Planting around coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kritrkz, May 9, 2007.

  1. kritrkz

    kritrkz New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    May 9, 2007
    Hi .......have had chickens for a few years now & they have a southern exposure. I've tried planting different plants such as tall grasses & bushes on the south side to give them shade in the summer. This side is downhill from the runs & think the ammonia & nitrogen from the runs is the culprit as everything dies out. I had originally tried a veggie garden in an area between the runs, but got lot of green & no fruit to speak of. Any thoughts on what might grow? Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Napalongtail

    Napalongtail Longtail Longtimer

    420
    2
    151
    Jan 31, 2007
    NE Washington
    WE've done well with just planting in the scratch grain that they eat. The millet grows really well.
     
  3. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    408
    2
    151
    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    The all green, no veggies, effect that you are seeing is absolutely from excess nitrogen like you suspected. That is why some veggies should not be fertilized- they decide to just grow leaves instead of flowers and fruits. If you wanted to take advantage of that, you could plant spinach, chard, etc.

    As for the area downslope of your run- you might try making some slightly raised beds with gaps between then. Kind of like a dotted line of beds. This might decrease the nutrient overload in the beds while still allowing for drainage in the gaps, and then you'd still get good shade for your hens in the higher parts.

    -MTchick
     
  4. cookinmom

    cookinmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    897
    1
    161
    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    Hmmm. I don't have anything planted on the south side of my coop, but have tomatoes to the West, cucumbers to the East, Honeysuckle and a rose bush to the North. They all are growing quite well. Just have to make sure they stay out of reach of the girls. I mulch all my stuff with 'seasoned' hay from out of their house, and it's all growing well. Some things I just planted directly in the hay, no dirt. Long as I keep it watered it does fine.
     
  5. kritrkz

    kritrkz New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    May 9, 2007
    On the advice of our extension agent, I did plant some tall grass varieties (6' tall) last summer, but none of those survived which made me question that choice. I have bought more & am going to give it another try as putting up shade material doesn't look as nice as natural plantings. I like your idea for raised beds & have given thought doing that in the rectangle area in the middle of the 3 runs to try again for tomatoes & peppers as it's easy to fence that off from my dogs on the one remaining side. Just need to buy some R/R ties. I have plenty of good earth from our compost piles. We compost manure from our horses & chicken & bedding.

    Thanks for the good thoughts! [​IMG]
     
  6. Bailey

    Bailey Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    22
    May 20, 2007
    Weaubleau, MO
    I'd plant corn- it's tall for shade, a nitrogen user and you can plant vine crops with it. I'd use the shocks for bedding and plant the scratch or wheat for the birds to graze on next winter-
    Next spring, let the girls strip it off and build your raised beds- I'm clearing plots with 4 in a cattle panel tractor - I let them work it down to bare soil them move the tractor laterally rather than lengthwise. Then just make furrows or hills and plant. between the rows, I just scratch up the surface to allow water to penetrate, then mulch.
     
  7. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Vines, grapes and mulberries grow really well around chicken coops, they look nice and taste nice!!
     
  8. barg

    barg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Does this mean that if you use chicken poop to fertalise you could end up with less productive crops?
    That was one of our purposes for our chickens.
     
  9. Bailey

    Bailey Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    22
    May 20, 2007
    Weaubleau, MO
    Just too much of a good thing
    onions will just flower potatoes will taste nasty and tomatoes will make huge beautiful plants with no fruit if they get too much N- I didn't believe it till I had 200 onion flowers...
     
  10. kritrkz

    kritrkz New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    May 9, 2007
    Great ideas; the corn & the vine plants. Our neighboring farmers planted corn 2 years ago & several plants seeded themselves right around & in the coops last year. Guess I should have paid attention to Mother Nature;) We're just now safely out of the freeze times so did get the other grasses planted yesterday. Think I'll do a serious search for some berry or grape vines & possibly some corn. That grows quickly around here. Many thanks for the good thoughts.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by