Using Chickens to Clean Up Your Fall Garden

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Is your fall garden a mess? Use your chickens to help you clean it up – for a better garden next year!

At the end of the season, your garden is often ripe with weeds, overripe or rotten remains of vegetables, and bugs. Chickens can be a great remedy for all of these, and as you typically won’t have a lot of young seedlings in the garden anymore, this is the perfect time to let your chickens roam free in the garden and help you with your fall garden cleanup tasks!

Not only will they eat up insects, weed seeds, and leftover vegetables, and break down and incorporate organic matter into the soil with their scratching and shuffling, they will also add some nice fertilizer in the form of chicken manure.

If you have chickens, now is the time to use them to help you clean up your fall garden.

Here are a couple of helpful tips on this method from Lisa over at FreshEggsDaily.com:

Chickens also will happily gobble up any stray bugs they find as well as weed seeds and cool weather weeds like dandelions and chickweed that might be emerging. When you clean out your coop for the winter, be sure to spread the straw or shavings over your garden as mulch to keep the weeds down over the winter and help the soil retain it’s moisture levels (especially beneficial if you plant garlic each fall).

While your chickens roam the garden munching on the leftovers, naturally they are also pooping. Chicken manure is a wonderful fertilizer for gardens, but since it’s incredibly high in nitrogen it does need to age first (so it won’t burn young plants) to kill off any pathogens such as E.coli or salmonella. However, letting it remain on the ground in the fall will give it the perfect amount of time to age for spring gardening…

 

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