Siberian Peashrub for Poultry Fodder

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by jofanx, May 2, 2017.

  1. jofanx

    jofanx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just planted a group of 5 this year in my edible backyard forest but thought you guys here at BYC will like this plant--it's a super cold and drought tolerant edible legume that is also... a tree and perennial. I hear it's bland as far as the peapods go (but, quite honestly, we're so used to these super sweet peas that we forget the sugar content is higher than the stuff in the wild) but many people in the eastern hemisphere supposedly plant it as plant for their chickens (in their runs) because well, a tree is hardier than grass/herbaceous plants, and because they produce large amounts of small beans that fall to the ground and the chickens gobble up.

    Pros:
    Nitrogen fixer since it's a legume.
    Flowers and young peapods edible fresh for both people and poultry.
    Dried "Peas" (which look more like beans) can be eaten like lentils or any other dried beans, or left on the ground for chickens/poultry to eat.
    Perennial (because it's a tree, not a vine)
    Drought and cold tolerant (down to USDA hardiness zone 2--yep... would take a lot of cold to kill this thing)
    Used as a windbreak/hedge, probably also good cover against aerial predators.
    Relatively fast growing.
    High protein content (36%)

    Cons:
    Peapods are supposedly bland--but hey, zombie apocalypse, I'm not going to be complaining.
    Can self seed so may become invasive? Although probably not if all the chickens peck the seeds to death.

    These are one of the plants I think that would be great for chicken landscaping and not get scratched to death once it's large enough.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Pros: A smaller sized tree that tops out around 10' (I think) but could easily be topped off to keep it shorter. Pretty willow colored bark, pretty yellow flowers. Once you have one tree producing, you can start new ones from seed. Can be, but does not have a reputation for being invasive. "Peas" are reported to be 30% protein.

    Cons: Haven't been able to think of any.

    When growing them from seed, I've found that sanding the seeds gives them a head start. The seed skins are amazingly tough.
     
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  3. jofanx

    jofanx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah yes, the size stays relatively small so can be used as a secondary layer under larger fruit trees. Thanks for the tip about sanding them. I tried soaking them but only had about a 10% germination rate--I thought it was because the seeds were old (I kept them for about 2 years before I tried) but that might be why. I'll do the sanding next time.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Don't give up hope. The first ones I sprouted took almost all summer to sprout, after an early spring sowing. Just put them in a pot and keep them well watered. You may have a pleasant surprise. I think that the seedlings I planted last fall all died, though. [​IMG] This year, I'll plant the seedlings in the garden, with a bit of fencing over them to protect them, keep them well fertilized, and then plant them in their final location after they have some size on them.
     

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