My battle with chickweed

catjac1975

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A hen got loose again today. Seems like the same one as her wing was already clipped. She was scratching away in a daylily bed that had very little weed and did a rather nice job, though one daylily seemed a little damaged. She totally bypassed the one clump of chickweed! I think she was after something with a little more protein. They other chickens do devour it when I throw it into the coop. I guess they prefer it picked for them.
 

catjac1975

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You must be a lot younger than we are!
Jared77 said:
Id do a combination of things.

A frame chicken tractors AND the 5 gallon buckets to be sure you can get the birds as close to the plants as you can without them being able to damage them. Maybe a large rock on top of the bucket too so it doesn't get knocked over and expose the daylilies to ravenous chickens? Seriously I'd get some CX and limit their food and force them to graze eating down the weeds you don't want and your getting free range organic fed chicken. Cuts down feed costs for the CX. Its a win-win situation. Or get 25 sex link cockerels and throw them in there. You know those are all boys, and they are about as cheap as anything I've seen coming out of the hatcheries. Get them started, put them in the tractors in the spring and when they are ready to make you pull your hair out from the crowing and the fighting, send them to freezer camp. By that time the seasons close to being over and your getting ready for a nice Mass. winter. Imagine the stock you'd make from that batch of cockerels? :drool

Id put a 5 gallon bucket with a hose to a nipple so they can drink on top of the tractor too. That way your not hauling water daily. When the season is over you put it away till next year and order another batch of freezer camp invitees.

Maybe you do both CX and some sex links. Divide up an order so you have immediate birds ready to hit the ground and the sex links that take longer but are out there longer. Plus you'd have them scratching the beds up and manure back into the bed. Pull some for your horses too. But it saves on having to totally eradicate it by hand from your garden beds and using chemicals your not happy about using.

I'd treat it like the renewable resource that it is and I'm dead serious. Your goal is to keep it down not totally gone. I bet that's why the early settlers brought it with them. Super tough and super easy to grow and the livestock love it. I'd bring it with me too.
 

bj taylor

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my battle w/chickweed is one step forward & two back. i tried to get as much as i could out of the beds before they went to seed. it's a daunting task.
 

journey11

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When we got back from staying 3 weeks at the hospital in Columbus with my baby last spring, we found our front yard completely taken over by chickweed, perhaps 50/50 of it or more. It thrives in those bare spots, in our case where the dogs had killed the lawn. This year I've hardly seen any there since we've been here to keep up the mowing. It does cover most of my garden, but I thoroughly appreciate it because it makes an excellent winter cover crop and it is only pervasive in the spring.
 

digitS'

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Ack!

It can put the squeeze on my onions where I want them to grow where there is some afternoon shade!

The only weed I can pretty much ignore is white stem filaree. Like chickweed, it begins to bloom even before I begin spring garden work. But, the plants are so tiny and, seemingly, nonexistent during the other months of the year that I don't have to worry about it. You know, a gardener has to pick winners & losers out there :/.

Steve
 

ducks4you

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Jared, we are soul mates. :love
I wish I had built tractors--I think I'll get one done this year. The only place I don't like chickweed is in or close to my beds. I was pulling some last night, and yes, I do feed it to my birds. The horses are too picky once the pasture comes in. I've seen horses pick around things like soybeans, if they is something tastier to eat.
Their roots don't go nearly as deep as other noxious weeds.
 
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