|Untreated soil vs. soil with 2 1/2 years of compost and TLC.|
|Garden gold. Chick house cleanings for the kitchen garden.|
Several of the raised beds have settled significantly. I topped the off with soil from this raised bed. That used 2/3 of the bed's soil. The other 1/3 is perennial - Chinese chive, which I consolidated from this raised bed and another.
The difference is soil appearance is dramatic. The native soil, on the left, is what the enriched soil, on the right, looked like 2 1/2 years ago. The difference is 2 /12 years of adding chicken house compost, leaves, kitchen scrap compost, worm compost, coffee grounds....
I filled partially full with yard soil, then mixed in a wheelbarrow full of chicken house cleanings. That is a year old, but dry so not composted. Too rich to use immediately. This being December, there will be 5 or 6 months to mellow before use. Plan for this area is bush beans.
I also added a cup of lime based on last year's soil test result showing low pH and low calcium.
Then I topped off with more yard soil, then more chicken house cleanings. Let the earthworms and bacteria and fungi do their thing now.
Several of the beds are cleaned up now. When spring comes, prep for planting will need minimal effort.
The other thing that needs to be done for these beds is better animal fencing. That is another project for this winter.
For the beds that I topped off, I removed the larger, tougher plant stems to go into the compost heap. I covered the cardboard/grass clipping mulch with a layer of improved soil. No major digging, the soil is already well aerated and rich.
|Cleanup half done. 12.7.14|
|My kitchen garden in winter. 12.7.14|