Sunday, April 11, 2010

Manure Musings

  A few days ago, I was explaining to my mom why I was a bit behind in the garden.  Mainly manure and the lack of time and weather conducive to retrieving it.  My mom rolled her eyes and told me to got to a box store like everyone else and get some.  I won't I explained, because its not the same.  The lovely pile of goodness in this picture is local.  No trucks hauled it across country.  Its not hidden away in a bag.  I can sniff it up front an appreciate its earthy but not rotten smell.  Most importantly, I know where it comes from.  I drove past the horses that produced it to get back to the pasture where it stands.  I know it is made of poop and straw and thats it.  There is no human sludge in it, there is no toxins from flood waters, no fill from Katrina dumps.  Its just poop and straw.  Beautiful in its simplicity and really really heavy to load when it is still this damp!
It took me about an hour of shoveling to load this up before the back started to go.  While composted manure doesn't really have any nasty smells associated with it, in appreciation for hubby letting me use his brand new truck for this chore, I bagged it up in trash bags to keep the truck clean.  Then it was back home, er with just a teeny little stop at The Growing Place first.  I forgot what the excuse was for visiting there.  Once there the shade plants beckoned to me and the resulting damage to the wallet originated in that area.  I need to start working on the new long shade bed.  Its newest inhabitants as of yesterday are Hosta Earth Angel, Hosta Green Velveteen, Heuchera Georgia Peach which is a peachy maroon that really glows in the shade.
The extravagant purchase of the day was Hosta Hanky Panky.  I've lusted after this one for awhile now.  The switched leaf color is so unusual and so pretty.  I also love the name of this variety.  I had to have it.  $24.99 later, the tiny little pot that held about three eyes of this treasure was loaded into the car with the other new items.

Once home I started on the first garden project of the day, the greens bed.  It was looking a little rough, but not all that terrible.  I did a bit of weeding, gently dug in a bit of compost and planted 52 lettuce transplants, 18 spinach and three kinds of beets.  My daughter was outside and enjoying the weather too.  She wanted to help out and did a bunch.  She removed the dead stuff from the perennials and did a lot of work on the hedge.  It took a couple of hours but the time went fast. 

We ended up with this, which doesn't look like much now, but just wait. In a couple of weeks its going to look like a salad.  I'll keep row cover on it at night and until it gets a bit bigger.  I've found that certain birds really like to rip out the lettuce seedlings and the bambis definitely love them at this stage.  Once things are bigger, I don't mind sharing but for now its all under wraps.

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