The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Deep bedding in the garden

Deep bedding in the garden

Deep beddingSomeday, 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.

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 Blueberry patch in winterammonia (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?

Our chicken waterer keeps the bedding dry and the chickens happy.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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One can never have enough mulch can they?

It seems like we are always struggling to make enough compost... One of the projects I have in mind for this year is new compost bins, the ones we have now have been good, but I think we've outgrown them.

Love the blog!

Comment by Chris Fri Jan 27 11:32:58 2012
Never, ever enough mulch. Seldom enough compost either, but I seem to run low on mulch more often. (Maybe that's just because Mark's been buying me masses of straw for the garden all at once.)
Comment by anna Fri Jan 27 15:14:52 2012

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