Gardening Tips – Mulching and Chicken Poo Tea

I can’t believe that we are nearly into summer. Time has flown by this year.

I expect it has for you too. I don’t know, life just gets busier and busier, doesn’t it?

We’ve been so busy at  the Lodge this Spring, which is such an intense time in the garden – well – should be anyway 🙂

Gardening Tips

My Garden – Mulching

It doesn’t seem possible that we’ve been at Peppermint Lane Lodge for 9 years now and every year has been fabulous.

This year I have been mulching, mulching and mulching to make summer much more water wise for us.

The garden though is something that we love and during summer it takes a big hit because of the heat and the lack of rain. Becoming water-wise is so important and this year we have vowed to work hard in springtime to alleviate summer soil dryness.

Gardening Tips

A secret source

Two weeks ago we discovered a wonderful source of untouched mulch under a line of pine trees down our neighbour’s driveway.

Yep – sometimes Mother Nature provides!

The discovery was made because I wanted some ‘acidy’ mulch for my azaleas and remembered that pine needles were good for this. So – together with my wheelbarrow I marched over to the line of trees to get a barrow full – rake on my shoulder – and found that I had lots and lots of gorgeous mulch by the end of my session.

I was using our fire rake for collection and its big teeth made short work of the job. Underneath the top layer I was so surprised to find beautiful thick, mouldy and decomposed compost/mulch. It was so lovely to feel and smell it and then be able to pile it up around my azaleas.

The wheel barrow wasn’t making much of a dent so it was decided to attach the trailer to the mower and fill that up instead. We have now filled 5 trailer loads and I hope that there will be enough at the “source” for just another two. I piled it on quite thickly – at least 15mm – so it’s a real bed of it.

I haven’t just stuck to mulching the azaleas with this as the mulch was so nice. So the rest of the garden has some on it too. I’m hoping that it’ll be good for everything and break down well.

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Gardening Tips

Gardening Tips

I have flung around “blood and bone” on top of the mulch and with the spring rains hope that it has started to improve the soil.

I also have lots of chicken poo “tea” which I pour around the garden about once a month and also use the good old Seasol and Power Feed too.

Chicken Poo Tea

Since I mentioned chicken poo – I must tell you this experience I had!

Don’t laugh 🙂

I have always heard that straight chicken poo is very strong and should never be directly plonked onto the garden. Well Madame Smarty Pants here didn’t really believe that so, when she took out the big tray underneath where the chooks poo at night, she decided that she wouldn’t take it all off and put in the bin and add water (like she should have) – she decided to distribute it all around where the tomatoes were.

Then she put lots of straw and mulch on top of the poo to make it all yummy and delicious for the growing Roma tomatoes – and gosh – they flourished – BUT – when I started to harvest the tomatoes they were all fleshy and “woolly” and completely not nice!!!

So – I learnt my lesson … believe what all the other experienced people say … sometimes though you just have to learn it the hard way!  Lucky us though – our wonderful neighbours are very experienced with growing veggies and they had enough tomatoes for us too 🙂

Kitchen Garden

This year we are growing quite a lot of produce for our cooking. We love to use what is in our garden to prepare a menu for our guests. Currently we have lots and lots of herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, silverbeet, kale – not to mention hedges of rosemary and a good patch of asparagus.

Without the mulching and feeding I don’t think my garden would be nearly as productive.

Do you have any tried and tested gardening tips for spring and early summer?