That’s what Michael always said when we were dealing with a really poopy diaper back in the diaper days and it’s my first thought when I step into the chicken coop in the morning.
I love to talk about all of the lovely reasons to raise chickens… the eggs, the colors, the educational benefits, the pest control, the fluffy beautiful fun. There is another side to this business though and to be fair and transparent the time has come for me to hit that too.
There is a LOT of poop.
We use this handy dandy scraper. It’s located in a tricky spot, over to the right where I can’t quite reach without leaning into the perch but I manage when I have to. Truth be told, Michael does most of the scraping. I fill in when he’s not able to which was the case yesterday morning because he wasn’t feeling well. So, I finally got these chicken poop photos I’ve been meaning to take.
I’m a pretty spoiled chicken mama and Michael is a very dedicated chicken dad so it all works out.
We scrape it up every day first thing. I know that not everyone does it this way, you can wait and add hay on top then clean it out less often but we’re kind of daily chicken coop cleaners. About once every four to six weeks we (I use the word “we” very loosely here) do a more thorough cleaning and remove the old hay and put fresh down.
The daily poop goes out to the compost piles down in the woods to break down. We add it to the garden as compost after a year or so.
It’s one of the best composts ever!
Guess I’m right back to the good reasons to keep chickens!
Have a great day!
It’s the holiday season and that means it’s time to find a gift for your favorite gardener. There are so many choices and ideas everywhere you look, from your local garden center to millions of places on the internet. Here’s a few of my favorites this year:
First up, how about a pair of great gardening clogs? I’m really love the adorable chicken design. These are $36.95 here at Gardener’s Supply company.
If I were in the market for a greenhouse, I’d choose this one.
The sides are polycarbonate, it appears to vent well and it’s a nice size. I found it here at Greenhousemegastore.com for $749.00.
Look at these great garden markers! I found them on etsy for 3/$22 at this cute shop called FromArtisanHands. I think they would add a nice punch of color and they look nice and sturdy and fade proof.
I heard you ask for help yesterday in Walmart and spoke with you a few minutes later and told you a little bit about my blog. Since then I’ve been thinking about how I can help people like you who are just starting out with their very first garden and I came up with a few simple ideas. These are my thoughts after talking with you for just a minute or two.
—You said that your garden will be next to your driveway and you want some things growing and some color. I didn’t say it, but I should have said that you would want to dig down 12-16 inches to loosen the soil really well. If you just scratch the surface it will be tough for the roots to grow and establish themselves.
—Then, see what kind of soil you have. It may be nice topsoil (black, brown and crumbly), or sandy (light colored and very fine) or clay like (sticks together in a clump when it’s a little wet). It may be very rocky (try to take out as many as you can), or not. Adding compost that you can buy in bags from garden centers will help improve most soil. If you have an extreme version of any of the above you may need to work at it a little bit more. Here’s a link that can help you with that.
—As you work on getting the soil ready watch the way sun shines on the space. How many hours of sun the garden gets is really important in choosing plants that will do well. It might be over 8 hours a day (full sun), 3-6 hours a day (part shade) or less than 3 (shade). Match the light requirement on the plant tag with the type of light you have. It’s really important to do this!
—Look for plants that will fit the light requirement and the type of garden that you have in mind. Read the labels again to get an idea of how tall the plants will be and when they’ll bloom. Some tags even tell you what to plant together which is really handy when your first starting out!
—Try to arrange the plants so that the tallest are in the back and shortest are in the front.
—Pull the weeds as you see them pop up. If you do this for a few minutes every day you’ll be able to keep up with them easier.
—Watch the weather and be sure to water if it doesn’t rain.
—Take off dead flowers and leaves so that new ones can grow.
—Leave me a message here if you have any questions. I’m happy to help if I can!
— Most importantly, enjoy it! Don’t worry too much if plants don’t make it, it happens to all of us! You can do it!!!
ps/ Other gardeners, feel free to chime in with your ideas and suggestions in the comments section.
Let’s help this lady have the best first garden ever!
I know, I know, this is silly, but, when I take apart the planters it’s hard for me to throw the old plants into the compost. I’ll miss them. They were beautiful and I feel a sense of loss. I can throw anything away in the house with no problem, but plants are different. I tend to hang on for a long, long time. So the other day I took everything out of the big front porch planter and went down to the compost bin. In went the spike plant, the verbena and the stock…. then I got to the geraniums. I threw one in and took it out. Then I looked at the four plants in my hand and I knew what I had to do. So, up they went to the kitchen counter. Michael came home and they were still there. Of course he said something like “oh, please, no, not again… you know that these are going to hang out all winter and your never going to do anything with them. In the spring you’ll be buying more”… Well, he’s probably right. I do that. I have great thoughts about wintering things over and re-using them. But maybe this is the one time it will work. Maybe these geraniums will come back as beautiful as ever. So for now I’ve tucked them away in a dark, cool corner of the basement. Just hanging out, waiting for spring.
Maybe they’ll be back, we’ll see!