Today’s report is about manure. This month at AussieGreenThumb.com is ‘So You Want A Better Garden’ Month, which aims to help you grow better gardens. As part of that I am running a 30 day challenge. The challenge consists of daily tasks of about 10 minutes each. I guarantee that if you complete each days task, by the end of September you will be well on your way towards reaching your gardening goals and growing better gardens. Will you accept the challenge?
Day 12 Challenge Recap – Choose a garden bed to focus on, either your most sandy or most clay filled. Buy some manure (like chicken manure, sheep manure or cow manure). If you have your own compost this will also work. Add approximately one bag of 30L per square metre and mix it into the soil. Manure and compost help improve both sandy and clay based soils. The organic matter within manure improves the soil structure, either helping to lock in nutrients in sandy soil or by breaking up the clay and allowing nutrients to be accessed in clay soils.
Manure and fertiliser (whether it be organic or inorganic) is one of the most important things to add to your soil whether you are looking to improve it or not. Plants require nutrient top ups to really thrive and manure provides this is spades. Of course, different manures provide different levels of nutrients and so it is worth doing a little research to learn what is best for your situation.
Today i added a bag of cow manure to Garden Bed 2 in my front yard. This is the garden bed that was reclaimed from underneath some pavers recently. The reason I used cow manure is because I am actually still not sure what I want to grow there. For now it is too close to a parking spot to decide but this will change in the coming months, making it a valid garden bed to use. As such, I’m starting to prepare for it now.
It will likely be used to grow some Australian native plants. As native plants don’t like too much phosphorous I needed to add a manure low in this. Cow and sheep manure is lowest in nutrients in general, where as chicken and pig manure is higher. This is mostly due to the diet of these animals, sheep and cows eating mostly grass and chicken and pigs often having a more nutritious diet.
The reason I set this challenge
Adding nutrients through manure and fertilisers to your garden is important but it is another task we often put in the too hard basket. If you buy a bag of manure on the way home from work, it really does not take long to add it to a garden bed. Even if were adding 3-4 bags and focusing on one garden bed, this task would only take 15 to 20 minutes max. It is just a matter of ripping the bag open, applying it evenly over the garden bed, where bare soil exists, and then using your shovel to dig it in. Presto!
Learn more about understanding your soil
Intrigued to know more about how understanding your soil will impact on your garden? I recently released an ebook called So You Want A Better Garden. Chapter 3 in my ebook delves into the topic of understanding your soil in a way specifically designed to help beginner and intermediate gardeners understand more about how soil impacts on your garden.
You will learn about;
1. What makes good soil;
2. How to improve your soil consistency;
3. Improving the water situation in your soil;
And much, much more!
It’s not too late to join the challenge! You can grow a better garden. Start today! The great thing about this challenge is it can run over any 30 day period. Just check out days 1-5 and start from today. You can grow better gardens. Don’t forget, add some manure today!