No Candy from Strangers

I am exhausted.  Please forgive any typos.

Shoveled about 600lbs. of horse manure this morning–that was just the loading part.  The picnic bench ramp worked pretty well, though the wind almost tipped me and the full wheelbarrow off a couple times.  I sunburned my nose, as my hat kept blowing off, so finally I just put it in the truck (my hat, not my nose).

Kathy’s horses are well-trained.  I had apples and carrots in my pockets, but they both just took a sniff and then trotted off to the lower pasture–no candy from strangers.

Altogether, it was a good day, despite all the heavy work.  I top-dressed a number of beds with the fluffy, aged horse manure.  The potatoes that were already in the ground got a dose (though I am concerned that the Peruvian Purple potatoes still haven’t come up), as did the elephant garlic and onions.

The peas got a little side-dressing, and so did the leeks.  I dusted a thin layer over the beets that are just poking up.  No manure for any of the greens–they will be ready for harvest fairly soon, and though this manure is well-aged, I like to be cautious.  I’ll manure those beds after the greens come out.

I finally got the last of my seed potatoes yesterday.  It’s late to be planting them, but these Australian Crescent fingerlings are really nice-looking.  They’re the biggest fingerlings I’ve seen, and I’m guessing I’ll still get a good harvest even planting them fairly late.

I worked up a new bed for some of them and planted the ones that didn’t need cutting in a nice manure-y mix.  Seed potatoes that are cut in sections should have at least a day to seal up before planting to lessen the risk of rot.

Tomorrow I’ll use the rest of the manure that’s left in the truck bed to ready another bed in the middle garden for the determinate (bush) tomatoes.  Though the big, indeterminate heirloom plants are my main crop, I like to get a few early-bearing bush plants in for a bigger early harvest.  You can never have too many tomatoes!

I hardly made a dent in that big pile of manure down in the paddock.  Like a kid in a candy store, my eyes are bigger than my stomach–for shoveling, wheeling, and loading.  I was thinking I’d get a load a day, but maybe every other day would be a healthier, and less exhausting, strategy.


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