Starting a garden

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lcountry, May 13, 2007.

  1. lcountry

    lcountry Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2007
    Hi there! I'm new to chickens and think they are great! It just may be love!

    I've had a brain storm, and I wonder if my idea will work... Next fall or spring, I was planning to dig up a grassy area and start a garden. Then I got my chickens and started reading...that's where the idea came from.

    Since I want all the grass killed off in the garden area, I was thinking of putting my chickens in the soon-to-be garden area. My thought is that they will eventually eat all the grass and weeds thus clearing it off for me. Plus, they will be little fertilizers getting the soil prepped. Then viola! Next spring, I'm set to go with my garden area.

    Will this work or am I missing something? As of now, it seems it might be "too good to be true".

    Thanks for any thoughts!

    Lisa
     
  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Welcome to the forum!

    Yes, that would probably work very well. Chickens love to scratch and turn dirt while eating grass, weeds, seeds and bugs. And of course, we all know they poop!!!
    Another bonus- You won't have to use poisons in your garden to kill the grass. [​IMG]
     
  3. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chickens free range, so it wasn't going to work to have them actually clear the garden.....but I rototill the area and they go nuts over the fresh worms and scractch through it all the time--keeping it mostly free of plants.

    I also just throw all my composting stuff out there daily....chickens pick through what they like and scratch into the soil what they don't. So now I have a cleared area with "compost" already mixed in along with chicken poop as fertilizer. I also take the chicken coop shavings and till those into the garden in the fall so the "fertilizer" won't be too strong on the roots. The coop shavings are really "strong" when you first take them out.

    Then, when I plant, I put up a temporary fence so they don't eat the leaves of the new plants!

    Voila...no herbisides, no insectisides, no harsh chemicals at all!

    Sandra
     
  4. V Chic Chick

    V Chic Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bristol, England
    Just a thought - don't leave them on there for months on end, because on the patch of ground that my chickens were previously on, it's taken a full YEAR for anything to start growing there again, simply because the sheer amount of poo burned anything that tried to grow. Admittedly, I didn't seed it, but you get my point.
     
  5. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only thing that you may be 'missing' is that if you have a lot of clay in the soil, and if you have many chickens, they will have it packed down pretty well after a season of being on it.
    You might also have to remove the birds from the area a little earlier than planting time, so that the poop has time to age so as not to burn the new plants. Like Sandrachick said, it is pretty 'strong'. Otherwise, it sounds like a fine idea.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    What I do to new areas is to put the chicken coop over the area to be used, let it pile up with layers of straw, poo, and chicken scratchings. Then the first year I dig little holes into the mass and plant in Zucchini's as nothign else will grow there. The follow year I dig it up and plant stuff like corn. Chickens will do a great job at killing all the grass.
     
  7. lcountry

    lcountry Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2007
    That's great! Thank you for all the replies!

    I've only got 7 little chickies at this point, but I can't tell you how tempted I am (already!) to add a couple more to the flock! I've got a 10x5' tractor/ark that I thought I'd move in quadrants of the garden area. Just rotating it around.

    I hadn't thought of tossing in compost as well.

    Thanks so much.

    Lisa
     
  8. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:We understand. [​IMG]
    Personally, I started with just 4 and thought that'd be enough...if you take a look at my sig, you'll see how tempted I was.
     
  9. Julie in Al

    Julie in Al Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have using my chicken coop as a compost bin sorta. I throw the leaves and things from the yard and they till it very well as it breaks down and then in the spring I scoop off so many inches and use in my flower beds. I also let them free range certain times of the year and they turn the soil over very well around my lilies and strow the seed of my perrienials Has worked well for two years for me.
     
  10. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Quote:Join the club!! [​IMG] DH is still trying to figure out how 4 turned into 18.... [​IMG]
     

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