No dig garden with help from poultry companions

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No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  siri on Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:23 pm

After 2 weeks with the chook tractor, the ground is packed, the weeds gone, and the straw and chook poo trodden in well.



The bales along the side serve to keep unwanted digging creatures away from the chooks.



Also to retain the no dig garden.
I put in more kitchen scraps, the dried top stuff from the compost mountain, some rotting pea straw, then top with well the soil from the old chook run, full of worms (yum, yum).



Add some well rotted compost (looks like potting soil) and top the lot with loose fluffy pea straw.




This garden will be for sweet corn. I think I will put another row of bales on the west and south sides for protection, and maybe a sheet of plastic over the top for the first few weeks after planting, as it gets mighty cold here.

Cheers, Jan

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Re: No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  Raymondo on Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:48 pm

It looks good enough to eat. Where did you get the chook tractor? It looks pretty sturdy.

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Re: No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  siri on Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:11 pm

It's a McCallum. They advertise a lot. Only thing I don't like is the lift up lid at the back - it has raw colourbond edges and enough weight to do a nasty damage if it fell on your hand. I must look into glueing a piece of hose over it.
It is quite easy to move around. The wheels are situated in the centre making for a good turning circle, and the trolley jack is very easy to use. It comes as a flat pack but with not too many pieces. The little nesting box is a bit useless, but my girls haven't laid for a long time. They are getting long in the beak, but have been looking healthier since I put them in the tractor.
Cheers, Jan

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Re: No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  Fran on Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:05 am

Way to go Cool

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Re: No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  Guest on Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:21 pm

siri wrote:After 2 weeks with the chook tractor, the ground is packed, the weeds gone, and the straw and chook poo trodden in well.
Also to retain the no dig garden.
I put in more kitchen scraps, the dried top stuff from the compost mountain, some rotting pea straw, then top with well the soil from the old chook run, full of worms (yum, yum).
Add some well rotted compost (looks like potting soil) and top the lot with loose fluffy pea straw.

This garden will be for sweet corn. I think I will put another row of bales on the west and south sides for protection, and maybe a sheet of plastic over the top for the first few weeks after planting, as it gets mighty cold here.

Cheers, Jan

Certainly the most practical post I have seen regarding no dig. No dig in the big pictures usually means herbicide, pesticiding, and pellet fertilizing the plants to death, and ruining the land. Your approach makes sense. Alas, I cant have chickens in my lily white area. Good growing!

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Re: No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  guzzigirl on Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:23 am

Durgan wrote:
Certainly the most practical post I have seen regarding no dig. No dig in the big pictures usually means herbicide, pesticiding, and pellet fertilizing the plants to death, and ruining the land. Your approach makes sense. Alas, I cant have chickens in my lily white area. Good growing!

perhaps in Canada what you call "no dig" is different to in Australia, as here is it usually a more organic approach.

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Re: No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  siri on Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:36 am

The mother of No Dig in Australia - darn - can't remember her name - was truly organic, and most if not all the people here who do no dig, or lasagne style gardens are organic in their approach, at least as much as one can be, regarding the source of the components.
Here we often do no dig to make up for the fact that there is only 10cm or less of top soil. So no dig has become a fact of life for many here.
What depth of soil do you have there Dugan? I imagine you have heaps more, and in that situation no dig would only need to be a small layer of rich mulch and the plants would find their way down into the top soil very quickly.
Why no chooks? What is a lily white area?
Cheers, Jan

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Re: No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:20 am

siri wrote:The mother of No Dig in Australia - darn - can't remember her name - was truly organic, and most if not all the people here who do no dig, or lasagne style gardens are organic in their approach, at least as much as one can be, regarding the source of the components.
Here we often do no dig to make up for the fact that there is only 10cm or less of top soil. So no dig has become a fact of life for many here.
What depth of soil do you have there Dugan? I imagine you have heaps more, and in that situation no dig would only need to be a small layer of rich mulch and the plants would find their way down into the top soil very quickly.
Why no chooks? What is a lily white area?
Cheers, Jan
A lily white area may be compared to the suburb depicted by the BBC TV Show "Keeping up Appearances"- Mrs Bucket!

My clay soil is at least two feet deep, and the top foot certainly will support plant growth, once loosened a bit.

Chickens in suburbia- good heavens! The sky would fall. But there is a drive on, mostly by new immigrants to ease the rules. Periodically, there is a debate on the issue. Canadians are grass growers, not vegetable gardeners. Beer,backyard barbecue, pizza. hamburgers, donuts, spectator sports on TV, situation TV shows, computer games- what more would a person want?

No dig is utilized in commercial farming with large fields of grain crops, genetically engineered so they can withstand herbicides; herbicides which kill most of the birds. Insecticides have to be sprayed to reduce the bug populations, which the birds use to keep in tolerable numbers. It's called mega-farming. Not a pretty view. Silent Earth repeated-remember DDT.


Last edited by Durgan on Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:27 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  Fran on Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:09 am

That's certainly not what we refer to as 'no-dig' gardening here in Australia, Durgan. As Siri said for us it means laying down organic matter in layers on top of the ground - idea being you can use any surface, even cement, make it any shape or size and you can plant vegie seedlings straight into them.

I have heard mention of no tillage agriculture where farmers plant seeds through the previous crop residue.

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Re: No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  siri on Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:19 am

Dugan, your "no-dig" sounds like what we call direct drilling here in Aus. They put on herbicides, then direct drill the seed into the ground, without ploughing.
Even in Melbourne, most councils allow people to have chooks in their backyard. My daughters council allows 7 - no rooster. And she only has a small yard. They would of course, want fairly heavy, soft feathered birds that won't fly over the fence if they are free ranging.
Your description of Canadians explains why they adapt so well to life in Aus, but I know some of them at least are gardeners, and prepared to tackle the arid conditions here. My ex husband recently married a Canadian woman, and she is going potty over roses and irises. I sent her a couple of buckets of rhizomes and she is keenly watching them grow :-)
It seems such a shame, when you can grow grass like that, so the soil clearly holds plenty of nutrient. People should be growing wonderful organic produce in their back yards. We struggle here, but the statistics in the latest garden magazine say that food gardening is on the increase in the suburbs. Victoria was always known as "The garden state" and it clearly still holds true.

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Re: No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  guzzigirl on Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:57 am

siri wrote:The mother of No Dig in Australia - darn - can't remember her name - was truly organic,

Esther Dean

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Re: No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  Fran on Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:51 pm

Australian Smile

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Re: No dig garden with help from poultry companions

Post  Raymondo on Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:01 pm

I use no-dig a lot, the no chemical version, but just with newspaper and grass clippings because it's rare that I can get hold of the ingredients to follow an Esther Dean style garden. The first time I did it I was concerned that I wouldn't have much of garden beacsue I wasn't able to scrape together all the goodies that Esther Dean prescribes but it turned out well. Now it's rare for me to actually dig a garden bed, unless I'm in a hurry to utilise a good depth of soil. Even then all I do is scrape off the grass, loosen the exposed soil with a fork and cover, either with mulch or a cover crop.

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