What to plant in the pallet fence?

I feel like I’m horribly behind getting my garden plan in order, but I think that it’s still too cold to start planting. Of course it’s 62 degrees here in February and I feel like I could have planted things all winter. This year’s weather has been very¬†reminiscent¬†of my native Louisiana weather minus the rain. I can only hope that it doesn’t mean another hot and humid summer for our part of Virginia. You would think because I grew up in that horrible heat that I could tolerate it better, but I really can’t and I can promise you, it’s the same humid heat we had in south Louisiana. Maybe it’s my Cajun genetics longing for those cold Nova Scotia temperatures :)

So, I’ve finally used some of my pallet hoard to create a fence for our chicks’ run. Part of it is temporary because it needs to be enlarged. We have 23 chickens, who just turned 2 months old and the run will not be large enough to sustain that many chickens. 8 of them will be leaving the flock starting in about 5 weeks. These are the White Leghorn roosters that were added to our pullet order for packing peanuts. We plan on eating them and will be thankful for what they provide to us and in return, they are getting great care and even hand fed sometimes. That will leave us with 15 hens. It’s recommended that they have 2-4 square feet of space for each one.

These are not pets!!! ;)

I do like when they want me to pick them up and get special treats, even if it’s one of the soon to be eaten roosters.

 

The chick's temporary run

In the photo above you can see the right side wall which is the temporary wall. In the future, the run will be larger with this one moving over to the back side of the coop incorporating a much larger area. It will probably be 7 or 8 more pallets longer and wider, providing plenty of space to these hens and allowing us to add a few more.

The left side wall, shown in the photo below, will stay were it is and that’s where my first plantings will go.

Left side of run that is permanent

Now, what to plant??? I think strawberries are a given and so are herbs. I read something recently that said to incorporate thyme and marigolds for bug control and will try that. Plants that will be good for the chickens will also go here. I do want pretty things to make a pleasant atmosphere. As you can see in the photo, we moved our two lounge chairs from our front porch and hope to spend some nice evenings out here checking out the wildlife that live in our backyard and woods. We’ll set up our fire pit and I even have 2 half barrels that will also contain veggies and flowers. I’m hoping to have something similar to this, but much livelier and more colorful.

If you have any experience with this type of gardening, would love to hear about what has and hasn’t worked for you and I’m taking suggestions for plants that will do well in this type of environment. Will update as I get things planted and harvested.

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7 Responses to What to plant in the pallet fence?

  1. Bear says:

    Just be careful with the chicken”poo” as it is considered “HOT” when not properly mixed within the soil. It will kill most plant life. Maybe make a raised bed of sorts in order to have plants around the pen/coop. Also, bugs are wonderful snacks for chickens, if you let them run free around the place, they can eat a bunch and control the bug population, that’s what I learned with my flock here in Washington State, they also love leafy greens and egg shells.

    • None of the chicken poop will be going on to anything but a compost pile. Having alpacas, we’ve done a fair amount of research in that area. Alpaca beans can be added straight into your garden without composting, it doesn’t burn at all.

      The way the pallet fence is structured, the chickens don’t even have access to the plants. There will be hardware cloth on the backside and the plants will face outside the run, not in.

      We’ve had chickens for almost a year now free ranging at our barn. I love to see them chasing bugs and they come running when you rake anything. Thanks for the comment and check back soon for another update!

  2. beth says:

    I have seen succulents such as chicks and hens planted in pallets..seems appropriate somehow! LOL

  3. DeniseMary says:

    How did you keep the pallets together? it looks really good! I would love to make one!

  4. Lori says:

    I would love more information on building a pallet fence with plantings. I plan to build a chicken coop this spring and would love something pleasing to the eye for their outside run area. What a great idea!!!!

    Thanks.

    Lori

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