Archives for posts with tag: Manure

Yesterday I got a load of cow manure and a load of black dirt as well as more leaf rakings.

Along with the kichen waste (kept away from the rodents in a barrel) I finished off 2 piles of compost.

Another layer each of kitchen waste, leaves, manure and black dirt.

We’ve been cleaning, clipping and raking, and dumping the refuse in the compost area.  

Coarse matterial goes here at insect heaven 

I got a load of aged manure from Farmer Ericsson.   

Black dirt 

And an old falling-apart bale of flax straw for mulch.  

Now, I’m pretty much set up for the coming growing season. I even sowed a row of spinach the other day, just to see what will happen. 

It has been very windy and dry weather the last few weeks. I try to avoid it, but I’ve had to water almost every evening. Now it has rained 9 millimeters anyway, so I’ve taken a break from painting the house, tilled the pumpkin patch and started to plant out the various pumpkins, squashes and maize.

Many vegetables have a slightly longer growing season than these northern climes allow. We start the plants indoors, some as early as the last week of April and others as late as mid May and take outside when weather permits.

When the risk of frost is over, we plant them out in a new tilled field.

Here is our procedure for kabotcha, Japanese pumpkins:
First we dig holes starting from the center of the crop circle spiraling outwards. We space them about one meter from each other and dig about one spade deep and wide. We put a spadefull of compost or old manure in each hole, fill with water, cover with dirt, claw out a hole and put a pumpkin plant in. A little more water is good, as well as packing with some more dirt to keep the plant from blowing around too much in the wind, which is a constant problem around here.

If you have only a few plants, putting them directly on the compost works great.

Farmer Eriksson brought a load of manure this morning.

Along with a small roll of flax straw. The cow manure is already aged a bit, and Fr. Eriksson says the wild boar have been aerating it too. It will be layered into this years new compost piles.

The flax straw will be used for mulching, but I’ll need much more before the growing season is done. I prefer flax straw for mulching, especcially for the walkways and between the raised beds. It decays slowly, stays dry in wet weather and matts nicely for walking and crawling on. If gathered in the fall, it can be used for 2 or 3 years. I haven’t been able to find much info about the ‘nutritional value’ for the soil, but it’s been working great for me for years. The earthworms like it too.

I’ve been meaning to write about my compost but the pictures never turn out good enough. It’s probably because the area becomes rank and neglected this time of year. Here are some bad ones anyway.

Here is the long pile in the process of growing. We pile just about anything organic on in random layers. Like: kitchen waste, garden waste, leaves and twigs, non-invasive weeds, green manure, animal manure, black dirt, and a little of the likes of rock powder, seaweed, bone meal etc.

I have a two year system of composting. This one is in its second year. It will be turned over for airation soon and then put out onto the gardens in the spring. I have the two year system so that I don’t have to turn it over all the time (speading it up).

This also means it can become neglected. As you can see in the pictures, pumpkins, potatoes, flowers and weeds grow from seeds that have survived and can take over during the summer. Some can be eaten the rest goes into the next compost. The fall turnover takes place after the frost kills off these plants.

The main ingredients of the compost are leaves, corn and pumpkin plants with manure or black dirt to balance it off. After two years it becomes a course loamy compost presumably rich in nutrients but appreciated mainly for it’s soil improvement qualities.