Thursday, April 24, 2008

Let the chickens do the work!

Hello again! Glad to see you here at the Garden Gate, c'mon, let's take a look at what we've done this past weekend and early week.

If you remember from previous posts, I've started the paper and plastic routine in the garden. Each pathway was covered with newspaper, then a layer of clear plastic. I will eventually cover the pathways with'll look better. I've got bricks holding down the plastic so the wind doesnt' blow everything away. You can see this in the picture below.

We've added the climbers for the beans. I mean, they are pole beans, so we had to give them poles right?? (lol)
We've got the fence sections between the tomato plants, and the cucumber plants. The tomatoes can be tied to the fence section, and the cucumbers will naturally climb it, helping to keep the 'fruit' off the ground.'s time to let the chickens do some work!

The chickens have got it made! They have a maid that comes in and cleans out their house once a month or whenever it needs it. She puts in fresh 'linen' (hay) for them, she feeds them everyday, changes their have it made huh?

Well, yes, I keep the chicken coop filled with hay. Once a month, or better I go into the coop and clean it out, scrape it out and replace the hay with fresh hay. What am I gonna do with all this hay that is filled with..well 'crap'!??

Here's how the chickens help keep my garden 'fertilized and weed free'. I take the bottom of an old large dog carrier. (the type you'd buy were your dogs needing to fly). I place this in front of the coop door before I begin cleaning out the coop. All the hay and 'fertilizer' gets scraped into this dog carrier.
Now, if you know anything about chicken fertilizer, you can't use it fresh. The only fertilizer that I KNOW that you can use fresh is rabbit. Chicken fertilizer will 'burn' your crops if you use it too early. Wait at least two weeks before you use it.
So here we have a dog carrier full of 'fertilized hay'. I sit it aside and let the sun, and the rain and nature do their thing and I wait. One week...two weeks....three weeks.....aha!

Yesterday was the day. I pulled the carrier over to the garden and began. I started with the tomato boxes since they are up good and strong and I began covering and layering under the plants. I had just enough hay to do both of the tomato boxes, thickly, and a little extra leftover that I place in an unplanted box for future use.

This whole process will keep the moisture in the boxes, discourage weed growth and fertilize the plants as the rain and watering wash down the chicken 'leftovers' :)

Ohh and while we are in the garden, take a look at what I spied the other day, went ahead and took a pic to share.... yellow squash..on the way!
Well, that's it for now, until next time when I......

See you at the Garden Gate!

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