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Old 08-25-2015, 07:20 AM
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Re: New to Cockatiels

I've been growing food for my cockatiels. They LOVE amaranth and assorted greens. Amaranth is also very ornamental. To get the most nutrition in your food mix 8 parts powdered granite with 1 part potting soil and one part green sand. Most plants need some organic matter in the soil to grow. I use Miracle Grow for nitrogen. A half a wine barrel provides all the green munchies for my four cockatiels. I took a blue plastic 50 gallon drum and drilled 3" holes in equidistant spacing up and down the sides. I then planted alternating greens and strawberries. To get all the plants to produce I need to rotate the drum 1/4 turn every day. I suggest Joseph's coat cultivar because of it's striking appearance. I've just planted a bunch of different kinds of amaranth and am going to replant the produced seed. That way it can naturalized into the unique environment. Next year I'm going to try millet. Be cautious of where you plant. You can inadvertently poison your birds by growing there food next to pressure treated wood. Whatever is in the soil will end up in your plants. In the case of pressure treated wood it leeches out cyanide and arsenic into the surrounding soil. It's hard to believe people actually used pressure treated wood to build there raised beds. I have a mantis tiller which tills 9 inches down, I then add a foot of soil on top. I use cinder blocks to make my raised beds. In California a student is required to do several hours of community service before they can graduate. Even though I find this policy unconstitutional, I took advantage of it and asked the metal shop teacher to have his students build me some U shaped brackets that slip over the ends of the cinder blocks joining them together. Alternately you can use 1/2" re-bar driven into the soil with a 16OZ hammer. I put the re-bar on the outside of the blocks as opposed to the inside since I utilize the space inside the cinder blocks for planting. Good gardening to you all
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