snow shoveling, chicken manure and straw bale planting

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I have big plans for tomorrow (extreme plans?)

St Patrick’s Day is eight days away and I hope to get a shovel into the soil and plant my peas on that day!

I’m going to shovel more snow from my pea bed. I’m pleased that snow removal is working pretty well so far. I think I need to shovel more snow from my garden paths too, so the sides of the bed get sun and help with soil warming.

I’ll also clean out my chicken coop and lay the poopy straw down in part of the bed. Still don’t know if this will insulate cold or create warmth so I’ll only try this on part of the bed.

AND I have another plan too! Straw bale planting!!! A gardener at our community garden, Sarah, has used straw bales in her garden very successfully. She gave a presentation yesterday at our Garden Fair. Set down a straw bale, prepare (see below), throw some dirt on it and then plant seeds!!! No need to wait for soil to thaw. It takes 2 weeks to get the bales ready. I am SO excited to try this! Here’s a photo of Sarah’s Fair presentation.

strawbale gardening IMG_0529

To prepare straw bale:
1) Place straw bale, cut side up, on landscape fabric.
2) Sprinkle about a cup of fertilizer on the bale and water well for about 5 days. Then sprinkle another cup of fertilizer and water another 5 days. Sprinkle another half cup and water well. The straw bale will become warm at the center and begin to decompose.
3) Add soil to the top of the bale and plant seeds or seedlings.

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conditioning my straw bale – why?
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