By crikey I smell delicious. Nothing like spreading 400kg of chicken manure by hand on a 30+ degree muggy day – not to mention 50kg of potash – then having a serious scrub off and pickling copious amounts of cucumbers. Not sure how I pickled 4 huge jars and yet, by the end of the day, have more cucumbers on the bench than I started with.
Perhaps I should back up a little and explain about the chicken manure.
We received our soil test results from Petrik and were very impressed. They provided us with both a detailed technical chart of results but also two pages of concise notes, in simple to understand English, telling us exactly what we needed to apply, when and why to improve the organic makeup of our soil.
Our soils are limited in Magnesium, pH Calcium and Phosphorus hence the addition of chicken manure and lime. We are also slightly lacking in a few minor (but very important) trace elements. To grow organically, and eliminate the needs for any chemicals, our plants need to be healthy. For healthy plants our soil needs to be perfectly balanced in the right nutrients, and these nutrients be readily available for our garlic to take up.
So, the chicken manure and potash has been spread, ready to be sprayed with liquid manure and incorporated with our green cover crop before the next big rainfall. Then in two weeks we need to dig in 600kg of lime, a sprinkle of sulphur, a dab of boron and a dash of copper sulphate – sounds like I’m baking a cake! Then two weeks after that again, we are ready to plant. The bales of mulch are being delivered next week and the seed stock garlic is sitting beautifully dried and waiting to be planted toward the end of March.
I think I need another scrub.
Here’s to great food, wine and friends