Take'n a whole lot of crap for The Backyard Garden

Well you move the farm kids to the suburbs and you can bet they'll find the tallest pile of steaming manure that they can. 

Me and my Pa have been doing some backyard box gardening this spring. We've been using a layer of  potting soil for the top layers and filling the bottom layers boxes with compost and horse manure. This save a ton of money and the soil critters and plants seem to love it.  

We made four garden boxes using scrap wood we got from our neighbor who is a cement worker.

We talked to some people that have a horse ranch down the road from us and man, did they "gave us a whole load of crap" 

This pile of manure had a rank stank! It's gone anaerobic (without oxygen).  Granted manure is stinky, but you'd be surprised the difference that oxygenation and the right carbon (plant matter) to nitrogen (food waste and manure) ratio will have. 

So we took that "rank stank" home, mixed it with some of our compost and straw to balance out the carbon and nitrogen issue and churned the thing a couple times a week to get it oxygenated.  

 With how strong the ammonia smell from that manure was,  I was really worried that the high nitrogen issue was going take a long time to correct. (If the nitrogen is too strong then your plants will basically burn in the soil, not good) 

Alas, I found hope while churning the compost a week latter. There it was a little volunteer seedling from the compost coming up.  Getting closer to done than I thought.

I came home one day and my dad had made this portable greenhouse. He designed it to be able to fit over a garden box if needed, but so far we have kept it in the driveway where we can maximize the sun and heat for our tomatoes.  (Jaccomo stand in the pictures as a scale reference) 

We have been putting the trays of our tomatoe starts out there during the in the day. We have about 60 plus pots of tomatoes. I am hoping in the next week or two we can get some of them in the ground. 


Clarissa O. said...

Well done Marianna, dealing with a whole load of "crap"! I can't believe how many tomato plants you've started!

Jana Last said...

Very nice! I like the picture where you have "conquered" the pile of, shall we say, garden helper material.