Herb garden in an antique chicken feederCreated July 2020
My aunt originally used this chicken feeder as a miniature herb garden within her flowerbed. This project started with me restoring the feeder to have a personal herb garden. This restoration required removing rust, sanding, correcting warped areas, and painting. For size, the chicken feeder is 5.5ft long x 0.5ft wide x 3in high.
The majority of the items I used were laying around. While I got my chicken feeder from my aunt, there are typically plenty for sale on ebay.
|General Items||Restoration Items|
|Antique Chicken Feeder||Spray Paint|
|Assortment of Herbs||Rubber Feet|
|Mini Garden Fencing||Sand Paper|
Rust and uneven layers of paint made the surface rough.
I began sanding the rough areas by hand, then finishing with an orbital sander. I was going for a smooth and rust-free surface, but removing all the old paint seemed unnessecary. I did not touch the inside of the feeder despite the rust.
I prepared for painting by washing off any remaining dust.
There happened to be a can of black gloss Rustoleum spray paint laying around, which worked fine. My feeder needed two coats of paint, which I would recommend, but paint as needed.
After letting the paint dry, I hot glued four feer to the bottom of the feeder to protect the bottom from scratches and for better drainage. My feeder already had holes in the bottom, but I would recommend putting some to avoid drowning plants.
Since I will be planting seeds, I decided to buy seed starter soil. My feeder filled up with two bags of soil, this will vary depending on the feeder you use (don't overfill with soil).
I measured four even sections within the feeder to space out the various seeds. Alternatively transplanting plants will also work very well. I planted chives, cilantro, oregano, and spinach in my mini herb garden.
The leafs began to shrivel up when touching the feeder, which was hot from the sun. I prevented this with some left over strawberry fencing. Tight twine or any small fencing would work just as well to prevent this.
Overall, this project went well and makes a great outdoor addition. The chicken feeder conveniently holds many herbs and retains moisture well on hot days. A few things that could be improved would be: screwing in the feet rather than hot gluing and puncturing more holes to aid drainage.
In the near future I plan on merging this project with my automated waterer project, which can be found here.