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 Post subject: Getting ready for summer
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:10 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Wee Waa, North West NSW
Hi all,
I am about to start preparing veg beds for my summer crops, and have realised that I am running out of room.
I have some available space over in the chook garden and was wondering if it would be safe to plant melons and pumpkins there?
Are any part of these crops poisonous? Also would the chooks decimate the crop?
Any advice from experienced gardeners would be much appreciated.
Kind regards
Floss


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:11 am 
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Wise One
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They are safe for the chooks, but you will not get any of the produce! :laughing I had a pumpkin vine that I thought was not in reach of the chooks, admired this lovely pumpkin as it grew. Went to pick it only to find it was just a hollow shell, the chooks had been eating it from the side I could not see! :laughing

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:20 am 
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Assist Admin
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Location: Gold Coast, QLD, AUSTRALIA
Buy some netting at the same time! You can use vertical space fairly well with those crops but must protect the base and lower stem. Strong support of course - chainlink fences are quite good. I am about to put in a few shooting chokos and am devising plant protectors for them. Pics when you have them please. Our main growing season is coming to an end but I still have quite a few green vegie seedlings be transplanted. Am lifting quite a few sweet spuds at the moment as I use that as a groundcover in much of the back & front yard. The hens are good at uncovering them! :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:45 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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Plant the vines OUTSIDE the chook fence, and let them run up it. The chooks can't dig up the roots, the vine climbs up the fence, and most of the crop stays out of the reach of the chooks. Added bonus - the chookpen gets some shelter. Double bonus - the vine gets fertilised by the chook poo that washes in its vicinity.

Chooks don't eat pumpkin or melon leaves - they seem to be too rough and hairy. I don't think they're poisonous though.

I've had pumpkins outside a couple of pens for a few years now. Mostly self-seeded now :). The main difficulty is if the pumpkin itself gets stuck IN the wire. They're sort of difficult to extract safely. You need to check the growing fruit every couple of days (like I don't!) to ensure it's one one side OR the other.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:23 am 
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Phoenix
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With melons and pumpkins, I use those plastic milk crates. As soon as a melon or pumpkin forms I put it under a crate to protect it.....works well

J

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Wee Waa, North West NSW
Quote:
They are safe for the chooks, but you will not get any of the produce! :laughing I had a pumpkin vine that I thought was not in reach of the chooks, admired this lovely pumpkin as it grew. Went to pick it only to find it was just a hollow shell, the chooks had been eating it from the side I could not see! :laughing

:laughing
Hmmmmm. I can see I am going to have to rethink this.

Quote:
Plant the vines OUTSIDE the chook fence, and let them run up it. The chooks can't dig up the roots, the vine climbs up the fence, and most of the crop stays out of the reach of the chooks. Added bonus - the chookpen gets some shelter. Double bonus - the vine gets fertilised by the chook poo that washes in its vicinity.

The chook garden is not in their run, it's in the backyard where they are allowed to free range every day. This is where I have the available space and thought I might be able to grow the vines. What was I thinking! :dontknow

I might get some large pots and try and grow the small versions of pumpkin and melons in them. That way I can place them around side garden where rest of veg are.
Has anyone had any success with growing mini melons etc in pots.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions so far!
Kind regards
Floss


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:29 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: Adelaide
You could try putting sunflowers in their run... I'm told chooks will leave the plant alone for the most part. May need to protect the roots, though.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:06 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:26 am
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Location: Wee Waa, North West NSW
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You could try putting sunflowers in their run... I'm told chooks will leave the plant alone for the most part. May need to protect the roots, though.

Thanks MF. Sunflowers do look lovely and we enjoy eating their seeds. So could be an option.
Right now I am looking for space for pumpkin and melon, as we tend to eat a lot of these.
Hoping to be able to grow some in pots.
Does anyone have any advice/experience with growing pumpkin and/or melon in pots?
Kind regards
Floss


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