Monday, October 24, 2011

Making Dirt!

When we moved here a few years ago the yard had been mowed and that was it.. No garden.. or flower beds.. So I started adding garden beds. We are on a hill so no real big places that can be a big garden.. I have several larger spaces. Which actually works really well for me! Then a friend loaned me a book called Lasagna Gardening.. Which is basically a No till type of garden that works well for places that have little to no real dirt.. However since some of it was a little expensive for me to come up with I decided that I would use some of the suggestion and try to find something that works for me..
 I have Plenty of Goat/Rabbit bedding mixed with manure. Goat manure is not a hot manure and I have always heard and read that rabbit was not  hot either.. Till I went to look it up and one site had it classed the same as Chicken manure ?...  But I have always added it directly to the plants and never had a problem..  Anyway.. The one I have the most of is of course the Goat berries and bedding mixture! It can really pile up.. Just check out some of my old blogpost... Like My birthday present one year...
So the first year I laid down feed bags for a weed barrier and piled goat bedding on top of them to sit for a couple of months. It broke down pretty quick So I added more.. I just planted a few things that year tomatoes being one of them... Thinking I wouldn't stake them up just let them grow and get a few.. They went crazy!! SO thick I couldn't get to the tomatoes half the time.. But my chickens could!!
 Then this year I did the same thing and staked my tomato plants... Umm stakes weren't big enough and pulled them over and I once again had a tomato jungle.. Adding all this Organic material had added a few inches to the dirt too that had been Maybe 2 inches deep.. I could now get a shovel full with out hitting to many rocks. My okra was huge.. The peppers probably would have done better but the chickens... Well they like to dust under them!!
 So I am getting ready for next year. I have laid down a new weed barrier of paper feed bags and have started adding old hay/bedding/manure/a few leaves. Some it had already started to break down but was still movable. The more organic matter you have the more nutrients and water your soil will hold. I had noticed that I didn't have to water near as much as other people during this hot dry summer we had.. I also planted garlic just one row so far would like to add another by next week. I mulched it with leaves and other stuff the chickens have been scratching through.. I will add bedding to it through the winter. I am also getting things like my Rosemary and lavender well mulched to see if it will make it through the winter. Neither one did last year.  I am heavily mulching them and have tubs to put over them if needed.. Especially for my rosemary.
 I have spread things like Spearmint, Lemon Balm and Chocolate mint around more because where I had them before no type of bug seems to bother the other plants.. I know they will have to be controlled but if they get out of their garden spot I can mow them and pick them frequently..  I also plan on planting Marigold between all my tomatoes and my squash possibly too.. I need to look that up some..  That is my plan so far....

 Here is one of the beds I worked on today.. I have Gooseberries and Rosemary planted here. Peppers were doing really well till the chickens......

When I am done putting down the bags and hay
 I wet it down some to keep it from blowing away to much till it packs down some.

The goats went out on new pasture today..
They are starting to get a little lazy due to being pretty far along in their pregnancies. 
 I gave BoSe Shots Saturday.. That along with plenty of exercise hopefully there will be no trouble kidding.
They are all doing great right now!

Ethel and Her boy Ben..
 He has till Nov 1st to be sold as a buck then he will be wethered and raised for meat.

Sunshine relaxing..
 Bonnie and Polly Munching nearby..

Hope relaxing too......
Kate behind her...

Maryann and Pixie...
Maryann is due a little later than everyone else.
 Pixie I was starting to think maybe she hadn't settled..
But I knew she hadn't come in heat again..
But I am pretty sure she did and has now started showing.

Hope REALLY Relaxing! lol

The view from my front porch......


Becky said...

Rabbit manure ROCKS!! People kept brushing me off about it until they saw my flowers and my tomato plants this year!!! I need to do something like you are doing.

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures!


Brenda said...

I love the photos of your goats out relaxing and munching in their pasture. Mine have ventured across the small valley and over to the ridge on the south above the spring. They found lots of blackberry patches and sweet grass there.

Your gardens are going to be so good this summer with all the prep you're doing on them.

Anonymous said...

I get good tomatoes off goat manure and also collard greens were amazing this year. My root crops don't do so well because I have a lot of clay, but I am looking at harvesting beets and then letting the chickens out of their summer lockup for the fall clean up.

Rosemary won't overwinter here but lavendar can depending on the type. Likes southern exposure backed by rock .

Reminds me of the woman I met on the island that was trying to build soil and imagine having to bring it all over by ferry!They did have a nice community garden, though. :)

Anonymous said...

didn't post me again...that was Tree

goatmilker said...

Love the view from your front porch! It is so beautiful and I could just sit there all day.