Deep bedding in the garden
I'll let the deep
bedding in our
chicken coops rot all the way down into high quality compost. But
it won't be this year.
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As usual, I need more
biomass than I have on hand, so I'm mining the chicken coops
early. I figure the half-composted mixture of manure, leaves, and
straw will work as both compost and mulch for our blueberries.
(It certainly did a good job underneath our peach tree last year.)
In the coop, I used the
pitchfork to pull back the top six inches or so of bedding, then
scooped out the partly broken down material underneath. I caught
the faintest hint of ammonia (a sign that I let a
pocket of manure get too thick before adding more bedding), but
otherwise felt like I was working with good quality leaf mold.
My blueberries are in
mulched wide rows, but I don't think their roots have colonized all of
the intervening space between plants yet. So I made circles of
deep bedding material around each bush, then filled in the gaps with
magnolia leaves my mom had picked up on her city curb.
I wonder if I'll have
enough deep bedding to finish the whole blueberry patch?