My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Compost, Eggs and More Digging

compost heating up
Well compost pile #2 is heating up pretty well, just need to get it to kick on up to 131 degrees F or higher to make sure that all pathogens are killed. But 120 is a good start!

This pile is taking a little longer to get built than the first one, so that might be the problem. Hopefully I'll get it finished off in the next couple of days.

burn pile buried in the garden
Remember that bed of beans I'm digging up? Well I got down to the area where none of them lived and what do I find? There was a burn pile buried in there. Pure ashes along with broken glass, rusty metal and a lot of rocks. No wonder those bean plants croaked!

about done

This was several days hard labor, a lot of pick and shovel work. Fortunately the weather has cooled off a tad. I piled up a lot of sand and gravel from the bed into the path. But after about 8 inches of build up it was started to slide into the next bed. So I started throwing it over the fence into the driveway. Harder work, but faster than using a bucket.

dirt and rocks in the driveway

adding and wetting organic matter

Now for a special trick to really make this bed super abundant. Adding chicken litter mixed with wood shavings and old horse manure to the bottom of it. This organic matter will act as a giant sponge and help catch and retain water for the plants. The material is really dry and so is the ground so I'm wetting it down as I go.

actually not wet yet!

Even though there is water puddling in the bottom of the trench, the chicken litter is not really wet yet. I have to stir it up and keep wetting it until it is all saturated.

Then toss a few shovel fulls of the top soil onto it and add some more litter. This will take a few days to complete. Then I will add some fresh compost to the top soil, set up the new drip irrigation lines and start planting.

Purebred Blue Ameraucana

The last chicks hatched in June are getting big now.

purebred Black Ameraucana

BCM pullet eggs with egg color chart

My oldest Black Copper Marans pullet began laying this week. But her egg color so far is disappointing.  Both of her parents hatched from a #7 egg (that would be the lower right side of the color chart). So far she's just laying about a #4 which is the lightest that Marans should ever be. My fingers are crossed they darken up some as she gets going.

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