Monday, October 29, 2012

All tucked in for the winter

For my entire garden career I have endured fall and winter as the "boring season" when the only gardening activity I could do was daydream about what to plant in the spring. But not this year! This year, fall and winter will be my season of soil amendment. I am determined to get my depleted soil up to snuff so I can grow huge fabulous vegetables in the spring. In the past I thought of all the composting and fertilizing hoopla as something only for gardening geeks, but this year I saw a definite decrease in my crop yields, and I believe it is because I have never done anything to replenish my dirt.

This was today's accomplishment. Titus and I spent the morning out in the pasture gathering sheep poop. I did my best to pick up the precious little pellets without getting too much dead orchard grass (don't want those seeds getting into my dirt!) and Titus helped by screaming in panic and trying to climb up my back in escape every time the sheep came anywhere near us. After we had a bucket full of poop, we spread it out in the smallest garden bed I have. Man, I'm going to need a lot more poop! A second layer of dry leaves went in over the poop and I gave the whole thing a good douse with the hose. I'm hoping everything will rot down over the fall and winter and I'll have beautiful dork rich crumbly soil to grow tomatoes in when spring rolls around. Now I just have to do the same thing for all the rest of my raised beds! How about you - do you put your garden to bed for the winter? Any special soil amending tricks you'd like to share?


  1. Next time it rains gather all the worms on the road etc. and put them in your boxes. They aerate and their poop is great and I read somewhere that they are responsible for like 90% of the mixing of soil layers. Also, if papa's worm bin is in good enough shape when we are over there for thanksgiving, I will rig up a compost tea maker. I haven't used it myself, but have heard all sorts of wonderful things about it from various sources and plan on getting that going myself around here soon. Also I have been thinking up a controlled experiment on the effectiveness of worm towers, and I only have a small amount of anecdotal evidence regarding their use thus far, but hopefully I'll be able to generate some data on that in the future.


    1. Ooh - I had forgotten about worms. The kids will be thrilled to hear that now, in addition to gathering poop, we also need to gather worms. (and it's even raining today...)