Gardening with Chickens in the High Desert


| 3/25/2015 12:15:00 PM


Tags: raised beds, cats, desert, soil, backyard chickens, turkeys, Micki Brown, California,

Raised Beds with Veggies 

Vegetable gardening is a way of life for me – has been for as long as I can remember. My vegetable gardens are always evolving. What I call the “upper garden area” started out as ground that was simply roto-tilled and amended with lots of homemade compost and peat moss (to help give the native desert sand some water-holding capability and lower the pH). It was about 12 feet by 25 feet. The following year, I extended it about 35 feet in length, which lasted about four years.

Then, I acquired my first chickens — rescued from neighbors that were moving (if we didn’t want them, they would be barbecued) — and their coop. Free-range chickens in the yard meant my veggie garden needed a fence to keep the ever-hungry birds from eating everything. Up went a quick and easy chicken-wire fence, which wasn’t very attractive, but it was effective.

The following winter, I decided more chickens were in order so I ordered a dozen baby chicks and two ducklings for early spring arrival. This meant I needed a space to keep them after they were out of the brooder – the old chicken coop was not big enough to handle more birds. I decided to construct a new coop at the east end of the veggie garden and extend the garden length on the west end. The result was a garden area that was 10 feet wide by 32 feet long.

Instead of just moving the chicken-wire fence, I decided to construct a more permanent and more attractive fence to keep the chickens and ducks out of the tasty salad bar. That fence was constructed from treated 4-inch-by-4-inch posts connected with two-by-fours. Attached to this structure is black plastic mesh fencing — lightweight, inexpensive, easy to use, and effective.

Use Shade Cloth for Desert Gardening

Raised Beds 


time4trees
3/28/2015 8:20:52 PM

Thank you kyoung43!


kyoung43
3/27/2015 12:24:02 PM

Great column, Micki!! Covers a lot of area (just like your garden :o) and has wonderful tips for gardeners of all experience levels!


kyoung43
3/27/2015 12:23:24 PM

Great column, Micki!! Covers a lot of area (just like your garden :o) and has wonderful tips for gardeners of all experience levels!




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