Composting Manure


Ever since January 1st, I’ve had a fever.

Gardening fever, that is.

Last week, my fever grew even stronger with the arrival of these:

Four big bags of cow poo!

Just for me!

Don’t these cow patties make you want to stick a shovel in the ground?

My first instinct was to dump these dumps all over my garden plot, but since this will be my first garden at 402 Rusk Street, I wanted to do things right!  So I did a little poo research and discovered that composted manure is more beneficial to plants than non-composted manure.

So…what does this mean?

I have no idea.

And when I have no idea, I start improvising.

To be honest, I have shied away from composting in the past because it has all seemed so complicated, and I didn’t know where to start.  But now that I have these 4 lovely bags of poo, I have decided to just start something and see where my efforts take me!

And so, in a remote area of the yard, I dug a deep hole:

Sigh!  I love having sandy soil.  There’s no way I would have dug a hole this quickly in clay soil!

Then I added organic material like grass clippings, leaves or pine needles to the hole:

Next, I added a layer of cow patties and [violently] broke them up with a spade:

(Some piles of shit were more stubborn than others.)

I repeated this process with another layer of clippings/leaves/pine needles and manure:

Finally, I covered the who thing with a thick layer of leaves/ pine needles and applied enough water to moisten all of the layers of manure and organic material.

In order to see results, I will need to water hole at least once a week and turn the contents of the pile over with each new addition of fresh manure.

Since I do not have a long enough garden hose, I had to carry waste basket after waste basket full of water all the way across the yard.

Note to self: BUY A LONGER HOSE!

I can’t wait to see what this shit hole produces after a couple months!!  If all goes well, I will have nutrient-rich, burried treasure on my hands!

Benefits of composted manure:

*Supplies nutrients

*Helps hold nutrients in the soil

*Conditions soil

To see how the experts do it, click here!

I also dug a separate compost hole for my raw kitchen scraps…

First, I dug a hole:

Then I applied a layer of organic material such as grass clipping, leaves or pine needles:

Next, I added a layer of raw kitchen scraps such as fruit and veggie peelings, egg shells and coffee grounds.

Items NOT to add to compost: Anything cooked, fatty or salted–raw food only!

Finally, I topped the pile with a thick layer of grass clippings/leaves/pine needles and watered thoroughly.

This, too, needs to be watered and turned on a regular basis.  But it’s all worth the effort for these reasons:

Compost…

…improves the soil structure, porosity, and density, thus creating a better plant root environment.

…improves water-holding capacity, thus reducing water loss and leaching in sandy soils like mine.

…supplies a variety of macro and micronutrients.

…may control or suppress certain soil-borne plant pathogens.

…improves and stabilizes soil pH (very important if I want to grow sweet cucumbers instead of nasty, bitter cucumbers!)

I actually had a lot of fun digging holes and filling them with poo and garbage.

I know that sounds weird.  Let me rephrase:

One man’s manure is another man’s burried treasure!

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5 thoughts on “Composting Manure

  1. Wow!! Good job. Totally sad I can’t do this. Our ground is currently frozen.

    But how funny are your pictures! Totally noticed you use the same ones. I even scrolled back up to mark sure. Hahaha

    • You are too quick for me, Meredith. But why take two sets of the same photo…especially while balancing a shovel and a handful of leaves? 😉 When does the ground thaw up there?

  2. Pingback: Recipe of the Week: Refreshing Kale Salad « Tales of a Clyde Woman

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