Seeds, Poop and Hay on Wednesday

I ended up getting 5x 65L bags of sheep/cow manure, and 2 big bales of straw. That’s all I could afford this week. At $93 I felt a little ripped off, but it seems to be the going rate in our area. I would really love to get some moldy spoiled hay because it’s a bit softer and easier to mulch with, and also I feel bad using this good stuff because it’s really clean and edible looking. I dunno if livestock eat straw? Is there a difference between hay and straw? I feel dumb, but the guy at the landscaping place went ‘er, you mean straw?’ when I asked for hay?

I think that next week I’ll order $100 worth of manure, and the week after that, $100 worth of straw, and that way I can do all the fruit trees too and some other parts of the garden (roses, etc). I think I’ll get it from a different supplier though, because at the other place they sell bags of sheep poo only, which I would prefer. The cow/sheep mix is Ok, but it is already quite broken down. For the trees, etc., I think sheep poop would be slightly more ‘slow release’.

The chooks got some nice fresh hay in their coop, too, which should keep them nice and cosy tonight.

My garden looks so dry without spring rain. Last year it was like a constant deluge. This year it’s bone dry.

The darker patch of soil is where I’ve tipped out & raked out the bags of manure. On this side I haven’t planted much yet because I’m going to put some tomatoes in, but in parts I’ve planted lettuce and carrot seeds. I’ll probably pull out the swiss chard plants you can see here, once the silverbeet has germinated – the chard is all wilted and not doing too good. The now-antique spring onions will stay; I might plant some more in between them though to make their patch a bit more productive.

In this side I’ve got sugarsnap peas, 4 rows of silverbeet, 3 rows of radishes, 3 rows of mizuna, and 3 rows of carrots. I’ve tried to mulch the already-there plants with some straw to keep them going. Here you can see the gooseberry plant and some capsicum plants from last season. I think I’ll pull out the capsicums eventually and plant some news ones; these didn’t do to well.

I forgot to take a pic of the seed trays and pots, but I ended up planting celery in 3 of the trays, and used the pots for cucumbers, zucchinis and squash. I’ll use the remaining trays & pots to grow some tomatoes, capsicums and chillis; probably tomorrow if I can still move! The garden looks a mess in these pics but I’m still pretty exhausted; probably from lifting the bags of manure – they’re bloody heavy!!

I’m thinking of planting some beans next to where the BBQ is, because they would get plenty of sun there and if I string some wire between the posts that support the grapevines, then they beans will be able to creep up and look good I think. (I know what I’m talking about! lol)

I think too that I might make a few smaller decorative vege plots around the backyard. Most of the backyard is grass; our vege patch is pretty tiny. And the more we spread it out, the less mowing we’ll have to do. I’m thinking I’ll make a couple of rectangular plots to grow tomatoes it, and a few round plots to put up some bamboo teepees for beans.

We’ll see anyway. I really need a new shovel; ours has no handle and getting splinters in my hands everytime I go to dig is becoming a bit annoying. Might pop down and steal one from my Dad!

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3 thoughts on “Seeds, Poop and Hay on Wednesday

  1. After a brief and incomplete look at wikipedia, it appears the difference between Hay and Straw is the pant of origin. Hay appears to be based on grasses & legumes, while straw is the by-product of cereals. I think we tend to use straw, as it has less feed value, and less life in it. When we sometimes got strawbales for mulchine, we would get little peas growing everywhere.

    This is why Strawbale houses are so cool – making good use of otherwise not so useful excess.

    I am loving the shots of the garden – it’s really coming along. Kep it coming!

  2. Yeah I had the same problems with getting peahay, it ended up sprouting and the peas took over after a while; ending up adding to my weeding rather than supressing it.

    I was reading Peter Bennett’s ‘Organic Gardening’ book, and he recommended lucerne hay over straw because it’s apparently more rich in nutrients when it breaks down or something. He sort of suggested that straw might leach something from the soil? Or was I reading too much into it?

    Dunno.

    Good to know you’ve used straw successfully tho. We’ve only used peahay like.. once before. It was bought for us, so we just used it. Other times we’ve just mulched with partially decomposed native leaves; these aren’t really ideal for vege gardens; same problem with nitrogen leaching; but they were there and we were broke so we used them.

    I hadn’t thought of strawbale houses in that way before; I just thought it was because straw is cheaper and maybe less polluting to produce than bricks. And bigger, of course. And more insulating.

    How much there is to learn!!!

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