Fertilizing a Garden Bed, Horse Play, and Daily Bread No.3

This bed in the back of the garden (to the West, underneath the trees)  is a new one. I added it this Spring. I wasn’t happy with what grew in it this season. The reason could be the lack of sunlight, or poor soil. About the sunlight there is not much I can do at the moment, though next Spring I might have some of those trees cut back or, if we can afford it, taken down altogether. But about the soil I can do something right now.

Enter fresh horse manure and straw.

First, weed shallowly and dump a wheelbarrow (6 cu.f.) of horse manure on top. Then, add cardboard. Soak. Then dump another wheelbarrow  of manure. Cover with straw. Soak.

It’s an experiment. The wood shavings that comes with the manure might not be fully composted by the time Spring comes along, in which case that bed will suffer from nitrogen fixation (the composting critters will be using all the available nitrogen to chomp through all that carbon, leaving no nitrogen for the plants). I can be patient with this bed, though.


Amie loves coming along to the stable to get the manure. She gets to pet the two horses and the pony. As you can see the little horse dolls are now her favorites. She played in the garden while I shoveled. It’s unseasonably warm, almost tropical: very humid, and 75 F. Behind her is one of the winter hoop house beds.


The manure layer of the hot box registers at 90 F right now. I expect it to go up a bit more before it comes down. When it reaches 75 F I can transplant the spinach and lettuce.


And last but not least, Daily Bread No. 3.

Behind it you can see the piece of yesterday’s left over. We’re eating almost one of these loaves (they’re small) a day, but I think DH will start a mutiny soon. I do have plans for when we start piling up the loaves. I used up all the refrigerated dough, so it’s time to whip up a new batch. I’m moving on to whole wheat!

Today’s extra challenge was to do something with all that oven heat. Usually I let it escape into the house, but today was hot. So I roasted pumpkin seeds. Yum!

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  1. Oh my. I have an entire childhood’s accumulation of those little horses in my attic. In fact, I think I have the very one she’s playing with.

    Made me smile.

    We’re off to argue the case for chickens at village hall tonight. Wish us luck!

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