December 18, 2017
The Gift That Keeps On Giving

This year I got my Christmas present early and as the saying goes… “it’s the gift that keeps on giving”.

Actually, it was my sister that said that when I mentioned what I wanted for Christmas.

So, when Rob asked me what I wanted, I mentally did a scan of what I really and truly wanted and came out with kelp and or tree chippings (includes wood chips and green leaves) for the garden.

I spend half of my year out in the garden so wanted to try adding some nutrients to the soil that it is deficient in.

And as kelp didn’t really fit in the trunk of the car or I didn’t have the tree guy connection, Rob was the perfect person to ask for these treasures.

He has a van and knows the tree guy.

To take a step back, I winterized my garden this year using the hay that I made in the summer from the winter rye and for the beds that I didn’t have enough for I used cardboard.

I hate to leave the soil bare and a good covering brings all the worms and beneficialĀ bugs also adding in nutrients as they decompose.

What I really wanted to do was to cover the beds with tree chipping and try the no-till method of gardening.

This involves putting a covering on the soil that holds in moisture and slowly break down adding biomass and nutrients as it does.

The key to remember when adopting this kind of gardening is to just pull aside the mulch to plant and don’t mix it in with the soil. If you mix it in with the soil it will rob the nitrogen as it tries to break down.

Meanwhile, we went on holidays and the tree chippings got put on hold.

Kelp is littering the beaches, but who has a spare day to go and fill a van full.

So here my gardens sit with their cardboard and hay coverings with no added benefits in sight.

Well, I can’t actually say that as my compose is doing its thing and should be ready for the spring to throw on the garden. But in reality, there won’t be enough to cover all the raised beds, so some of the beds will get short-sheeted.

On Saturday I had a brainwave as I was thinking of all the good stuff that I could add to my garden.

We have a local fish market that sells filets and such and I thought maybe I could get the heads and tails and bury them in the garden. I did that years ago and the soil was perfect for growing.

But… sadly the fish market is closed… looks like it went out of business.

So I started thinking a little more and phoned the chicken farms that I just down the road from us. I’ve never been able to get chicken manure from them before as they only clean out at certain times of the year and I’ve never phoned at the right time.

BUT… this year the timing was perfect.

They had bags of it and I mean it was all bagged up ready to go at $5 a bag.

As I have 14+ raised beds I figure that I would need at least a bag a bed so I told Rob about it and taking the van he went and got me 20 bags.

What a wonderful Christmas present!

I will top dress the garden beds with leaves mixed with chicken manure.

The manure will help the leaves break down quicker and they both will add nutrients to the soil.

I’m so excited I can hardly wait to get at it.

This is the gift that really will keep on giving.

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