Thursday, February 6, 2014

Preparing the Soil

      The morning started with a beautiful sprinkling of frost followed by some much needed sunshine; perfect day for prepping soil. Muck boots on, gloved hands, grungy clothes- time to grab the shovels and push a wheel barrow. Days like today draw me out of the house and through the gate.
         At the end of a garden season and some weeks before one starts, I muck out, rake around and spread out composted donkey/poultry manure, goat manure, and leaves. By layer the items are spread about the empty garden or, if some rows are occupied, then between the planted rows. No working it in or tilling it up, just cast about and left there to work in the sun. Rain will soak it into the earth nourishing as it goes while warmth from the sun's rays will break it down even further in preparation for upcoming plants.
         After my casting and dumping, the army of little gardeners hits the area for some down and dirty digging. My hearty flock of poultry are eager to get in there, working the soil and removing the unwanted parts. Unfortunately, they do tend to nibble the leafy greens (who knew hens loved, I mean LOVE Bok Choy?). Needless to say, enough is planted to share- so they aren't in too much trouble. Once satisfied with their work, I simply shut the little opening that lets them in (like a doggie door in a fence) keeping them out until next time. For now, door open- work away, ladies, work away.
          As for me, after all the raking and mucking it was time for a warm cup of creamy coffee and a sit in my messy house. You see, we are laying new floor so my house is a disaster area- perfect excuse to be in the garden, wouldn't you say? Right now it's time for chores!

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