I hope this works!

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Cheryl in SD, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    We have been making a pilee of all the old straw, hay & manure from the barn all year. Yesterday we took it to the garden & are outting a layer about 6 inches thick on the beds. I am hoping by spring it will be ready to plant. I am not sure why this is a good idea, it just feels right.

    Anyone else garden by feelings?
     
  2. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    I have done quite a bit of gardening by feelings. As one might expect, it results in my then doing a lot of gardening by trial and error. Soemtimes it pans out and the results are great, other times I find myself wondering why on earth I did that!

    If you can, I would pile as much manure and straw as you can, and hopefully less hay if it is grass hay consumed by horses. Goats and other ruminnats will do a decent job with the weed seeds in hay, though.
     

  3. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    It was fed to goats, so is mostly alfalfa. There is some bedding straw.

    I have plenty to really pile the beds, just wasn't sure how deep I could get it. I am think of making this the bottom layer of lasgna beds.
     
  4. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I want it--lol envy you, i'll have to get by on chicken litter-with chips--unless i want to follow the horses around the pasture.
     
  5. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    That's how I do it, and it works great! When you're ready to plant your potatoes this winter, don't get a shovel...just turn back your mulch, set the cuts on the ground, and then cover them back up. You can get new potatoes all season, without disturbing the plants, since you just have to flip the mulch back to get to them.

    You will probably get some weeds and grasses sprouting in the spring, but they can't hold on well in the mulch and are very easy to pull.

    I'll be cleaning out the chicken house, rabbit house, barn, and sheepshed to put on my garden here in a couple weeks. Everything from the compost bins will go, too. My garden is the highest spot of land here!

    Meg
     
  6. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    I tried doing this this spring. The alfalfa didn't ever compost over the summer, but the straw was wonderful. I'm waiting to see if it breaks down over the winter.

    I found that the best thing I did this year was take the straw and sheep droppings and apply them directly around my plants. They grew like weeds! Your goat droppings, like sheep and rabbit, can be applied directly to plants without having to compost :)

    BTW, for cleaning up the pastures I use a heavy duty lobby pan, like they'll use in restraunts when they sweep up the floors, and a small plastic rake. I then go wander the pasture and rake up piles, then dump them on the garden.
     
  7. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    Oh, it sounds LOVELY!

    Someday, maybe I will have enough animals to be able to load my beds in the Fall, so that I can plant in wonderful stuff come Spring...

    Today, I made a fenced in the potato bed site with old bamboo poles, filled the area with the many bags of leaves we've acquired, and covered the top with spoiled hay and straw to keep the leaves from blowing away. Next year, I plan to put the straw potatoes there.

    But it would be so much nicer with manure...

    Pony!
     
  8. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Pony, you need to cultivate some farmers along with that garden! I have the products of my own animals...goats, sheep, asorted poultry and rabbits. I usually share the rabbit manure with a gardening friend. I also have a deal with the owner of a small feed store and horse farm near me. He calls when he scrapes out his horse barn. I drive the three miles to his place. He uses a front loader and fills my pickup truck with partially composted horse manure...no bedding. I take it home. He's happy that he doesn't have to haul it off! Ask your vet if he/she knows any livestock places. I can get cow manure free, too, but not usually partially composted. It's a good part of what I started my garden with, though!

    A lot of animal farmers don't garden, so you may be able to do a swap of some sort. Just promise them a taste of homegrown veggies next summer!

    Meg