Sunday, 13 August 2017

Next Years Fertility

A chance meeting last week resulting in me being told my neighbours were trying to get rid of a big load of horse muck as they were going round the world on a tandem bike!
Did I want any?
I'll have as much as you be got!
I'm the end he brought six loads, most is beautifully rotted, black crumbly goodness. Can't believe how good this stuff is.

Should go a long way to providing some of my soil fertility next year. 

I also got round to clearing the sheep shed, a job I should have done a few months earlier really as I only borrow the shed. 
I stacked it high and added a few sheep's fleeces for extra nitrogen and goodness (they're worth very little at the moment but I've heard they make good compost). I think I'll probably need to leave it for 12 months before use but it'll make some great compost.
I've another three bins full of this year's compost as well which should be ready for next year's growing season.

A few more loads of muck and I might have enough for next year! Bigger scale means more fertility needed!

Who here gets lots of muck in? 

How do you provide fertility to your plot?

19 comments:

  1. I'm also planning on growing a big patch of green manure and doing the same on any bed not growing a crop over winter.

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  2. It's a beautiful sight Kev. That's my ideal Christmas present.

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    1. Glad it's not just me that gets excited about this type of thing!

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  3. Lucky, lucky you - well rotted muck by the trailer load :)
    Our allotment site gets donated deliveries of muck from a local stable, but unfortunately horses are now mostly bedded in wood shavings instead of straw & this takes a lot of rotting time & has a low ratio of dung to wood. We now collect our own fresh horse manure & waste straw/hay off a local paddock (with permission).
    It's a heavy job bagging & transporting it by car (& has plenty of weed seeds from the paddock) - but we are glad to get it. In autumn, we spread it out whether rotted or not & the following spring break it up finely & mostly plant through it.

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    1. When i had some allotments I used to get trailer fills from a local smallholder and that was a lot of work with jusr a car and small trailer. Collecting it yourself like that is true dedication. I agree though it's probably worth the effort to add the fertility and improve the soil structure. Want to find a few more small proc
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      Users to sè if they have more muck and really pu a lot down on my new patch next year. I'm also going to sow the rye and vetch on the new patch if I get to turn it over in the next few weeks, Good for organic matter and a bit of nitrogen.

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    2. My phone makes me type like I have massive thumbs sorry!

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    3. I'll be interested to find out how you manage with green manures - I'm always worried that they will turn into meadows & need cutting down before I can get round to digging them in.

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  4. We have several compost methods. We use a couple of tumbling compost bins. We emptied one of the bins a few days ago, the humus was wonderful and it was full of worms. I have never seen worms in the compost tumbler before. We also use on ground compost piles. My husband Don bought some horse manure a few weeks back from down the road and ran it through the mulcher so it is ready to be added to the garden as fertiliser or it can be added to the compost piles. We also have a raised keyhole garden that has a compost basket in the middle of it. Plants put into this garden grow like Triffids.

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  5. I have horse muck envy.......... :)

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  6. I use horse manure that I try and spread on the garden during the winter then plow it under or till it in. I have put fresh manure down where I plan on planting in a row and tilling that under so that it breaks down where the plants will grow. One thing I ran into with off site manure is that people spray the hay field with weed killer and it is absorbed by the grass and then the hay gets cut and the weed killer passes through the horse. Eventually the weed killer ends up concentrated in the manure. I killed a patch of potatoes with weed killer manure that had rotted for years.

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  7. I don't have a huge plot these days, but I overwinter chicken shed manure on the compost heap, and also all our rabbit droppings and straw goes straight onto the plot as soon as daughter cleans out her four rabbits. I have had the biggest tomato plants this year - over 6 feet tall, with lots of tomatoes albeit still a bit green. I never buy in manure - it is so expensive - and never use chemicals.

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  8. We're lucky enough to have a riding school near the allotments, and they deliver their manure to us for the cost of the transport (works out about 50p for every 10 barrow loads. We also get free woodchippings courtesy of a local tree surgeon, and three or four times a year we get a huge batch of compost from the council waste site (not great stuff, but once the glass & plastic is sieved out it bulks things up.

    We're also extending the green manure experiment from one or two beds last year to the bulk of the plot - basically anywhere with no overwintering crops or bindweed we need to cover in the hope of killing.

    That is on top of our own compost - made from garden waste & bedding from the hens. Plus come autumn, we'll be able to make leaf mould again, from the oak tree at home and the ones at the edge of the wood backing on to the allotment.

    We're beginning to turn the corner from horrible claggy clay to decent friable soil - finally.

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    1. We get tree chippings too - really useful for the base of compost heaps or to open up the compost mix if it's all a bit soft & green. The council waste is all sold here. Jealous of your manure deliveries :)

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  9. Great present of horse manure Kev. I would cover it with old pit silage plastic if it was mine to make it heat up and to stop the hay growing out and turning into grass. I think weeds make good fertility if you trench them and dig them in or compost them. Must start collecting seaweed, its great and free.

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  10. Like you, we love horse muck. My sister in law has a horse and is only to pleased that we take it for our allotment.

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  11. What great luck. We have donkeys as well as poultry and rabbits, all green waste gets composted as well. Although we are an hour from the sea we collect lots of seaweed throughout the year. Seeing you compost the sheep fleeces would it not be a better use to use them as slug control, slugs hate wool.

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    1. I wonder how difficult & cost effective it is to make your own version of slug repelling wool pellets from fleeces ???

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  12. We have 3 stables less than half a mile away and they have tons of bagged manure free. I give them empty garden bags in return.

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