• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Making a new garden  RSS feed

 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I thought I'd take advantage of not having chickens right now to make a new garden in the fenced chicken yard. I'd guess the dimensions are 25x25 feet, and I'll retain about 10x25 for a chicken run(I let my chickens out so they don't need so big of a run), so the new garden area will be about 15x25 feet. There is a bit less sun in this area, so I'll grow my greens, bok choy, beets type stuff etc, and I'll plant stuff in July for a fall garden/overwintering. And of course add in herbs and etc.


Here is how it was, the weeds include thistle, grasses, wild geranium, dock, fingecup, plaintain, feverfew. When I started the ground was pretty wet and it made pulling things easy. I went through and pulled the thistles first, and the blackberries coming up inside the fence and put those in a pile. Then I used scissors and cut the grass and put that in a pile. Then I pulled or hoed the rest of the stuff to clear the area.

I also prepped a bed in front of the fence, that rotten round I busted up and spread on the bed.


This is about 6 hours of work done. I got some oak logs to outline the beds(they are all sprouted with some kind of fungus, like turkey tail). I laid out the thistle/blackberry stuff in the beds and let them dry well in the sun. Next I piled on the other weeds(also were dried in the sun), then some rotted leaves on top.When we mow the grass I'll pile on the clippings so it gets juicy and rotty. These beds I will plant next year after they've rotted well through the winter. I'll add a layer of dirt, and then fall leaves in the fall. I want to plant comfrey around the perimeter bed to grow for chickens and mulch. There is room for it to spread.

I'm going to bring in some dirt and make a bed in the center, I'll add a photo when I get it done. The dividing fence will go in last. I've got a bunch of old wrought iron railings in my inherited junk pile I'll use, and weave them with fallen fir stuff so the chickens can't pass through.

So, back to hauling rocks and dirt. Haven't spent a dime(I'll just be buying some seeds), recycled stuff, and getting a great workout!

So that's to show how I use the nasty thistles and berry vines to make new beds. I've done this in my other garden too, with the layering and drying stuff in the sun first etc.

It was interesting too--you can see the back half where the ground is bare, that is where the wild geranium is growing. I noticed here and then went to look elsewhere, that the wild geranium supresses grass, grass hates it, and other herby things get along well with the geranium. I have two kinds, dovefoot and robert.  I let them grow in my veg garden where ever they want to. They die back when it starts getting hot in the summer.

I'll add some more pix when it comes together.

Sunlight pattern on June 12
10:30-1:00 filtered sun (about 50/50)
1:00-5:00 full sun
5:30-7:00 filtered sun(about 50/50)

I'm thinking when the sun starts tracking lower in the sky it will receive more sun, there are some tall trees around(Oak and fir).  That little tree is a maple, and does not block the sun on that area. That little tree in the left on the outside of the fence is a willow, the deer eat it/prune it into a funky little mushroom shape.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
looks like a very loverly new garden area..wonderful bit of work you've done there.
 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
THanks Brenda!

I forgot to mention that I used the grass for new bedding in the chicken coop(even tho there are no chickens right now, it will look nice haha). That was sure an AHA! moment--I used to buy the bales of bedding chips or a bale of straw for bedding in the coop, but then I figured out DUH I have plenty of perfectly good tall grass growing around I can cut myself for hay/straw. I just cut it with scissors, doesn't take long to get a good pile.
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That piece of wood gave me a start, looked just like a big snake - and yes I have seen them that big here. 
 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ha! SOOOOO glad we don't have snakes that big here!

I just got done reading Pauls awesome chicken article http://www.richsoil.com/raising-chickens.jsp

I thought I'd add what my chicken arrangement is...(since he doesn't "like" coops and runs, ha)

There is a three sided shed room, about 8x6, about 6-8 chickens is good number for us(we started off with 12).  A piece of plywood is nailed along one side of the opening, otherwise there is no door. I want to make new roosting poles, up high enough so things can't jump up there to snatch a sleeping chicken. I have an old dog crate for a nesting box, and want to find one more at least. I do want to cover the opening with wire and a chicken flap that is securable--wild birds fly in and gobble up the chicken food. Every once in a while I rake out the old grass and put in new grass.  In winter I pile it deep, throw in leaves and fern fronds too. The chickens seem to do alright when it gets really cold despite the open side, the wind doesn't blow in there too bad, and I feed them some extra corn to heat them up.

Once the chickens know what "home" is then I let them out to forage around after they lay in the morning. My hubby complains about the poop on the porch, but I don't think it's THAT big of a deal, I just pop it into a plant pot and throw it in the garden.

THere are blackberries all along the fence of the run, and I'll pick off leaves and berries which the chickens love. I also used to grow zuchini for them, and certain kitchen scraps(boy they are good at cleaning chicken bones!) and go pick wild stuff for them to eat.

I have two dogs, a standard poodle and a blue heeler. I taught them the chicken run is NOT ALLOWED, they can't go in there, period, OFF LIMITS. The poodle caught on to not chase chickens pretty quick, and actually she'll follow them around and it looks like she's being protective. The heeler of course was a more difficult challenge to teach, but she learned the no chicken chasing rule too. She would let them take food from her bowl.

Like I said, I would let the chickens out to free range and things were fine. But then we got neighbors who are terrible dog owners--they let their dogs roam, the dogs have no discipline or manners, and the German Shepard is a psychotic lunatic that will kill any small animal/chicken it can catch. I lost two chickens to their dogs(happened on my prop), and they finally penned the dogs(for two years, they are out again now) after I showed up with a baseball bat and a shredded chicken dripping blood on their nice new porch. I have lost a couple chickens to raccoons, but the neighbor's dogs have been the absoulte worst headache. I tried to come up with a positive solution, which is to be the "pack leader" of the neighbor dogs(a GSD and it used to be a mastiff, now they have a lab/spaniel mix) and teach them basic stuff like GO HOME and NO and DROP IT and COME. So it's kinda funny the dogs obey us and not their owners. My dogs will chase them off(esp the heeler) but it's no fun to have dog fights and worry about injury(the poodle got her belly ripped).

For the most part, my dogs seem to keep the coons away from the hosue/coop area. They have a dog door and a fenced area to freely go outside(like at night or when they are in the house, otherwise my dogs run around freely outside when we are outside too), and the heeler is good at barking at stuff, and the coons haven't figured out there isn't a fence(yet, ha). I know there are lots of coons(and bobcats) because there are lots of tracks down around the pond about 100 yds away.

LOVED the Buff Orpingtons! They thrived. I dont' cull the chickens, I just let them live till they die of old age. I used to have a rooster and he did kill one hen by boinking her to death.  About 1/3 of my hens lived to 6 or 7(who didn't get snatched by a coon or a dog, had two that just keeled over one day), and they seemed to be healthy and vigorous otherwise. I did not put the light on them in the winter so they would lay thru, I let them rest. I figured the rest would let them lay longer, and it did seem so. They didn't lay much at all in the last year, but they still gave good poop Yeah I'm a softy!

Anyways, Paul's article is awesome, tons of stuff to learn in there. When I get chickens again I have plenty of ash trees I can cut boughs for them. I really like the idea of feeding them lots of different things. I have my fenced veggie garden I can put them in in winter too.

BTW if you bring your chickens treats they learn to follow you around and you can call them and get them back into their pen easily, or round them up etc(that might be a good point for the article )
 
Because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Seuss. Tiny ad:
Learn, Design, Teach, & Inspire with Permaculture games.
FoodForestCardGame.com
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!