In the ongoing saga of the Bumbling Gardener (that’s me)…
Once the moss was cleared, The Scientist did a fair bit of research to determine what the soil needs to be an optimal breeding ground for green, sprouting things. What the garden has going for it:
- There are lots of earthworms in the soil — this indicates it’s pretty healthy
- There is little evidence of pests in any quantity or variety
- Good pH levels
- Soil that hasn’t been worked or even touched in 10+ years, which means no chemicals have been pumped into it
What the garden has going against it:
- The soil is clay-ish (not the technical term)
- There are large-ish stones in evidence
- There are lots of small stones amongst the soil — The Scientist says this can actually be a good thing as it ensures good drainage
- There were a lot of weeds covering the area, I’ll need to be vigilant
The Scientist determined that our best bet was to turn in a quantity of manure and add organic bone meal, as well. I was not present for the turning in of the first 2 plots, but can vouch that the task is back breaking after witnessing the transformation of the third.
(Note the pile of roots and stones in the foreground — this is tough, slow-going work!)
I guess if you’re in the business of shoveling cow poo all day, you develop a sense of humour. At least, that’s what I’ve gathered from the products available for purchase at local gardening shops.
The first one I came across in my travels is Moo Poo™. I spotted this bag on a shopping trip in search of inoculant for my peas and beans, and snapped a quick pic. I did some online research and the only HillView Moo Poo company I could find was out of the States. Does it seem weird to you that we’d ship cow poo over the border from Ohio when we have a dairy farms a-plenty in the Fraser Valley?
A quick search of the internet turned up another good one, Cow Wow by Miracle Moo. Their consumer-friendly site boasts a “Poo-lution meter” calculating the amount of manure eliminated from our environment. (Not sure what that means, but it sounds like a good thing!) Click on any of the menu buttons, for a laugh.
And last but not least, there’s a Surrey company, Way to Grow, selling sterilized steer manure. I’m not sure where the scantily clad dame in a nurse’s outfit comes in, or how it relates to selling manure. Truly, it has me puzzled. But it is eye-catching and memorable, which is more than can be said for a lot of products I encounter. Despite the very dated endorsement by none other than Bill VanderZalm, at least it’s local.