Kevin Schaible wrote:
The last few years I have dabbled with using the litter on my garden with fantastic results. The first year I put some on a raised bed in October and planted like I always did in the spring. I live in Missouri and our rocky clay soil is horrible. I had it tested and the report said the soil was deficient for planting in almost every way. I planted from seed and in my tomatoes I saw these leaves that were not like tomato leaves, they were huge and I assumed they were weeds. After pulling a few I noticed they looked like tomatoes but enormous tomato plants. I let them go and didn't add anything else to the soil. The plants grew like weeds and I even got a leaf that was 11 inches long. I couldn't believe how big the plants were. I had a farm hand at the time that didn't know how to shut a gate and the goats got in and ate all the leaves off the tomatoes twice and really crippled the plants.
Last year I decided to see what would happen if I put a half cup of litter in the ground at planting. I used walmart plants that were about 6 inches high with the magic chicken poo. My brother in law planted a garden and challenged me to a tomato grow off. We tracked our progress every friday. After the first 2 weeks my plants averaged 1 foot of growth per week. They quickly outgrew the cages and at 8 weeks were taken out by a storm. I still got a few 5 gallon buckets of tomatoes from the twisted plants but they clearly didn't reach their potential. My rhubarb hadn't done anything so I put some magic poo on that too. I had a leaf that was 5 feet long. The leaves were dark green and huge. My corn grew 3 stalks out of every seed along with most of them having 3 ears as well. My cilantro went to bolted and went to seed almost immediately after planting. The plants were about 3 feet tall. The cilantro re-seeded itself and started growing in november. It was about 5 inches high during superbowl weekend. By the first of may it was about 38 inches tall and went to seed again.
This year I just planted again and hope to have a well documented account of my garden again. Is anyone else doing this kind of stuff with chicken litter?
Nate Groshek wrote:
I have a 5x7 coop doing the deep litter method as well. A local woodworker has been providing me a couple garbage bags every few weeks which works out nicely.
Did you wait for this to break down, or just spread the litter as is?? I have woodchip-mulched (back to Eden method) raised beds. They're doing okay right now, but i'd love to amend them with on-site nutrients rather than buying fertilizer/manure.
Kevin Schaible wrote: This year I just planted again and hope to have a well documented account of my garden again. Is anyone else doing this kind of stuff with chicken litter?
Priscilla Stilwell wrote:My rabbit/chicken house is nearly finished, and I'll be doing something similar. I'm going to lay blocks around the inside of the dirt floor, and fill with local sand (which also has some clay in it). Then I'll put in a thin layer of sawdust and shavings along with a sprinkling of charcoal powder. Bunnies in suspended cages will shower poo, pee, and food scraps down to the chicks below them who will then scratch and poop and pee and do their chickeny thing. Whenever needed, I'll add more sawdust, and periodically, some more charcoal powder.
Hi Priscilla, what is the charcoal powder for?
The house is 16x12, and we're only starting with 2 or 3 buns and 4 hens. But assuming all works out, we will likely expand fairly quickly (if the bunnies have their say!). I assume at the beginning we will be able to go almost a year before cleaning it out. Once it's at capacity, it will fill much faster.