13 July 2008

The Plan

The trees on our rented property seriously handicap our ability to properly rotate crops. Our garlic is one crop that has to be planted in the same area until we can fence the garden in. Right now the area is pretty open and we need to provide safety for our more vulnerable plants. So, in order to keep up the organic matter we developed a plan.

For the next week or two we will be running the chicken tractor* over the beds. This will help reduce the weeds and nasties in soil and also give it a nitrogen boost from their crap. Afterwards we will plant a cover crop and then turn it in when we plant more garlic in the Fall. A combination of the green manure and chicken shit should keep everything in check.

*Reduce, Reuse, Renew leaves little tolerance for those who are aesthetically driven. However, even with that said, please excuse the comedy of our fitted sheet.


Anonymous said...

LOL Kelly, love that sheet, hey, I'm with you, anything that works!


Katie said...

I think the chicken tractor + cover crop is a marvelous idea.

And frankly, I think the most ghetto ideas tend to work the best, don't you?

Anonymous said...

Er, er, er, er. Love the chicken tractor, sheet and all, but not sure that high-nitrogen chicken, uh, you-know-what is good for garlic. For some reason, I think it does best in poor/average soil and gets sick in the richer stuff. (I could, of course, be wrong--amazingly, it HAS been known to happen!--but better check it out before planting.)

meg's mom said...

Love the chicken tractor with sheet attached. Looks a little like a conestoga wagon.

Kelly said...

Hey Molly,
I'm glad you like it. We actually had to get an unfitted sheet to span across the whole thing. The fitted one gave limited shade that the ladies refused to leave. With the new sheet shade things are going smashingly.

Thanks Katie,
Hopefully when we use this thing for fall cleanup it will help keep down next season's pests. Keep the fingers crossed.

Hey Ben,
Thanks for the heads up. We went through our books and checked some websites to make sure we weren't working against ourselves. What we've bee able to muster is that garlic likes nitrogen, but really likes soil high in organic matter. Granted, chicken shit crap will burn a hole through anything, but were hoping that the cover crop will help dilute it a bit. I'm hoping that since we have only three chickens going at it that the nitrogen won't get too high. However, after reading your comment, we did reduce the time they spend in the tractor considerably just to play it safe. Thanks again for your help.

Well hello Laurel,
Remind me to show you a photo of the tractor with the unfitted sheet. It looks exactly like a conestoga wagon. It's quite funny.

Twinville said...

Conestoga Wagon...exactly! I couldn't put my finger on it!

Maybe you've got a marketable farm idea there. It's so cute you could copyright the idea, add some detail to the sheet, maybe some wooden ponies at one end...and voila! A business opportunity!

Hey, don't laugh! Millions have been made with even lesser ideas....remember velcro?, sticky note pads?, dice?, garden gnomes?

Go for it!