Raised "flower" bed around the coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dmontgomery, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    For multiple reasons, I built raised planters all around my coop and run.
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    The inside of the planters is about 12" wide and they range in height from 6-12".
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    My wife wanted to plant vegetables there but our chickens free range from dusk to dark, so that didn't work out. Do any of you have some ideas? I'm considering ornamental grasses or sunflowers. I'm not sure sunflower roots could spread out enough though.
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    You have a great coop and run, I'm quite jealous.

    Love the planters :

    Really big sunflowers do have quite large root systems but they might grow there but not be really big?

    I'm a little lazy and would opt for mostly plants that take little care and save a few spaces for some annual seeds or flowers?

    What about mainly:

    rosemary - evergreen and smells wonderful tolerates pruning as needed. And safe for the flock - but they don't eat them. This would be my first choice.

    knock out roses - also chicken safe and can be pruned as much or as little as you want.
     
  3. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    2 great suggestions. I have little to no gardening experience. I've never thought of an herb being a big bush. I like the evergreen aspect of the Rosemary.
    I raised roses back in the early 90's and I really liked it, but it took more work than I am willing to put in now. Apparently the knockout doesn't take much work though. We live in zone9 and we have a lot of trouble with "black spot" on roses because it is so wet here. I don't want to do any spraying around the chickens. How do you think they would work here? The coop area gets lots of morning sun but is very shaded in late afternoon.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Anything you plant within pecking distance will get eaten. Things like mint, thyme, and oregano grow quickly, can handle a bit of chicken traffic, and they do quite well in part shade. You do have to keep them protected until they get established though. Lemon balm, orange mint, and catnips are some of my favorite mint-family plants and they all grow to different heights and have different colored foliage to give more interest. Plus, they repel rodents and mosquitoes.
     
  5. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Right now we have 46 birds. So it's probably going to see more than a "bit" of chicken traffic. My wife bought 6 flats of 6" vegetable plants and sat them down by the run. She went in the house to get something and was back within 10 minutes. She was able to rescue some of the plants, but she found out I was actually right for once. You can't plant anything tasty around them.
    I had heard that chickens wouldn't eat roses but I don't know why they wouldn't, they eat everything else. I just watched a RIR eat an 8" long snake about 30 minutes ago.
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    To keep them from pecking through the chicken wire, you can layer hardware cloth over it. Probably should do that anyways to keep out predators. Chicken wire is great for keeping chickens in, but lousy at keeping predators out.
     
  7. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    They free range 12+ hours a day so they would have access to the plants all day long. So HC wouldn't help. I told my wife we could plant the vegetables if I fenced in the raised beds but she vetoed that idea.
    (We have 3 Bassett Hounds, a Black Lab, and a Pit Bull. There are no living predators on our property, just skeletons. Knock on wood).
     
  8. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I'm sorry, I thought I had mentioned they free range all day at the beginning of the thread. So am I looking at AstroTurf and plastic flowers now?
     
  9. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    NO - they will likely eat both of those [​IMG]

    And IMO both would be too tacky to be in front of your great coop/run. You need a "classy" look there for sure.



    Sounds like Rosemary would be the best - It is so easy to grow - and can tolerate full sun to part- shade, heat, drought or moisture. Thrives with neglect. And given time gets quite large and would look like a hedge. It is also quite easy to root from clippings - so you could add to areas that the flock destroys without much cost or effort [​IMG]

    But I would place a barrier around new plantings to let them get established- a cage of chicken wire around each or rocks around the bases should work.

    We have been removing Privet on a side of our house foundation plantings - am planning to use Rosemary plants as a replacement there = not invasive, don't need frequent or severe pruning and lovely year round even here in zone 7-8.


    I know I would have been really mad about that after I stopped laughing .

    I have a "compost bin " in a small run for my confined flock. They can only access the area when let out. When we add to the compost area you can see them salivating until they can get out there and consume it all..[​IMG]

    I have heard they love roses - but will leave them alone if the plant is tall enough with a lot of thorns :)
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Chickens and landscaping?

    Fence 'em in..... or fence 'em out.
     

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