  8. ChookHappy

    ChookHappy Dances with Chickens

    335
    1
    121
    Oct 12, 2009
    Petaluma, Ca
    Quote:Ok cool, that sounds way cheaper and safer. We happened to walk by a bag of chicken manure so I had to stop and check the price, you know curiosity... besides who doesn't stop on a dime when they see a bag of crap for sale.

    Quote:LOL yea I know! I lived in Denver the last ten years and it's 1F atm out there. [​IMG] This weather out here is soooo much warmer. Very foggy everyday in this huge valley we live in although. The ground is constantly wet out here.
    Quote:Thanks. This will be my virgin attempt at growing a lawn. I think the girls will really like it. We learned that during the winter, the wet seaon out here, the backyard just becomes a muddy mess. We have a lot of adobe clay in the soil out here so this might not work great but we shall see.

    If you were not renting, you might consider adding sand to the soil before cultivation. It would break up the clay somewhat and aid in drainage. As some posters said, after rain hits the chem fertilizers just another day is good enough to keep them out of it. Personally, I would keep the chooks off of it until it gets well established. They will rip it out by the roots even while they are eating it. Some breeds are worse than others. My Black Aussies do not seem to do that as much as my other breeds do.

    Another thing to consider is to note where the worst muck is out back and be sure to NOT put the coop/run there. Nothing is worse than a mucky chicken run that does not get a chance to dry, [​IMG] especially if it is as warm as it is in Calif.

    So we are renting but the landlord doesn't mind if we make improvements. Now would I rake a few bags of sand into the soil and just sorta spread it over the top or do I dig up the area a bit and add it? Hopefully not the latter of the two hehe. I do plan on fencing off the area and will be keeping them off it until, like you mentioned, it has been well established and do sections of the space like that. The whole area is only 32x50 including the run so at least it's not a huge area.

    EDIT: Forgot to add, the part of Cali we live in is very similar to London, England during the winter. It is very, VERY foggy everyday during the winter. Fairly cold and always wet. I can't wait for summer lol.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  9. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    I till the ground, rake it flat, pick up any rocks/debris, spread the seed, rake it in lightly, and water. Don't water too heavily, the seed will wash away [​IMG]
     
  10. FLF

    FLF Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2007
    Portersville
    You should put down a starter fertilizer when you put down your seed. Look for one with a high middle number, such as 18-24-12. If you are worried about your chickens (or kids) you could go with a product that is Organic (like Nature Safe) Make sure you keep the seed moist, and try not to water after 5pm (that enourage seed rot and fungus. I'd cover the seed with something to keep it moist and keep things from picking at it. Encap is ideal, put if you don't mind some weeds, you could use straw or mush room manure. Make sure you don't use a pre emergent until the grass is well established (like a year) or you will keep the grass seed from growing [​IMG] Make sure you have good soil/seed contact by raking or whatever.

    I second keeping the chickens out until it is well established! Though, maybe let them out prior to help scratch up the surface really well [​IMG]
     

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