What’s growing in your garden? May 30, 2012

Yes, I know chickens can be hazardous to a garden.  They scratch near the roots, they dust bathe, and they might even eat the fresh veggies or fruits you were planning to pick and serve for dinner.   Even though I am aware that chickens and gardens do not typically mix unless chickens are controlled within the confines of a tractor, I had hoped my adorable new Silkies would be the exception.   These Silkies and their white Easter Egger buddy are only 9 weeks of age and I wanted to give them a place to free-range in safety, since I’m not yet sure how my older flock will take to these new strange looking fluffy birds.

This newest group of chicks has been living outside for several weeks, but were still penned up for security.   Since my garden is fenced in to keep the dogs and the ‘real’ chickens out, and this newest batch of chicks was still small, I decided the garden area would be the perfect place for their first explorations into the wild yonder.   The first several days, the chicks completely ignored my tomato plants and spent lots of time eating grass and scratching around in the surrounding area.  My daughter and I even made them a luxurious canopy for their dining pleasure – this canopy was to give them a shaded area for resting, eating, and drinking.

Did I say 'Luxurious' canopy? Well... I guess the accommodations weren't quite as nice as the ones under my tomato plants.

Imagine my surprise when I walked out to the garden to give the babies more chick starter – there were no chickens to be seen!   My brain, thinking we had another predator attack on our hands, worriedly went through all the possibilities of 7  chickens disappearing.   Thankfully, Gimpy, my big Black Copper Marans hen, who has been living with the babies because she has an injured leg, tottered out of the garden to greet me.  What a relief!  Once she showed herself, I started hunting for the others.  All were accounted for.  These chickens are no dummies – they found a cool, damp area to rest in and get relief from the desert heat.

 

Playing Hide and Seek.

 

 

 

 

So far, Gimpy and the chicks have not discovered the tastiness of my fresh tomatoes, but I fear the time will soon come when I will need to put some type of protection around my tomato plants.  In the meantime, I am growing chickens in my garden, along with my tomatoes.

I picked some of the tomatoes slightly early so as to reduce temptation and save them from the Marauders.

 

 

I believe my garden has produced well this year, despite the intruders, (especially since the roots are protected by tomato cages and the chicks are still fairly small), but next year, I’ll be sure to try Shannon’s Homemade Monster Tomato Fertilizer recipe for an even bigger and better yield.

What are you currently growing in your garden?

 

 

4 Comments
Valerie Haines May 30th, 2012

I love love love love gardening/farming. I currently have the following growing in my garden:

- Black Krim Tomatoes
- Bolted Watermelon Radishes (the seed pods are edible, I’ll eat a few and save a few)
- Bolted Bright Lights Chard (just waiting to harvest seeds)
- Red Cored Chantenay Carrots
- Dragon Tongue Beans
- Crimson Sweet Watermelon

Aside from thsoe seasonal offereings, I have blueberry bushes, a goji berry shrub, a pomegranate shrub and other random container fruit trees.

To keep my hens from feasting on my veggies, I surrounded them all with some bird netting. Anything that grows through the netting my chickies are welcome to have, everything else is mine. It’s worked pretty well for me thus far. The only pain is taking down the netting when I want to harvest, so I’ll probably need to come up with more of a fence type deal with an entry way. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I plan on making a salad bar dedicated specifically to my peeps! Maybe that will deter them from wanting my veggies when they have their own!

Laura Spinale May 30th, 2012

I have to experience with chickens in the garden yet, but would think its a sharing issue, the lower produce for the chickens, the high up for the family?

The pics are adorable.

Karley May 30th, 2012

I just keep a fence around my garden so the chickens dont peck my tomatoes. Last year we had a problem ;)

Laurel Rufibach Powell May 30th, 2012

Enjoyed the article!

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