Chickins and Organic Food Growing : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

I lurked more than I participated over on the CS side but I think I'll change that over here. I got a couple of questions.

Number one: How long do ya give chickens worm meds. All they had at the co-op was for pigs & chicks. The name of it starts with a p and you mix one oz. to 1-1/4 gal of water.

Number two(not the real number two): This year I am gardening with raised beds, compost and not using pesticides or fertilizer. But, everything is small, flowering alot but not producing well (except for my beans, the're comin on strong) and thinking of reaching for the 13-13-13, Help.

You see I'm a computer programmer that has thought he was a farmer for a while. Gary in AL

-- Gary in AL (, June 21, 2001


Hey Gary, glad to meet you. The wormer sounds like piperazine. I just fill the waterer with the solution for 24 hours. After that, any that's left is thrown away and we go back to plain water. Be sure they have no other water source during the worming. As for the garden, organic gardening is a process, not a project. In other words, it takes awhile to get the soil built up, it doesn't happen overnight just because you want it to. I know the temptation to reach for the big guns. I try all the organic methods until it's down to losing a crop, then I sometimes break down and reach for the heavy-duty stuff. But I keep it as organic as possible, and try the least worrisome things in a pinch. The beds will come around for you if you mulch, make and use compost (which you should be able to do most of the year in AL), pile the leaves and clippings into the garden, and use some of that chicken manure that you have. Not, fresh, let it compost, or put it on this winter. Over time, you will get the garden you want, and the computer programmer will indeed be a farmer.

-- melina b. (, June 21, 2001.

Hey there, and welcome! I seem to recall that too much unusable nitrogen is the cause of flowering with no fruiting. Is your manure too fresh? Melina gives great advice. It takes a couple of years of working at it to get the soil to be nice and healthy...ESPECIALLY if it has been given a bunch of chemical fertilizer over the years. You might go to a garden center and look for Medina Hasta grow which is a foliar feed and I use it with great reults.

Best of luck and again, welcome!

-- Doreen (, June 21, 2001.

Hey Gary! I'm a computer jockey-turned homesteader/farmer too! Your garden will get there if you stick to it. Like the respondants have already tated: it does take awhile. Think of your garden as you have it now as the written code: now comes the fun of de-bugging (har har) the code!(I can hear the collective :groan: at the pun from here!)

I wanted to add: Melinda mentioned mulching in her excellent reply, it really is important for several reasons ESPECIALLY given your climate. (You didn't mention mulching in your post, so I don't know if you are doing that yet!)Not only does it add organic material and aid in weed suppression: it will help keep the roots cooler in that hot Alabama sun. With raised beds, you have MUCH better drainage than in traditional practices, and the mulch helps conserve the moisture too, another concern given your climate. As far as fertilizer goes, If you have access to rabbit manure, it can be used without composting (unlike the chicken manure, as Doreen pointed out) right in the garden. There are fertilizers made out of fish oil emulsion that I THINK are orgsnicslly acceptable. You might want to check them out. Welcome to the Forum!

-- StevenB (, June 22, 2001.

It's always taken me three years to build a new garden to be a good producer and there is no shortcut, even though we are constantly looking for one. I think we are funny how we want organic, but we want quick and easy solutions, too.

-- Laura (, June 22, 2001.

You might want to add a little bone meal and some lime... Sounds like you might have too much nitrogen, though the plants would normally be big and bushy, but not producing. Even with compost, you probably need to fertilize, just use manure - well aged and dried. See if anybody around you has some rabbits... Their manure can go straight into the garden. Ever thought about raising worms??? LOL They are great in the garden (especially in raised beds) and their castings have been said to be next to solid gold for veggies....

-- Sue Diederich (, June 22, 2001.

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