((Serious Gardening))


The Chickeneer
9 Years
Jun 2, 2010
El Dorado County, California
Quote:That's like us. We didn't even use a tiller to turn the dirt this year. We did it the old fashioned way with shovels and hoes, but working your hands in the earth has its own rewards.

Our last frost date should be sometime within the next month.

I agree... simpler is better.


8 Years
Jan 31, 2011
North East Texas
"Wow. Metal Halide for a couple of tomato and pepper seedlings? Do you grow exotics?"

Lol yea Metal Halide light is a bit overkill I know
but I already had it setup and all my other ballists for my smaller lights are in the coops and chick hutch right now giving them much needed heat. I actually started out growing Cannabis Sativa but that was a long time ago. However, my experiences did teach me alot about growing plants in general and now I apply it to a better cause. I grow food for young couples in the community all year around. Its horrible how the bad economy has affected so many young people who are just starting out.
Its a healthy, fresh and super tasty way to give back to the community!

Ya know, there are pros and cons to both hydroponic and natural growing. Which I in turn do both, because each have their benefits. I am currently working on a aeroponic fogger. I will have the tomatoes roots suspended in an enclosed plastic fence post. Then I will attach a nerbulizer inside to create the fog with nutrient liquid. Thus directly supplying the roots with already dissolved, ready to be absorbed, nutrients.

Nifftiness that is a great way to start seeds out. I applaud your ingenuity.
Creating a greenhouse effect is one of the oldest most reliable ways to enhance your garden. Yea those T5 grow lights work like a charm for starting out plants and many small plants. For a tomato it might not provide enough light to the whole plant when it gets older. But it works great on things like small shrubbery plants like most herbs.

One thing that has helped me alot in gardening is creating a journal on a couple plants or your whole garden. Taking pictures every week and jotting down a few notes is priceless for the next year. Especially if you are growing inside in a controlled environment. Sometimes no matter what you do your plants may die or not do very well. A journal will come in handy to knock out certain variables and check statistics to better nullify errors in the future. That my friends is the key to a green thumb.

Heres a couple sprouts, I document everything with my IPhone

SunFlower 2 days old

Tomato 2 days old

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8 Years
Feb 2, 2011
Im so glad I saw this topic!
... The same avenue of research is the only reason I knew what a sodium light was!
Ahh well... in my grown up years (opinions differ) I've had a couple good gardens... but I cant seem to get the veggies. Last year when we moved into our new house, I got a ton of flowers and vines and bougainvillea and planted them all in the front.. they are beautiful and all made it through our "winter"... but last summer all of my tomatoes wilted. When I was a teen I had sucess with tomatoes.. so I dont know what hapened
.. but Im going to try again.. and its almost time - Yey!

Great answers on the composting.. but a forum I like - forums.gardenweb.com/forums/ - somewhere in that list is the composting forum.. Some people on there mentioned using the chicken coop as a compost bin... when it gets dirty, just add another layer of bedding, and its supposed to keep your chickies nice and warm too.
My very first eggies should be here in a week.. and Ill be starting work on the chickie wonderland!

My question - I read you can grow lettuce for your gobblers
so Im going to make a long raised bed in my run/yard and plant Burpees summer lettuce.. but I'd like to add more variety than that... so what other veggies do chickens prefer? And what about other plants? Perhaps I should make this a new topic?


8 Years
Jan 31, 2011
North East Texas
Quote:Lol yea, I still have my original HPS light. I think it mite even still have some resin on it.
Anyways, the answer to your question about what you should grow for chickens. They eat pretty much anything but I have read you should stay away from plants with husks, anything hard that might cause them to choke and die. A couple good ones I would reccomend are pumpkins, clover, different kinds of pasturing grasses, sunflowers (like Im growing) some legumes, most veggies. Of course there are also things like corn, which takes quite a bit of work to shuck and may need to be crushed up. Im still a newbie with chickens tho, so you might want to get a second opinion.

Gallo del Cielo

La Gallina Resort & Spa
9 Years
May 6, 2010
My Coop
My Coop
I too share your excitement for gardening! Since many of you are yet months away from sowing seeds outside, I thought I'd share with you snowbound folks a couple pics of my winter garden here in Southern AZ. Yesterday, I removed the cold frames from my garden as our temperatures are expected to rise dramatically over the next few days. The pic on the left is a 4' X 16' section with various lettuces, fennel, cabbage, radicchio, endive, escarole, carrots, beets, turnips, rutabagas. The pic on the right is of various lettuces, magenta orach and celery.


11 Years
Dec 6, 2008
Western Colorado
Great thread! Our high mountain climate is such a challenge for my gardening abilities. At 8400', I can only do so much outdoors, but I am setting up a pit greenhouse this spring...4' underground, attached to the south end of our cabin and covered with arched cattle/hog panels. Looking for something durable to cover the arched roof with. Any ideas? Probably will go with double-layer polycarbonate (bendable) panels eventually, but looking for something inexpensive right now.

Quote:I grow spinach for my chickens. It is helpful for fertility!


10 Years
Dec 2, 2009
Sunny side up :)
I am growing a bunch of baby cacao tree seedlings (the tree that makes chocolate). I already have one kind and am germinating beans for 2 other different kinds of cacao trees. I also am planting 4 different kinds of papayas, starfruit, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, bananas (ornamental- I already have a bunch of edible types), and some royal poinciana trees, sausage trees, orange and pink mexican bird of paradise (Caesalpina types), and my usual brugmansia crosses, and a bunch of other stuff lol.

Olive Hill

10 Years
Apr 19, 2009
I actually started out growing Cannabis Sativa but that was a long time ago.

Well I wasn't going to come right out and ask but....
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