Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Autumn Gardening & Our Secret Ingredient

Fall is near. This makes me sad.
We only have about one more month to enjoy our overgrown garden. Right now we are in the peak of tomato season! I cannot keep up with the picking! I planted too many Sun Gold, Sun Sugar, and Grape tomatoes and not enough Romas, Beefsteak, and large tomatoes for canning. There's always next year, though.

Fall also means it's time to start working on next years garden, especially next years soil. My husband came across some FREE MANURE! We were jumping for joy over this because it's not just any manure. It's very rotted, dark, steaming horse manure! The perfect secret ingredient for our garden! We fertilize with a fish fertilizer once a year. Other than that all we do is compost horse manure and till it into the soil in the fall and spring.
The garden loves it!

This Black Gold is sitting under
a tarp rotting & steaming away! We will incorporate it into the garden soil sometime in October.

So you may be wondering what you can do if you have a smaller garden or don't have a tractor. You can start composting now! You can compost any organic materials such as any vegetable or fruit waste from the kitchen, grass clippings, dead plants from your garden, egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds, etc. You can add dead fish (gardens love this) or farm animal manure such as horse, cow, chicken, goat. Use your judgement...haha!
You can buy one of those fancy compost bins or turners or you can just make a pile out of sight and add to it everyday. It is important to churn it with a pitch fork or shovel once in a while to mix it up! Don't add it to your soil until it decreases in size by about one third to one half. It should be black or very dark brown, warm or steaming, and you should not be able to really see anything in it except a rotted soil looking material.

Hope that helps! Post any questions in the comment box or email me!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the garden tip. I do have to say that the fish Dad put in our garden this year produced some awesome tomatoes. The plants near where the fish were buried are loaded with tomates. The size of the plants are impressive and the leaves a dark, rich green color. So I agree - fertilizer is the key!