Its a long slow process of putting the garden to bed, still got very slow growing green covers in places, some things are still giving to the kitchen, was able to bring in sage and different kinds of mints for drying yet, need to do the culling and bedding down of strawberry rows, digging up of bulbs to bring in for the winter, and I still need to dig out and transplant at least six to eight black berry canes that popped up in a area I had moved them out of, and they came back from the roots, I really do want that area blackberry cane free, so they will have to be moved and put into the new row. I have a number of small two or three feet high elderberry starts that need to be moved, and watered in.
Having said that, the main thing that needs to be going on is adding in layers of compost, because we live in Zone 5a, we have a good solid winter, with a number of freeze/thaw cycles that will do alot of the breakdown work for me. This means that its a good time to combine fall cleanup with mixing and put out things on the garden..
Now currently on the farm, I have the choice of compost available to me
- 3 year old mixed goat/sheep compost pile
- 2 year old mixed Bird/Rabbit/Sheep/Goat compost pile
- 1 year old mixed bird/garden scraps/rabbit poo pile
- Current compost piles from this year, including,
- Sheep/Goat compost
- Pig Compost
- Rabbit Compost
- Mixed Bird Compost
- Cow pie Compost
Because I have a mixed critter small farm, it does allow me pick and choose what composts I want to use for what area of the garden, this means that you can choose the best critter poo compost and or a mix of critter poo compost for certain area’s of the garden depending on what you are planning on planting in that area in the next year.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you are starting a garden and working to improve your soil, any and all compost added will help the whole garden! The Complete Compost Gardening Guide which has wonderful info on what type of critter compost works for what plants or groupings of plantings, but Gardening when it counts, was the book that started me on the path of making what I heard called “gourmet poo mix’s” when I was posting about this on a different site.
If you have access to one or more critter manure, are you composting it all together, or are you making custom mix’s for different plants or planting area’s in your garden?
This is part of the Homestead Preparedness Challange in the Sustainable Living, what goes into your garden makes a huge difference on the quality of food that comes out!