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Expert reveals her secret weapon for dealing with annoying garden pests, weeds: 'Perfect example of working smarter, not harder'

"This would be my dream garden scenario."

“This would be my dream garden scenario."

Photo Credit: @purelychickens / TikTok

Have you ever imagined that the perfect upgrade for your garden might be chickens? Nikki (@purelychickens) is sharing how her chickens help her manage weeds, bugs, and so much more in her vegetable garden. 

The scoop

As her TikTok handle suggests, Nikki is a chicken expert. In a recent post, she shared all the ways that keeping her chicken run right next to her vegetable garden actually helps her garden thrive. 

"No one loves weeds more than chicken," she begins. "All you gotta do is throw them over after you weed your garden beds."

@purelychickens Do you let your chickens near your garden? Looking into chicken chunnels next! #chickens #chickencoop #garden #chickengarden #chickenkeeping #purelychickens #backyardchickens #homestead #hobbyfarm ♬ original sound - Purely Chickens

That seems to be Nikki's big secret to keeping her chickens next to her garden. Just throw over pretty much any unwanted garden pests to the chickens. 

"If you have a vegetable you don't want to keep because, you know, bugs or it got mushy, then throw it to the chickens," she continues. "When your herbs go to seed and you don't want them anymore, or something eats the top of your cabbage, throw them to your chickens."

Have you noticed the pattern? 

"Did I mention they'll eat all the bugs you don't want in your garden too? You can pick them off by hand and toss them in," she says. "Chickens loved it, of course."

Aside from pointing out how all your garden's pests are chickens' delights, she also names a few plants to put in your garden that are great for your chickens, like marigolds, lavender, oregano, and nasturtium. She pulls a bit for her chickens every time she's in the garden. 

Finally, at the end of the season, she opens up the whole garden to her little flock. 

"As long as everything in here is safe for the chickens," she says. "Let them help you clean it out."

How it's helping

Nikki's tips don't just offer an easy way to keep your chickens and your garden happy, but they also help cut down on the waste that is often made by gardens. While much of what is in a garden can be composted, sometimes garden materials like weeds or spoiled veggies end up in landfills. 

While we know organic materials should break down fairly easily, it gets a bit more complicated when it comes to landfills. Each year, more than 145 million tons of waste go to landfills in the U.S. alone. More than half of this waste is organic. Organic material produces methane as it breaks down, one of the leading climate-warming gases. 

What everyone's saying

As if TikTokers needed even more inspiration to get chickens, they were delighted with Nikki's zero-waste chicken hack

"Perfect example of working smarter, not harder," one TikToker commented. "Love this."

"This would be my dream garden scenario," another said.

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