Soil health

Turns out, everything grows better when you pay attention to your soil. When I first set up the veggie gardens I filled them with mushroom compost. I had a great year of growing. Then the next year not so great. I was complacent, I didn’t add anything to the soil and expected the same results. I did not get them.  Now I am fairly slack at liquid fertilizing my plants but put a lot of effort into looking after the soil.  It all evens out…

My main sources of fertiliser are worm tea from my thousands of little worm friends. A fantastic investment for my garden. The compost bin, and the soil out of the chickens area. I do make some liquid fertilizer from the chickens droppings and in the future I plan to make nettle ‘tea’ fertilizer. This is my set up for worms. IMG_3569They are my favourite sort of pet, self caring. I am quite negligent of them for large periods of time. They are out of my line of vision in the back yard and I do forget about them for days on end. Every 2nd week or so I open up the lid, make sure there are plenty of worms moving about, give them a heap of food, make sure the soil is wet enough, and see how full the bottle of worm tea is. That is it. I am fairly certain you are supposed to feed them smaller amounts more frequently but this works for me. They haven’t complained once…

The compost is a cold compost one, quite slow at breaking stuff down but still produces lovely soil at the end which never fails to amaze me. IMG_3570Currently being guarded by Franklin. The chickens want to scratch around at the base as I have just tilted it and scooped some compost out of the bottom. Franklin is being mean.

I have recently had to move the compost.

There was an incident.

I did not handle it well.

I thought i saw movement when I went to put something in the compost bin one day so I jumped on trusty google. It said Rat. I have 2 fairly useless cats, they just don’t hunt. They are lazy, but I thought some dormant hunting instinct would be released upon sighting a rat.

I’ll set the scene so that others can learn from my mistakes. The compost was at the end of a pathway that goes between the water tanks and the chickens house. I had wheeled the wheelbarrow in so that I could start shoveling the compost into it and move it all to a new less secluded location. First error, I had trapped myself in there by bringing in the wheelbarrow. I had Franklin on the ground next to me when I tilted the bin. Second error, I screamed, loudly! In my defense that rat ran at me in an aggressive manner, fangs out, and leapt. I freaked. Screamed. Slammed myself into the water tanks and *gracefully* shimmied out.

My younger sister was all calm and logical upon my telling her about it, Oh it was just trying to flee, it happened to choose where you were as an escape route, they naturally have their teeth out like that. Whatever! It scared the bejeesus out of me.  Franklin bolted too. I blame the scream… He did not give a hoot about the rat. Didn’t even go back to see where it went. Error 3 was in assuming cats are hunters despite knowing the laziness of said cats. I haven’t seen the rat since. The new location seems to be working ok.

I seem to have become distracted in my soil health train of thought…. Oh well,

Healthy soil is important, don’t ignore it! Done.

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