Baymule's 2020 Garden!

baymule

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Happy New Year! 2019 was a flat out, pure-dee garden bust. Drought, heat, failure. Ring out the old, bring in the New Year! Go 2020!!

It has begun!

We spent the last couple of days cleaning out the sheep barn. I practice deep litter, bedding with pine shavings, pine straw, leaves and hay. We clean it out once or twice a year. There is no smell, the barn is open on 3 sides, plenty of air flow.


First we raked up all the loose hay on top, got two mule loads, piled high and spread it in the newly cleared ground in the horse pasture. DH used the tractor to push the wood mulch into a couple of swales. I used a garden rake and we picked the larger pieces. The swales will help keep the rain water from running off and let it soak in.

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Then we raked up the used Sheep hay.

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We spread the hay over the bare dirt to add humus to the soil, trap rain and provide shade to the grass roots when we plant grass seed in early spring.

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Easy part was over, we went back to the Sheep barn and dug in. The first part was not under the barn, open to rain, it was HARD packed, damp and heavy. We scraped up a mule load, parked the mule in the garden and quit for the day.

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Next day we shoveled the manure out on the garden and went back for more. We dug out 6 more mule loads of manure. I could see the layers of decomposed pine shavings, leaves, hay, pine straw and more hay.

The top layers were dry, loose, no smell and was kept turned by chickens. The lower layers were hard packed, had to be pried up by lots of muscle screaming hard work and no stinky smell, just a compost, earthy smell.

We shoveled it out in the garden.

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The 32’ tomato double row trellis.

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The short 16’ tomato double row trellis.

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A section of the garden. The load still on the mule will almost cover the rest of this part. We will finish digging out the main part of the barn today. At the end of day 2 of the Great Barn Clean Out, we were exhausted! After showers, we were practically comatose. LOL

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We took the day off yesterday. It is sunny, high of 70F degrees today. Back in the garden today!
 

baymule

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What would a post about sheep manure/compost be without a picture of Sheep? Without realizing it, I captured a 3 generation picture. Right to left is Ewenique, her daughter Domino, and her grand daughter Checkers, born 2 weeks before Christmas.

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baymule

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Back to work today! We spread the load on the mule that we were too tired to unload on Friday. Then we dug out 3 more loads and spread them on the garden. That’s a total of 10 loads of composted sheep manure.

We are pooped out on scooping poop!

We finished the section of the garden.
This is where we are going to put down weed cloth to see if we like it.

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On our day off yesterday we scored a load of pumpkin boxes. They are triple thickness. We’ve been getting them for several years.

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This section of the garden is where we will lay out the boxes. We’ve been putting down pumpkin boxes here for 3 years.

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baymule

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It was 70 degrees yesterday. Cold front came in last night, got down to 36F, sunny and warming up today. Today we drive the mule around, raking up leaves and dumping them in the sheep barn. Tomorrow is sunny, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are supposed to be rainy.
 

Mini Horses

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Come visit.....I could use your help! :lol: That's a huge amount of shoveling work. Congrats! Your weekly exercise needs appear to have been met. :D

Because of waste, I don't feed the goats in their barn unless it is heavy rain for several days. That makes less hay bedding to remove. But I don't use round bales, so easier for me to control. Good & bad to everything. My pine shavings work and if it is a couple weeks of really cold, I add straw. Like yours, it will compost.

Sooooo...my cleanout wasn't so deep last week but, a good amount and it was the dry/fine type, nicely composted. No smell. Goats have berries to rake and they don't dissolve on the surface but, like rabbit, it is useable as is. My girls spread the fertilizer on the fields for me. I swear they have a spinner back there! One buck is assigned my far smaller garden area.. Between his spreading efforts & the uneaten hay/bedding, I think I'm gonna be set for just a light till this year. Wouldn't THAT we nice! I toss his hay to different area to help with spreading. I'm a lazy gardener but, using the help I have.

I will use the composted from the mares run in to start plants. So well done....should be great. No stalls for me anymore....except for kidding goats. Then all THAT needs shoveling! Just in time for a till in or use as a mulch since it isn't fully composted.

Will be fun to see if your new methods help you this year. You will actually have two methods next to each other, right? I'm watching...yours and mine....because I didn't get a garden in last year. Rained out before I could plant! The couple plant out there drowned. We weren't the only ones to lose a garden in 2019!
 

Lazy Gardener

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@baymule I love the photos of your progress. Hope you continue your photo journal through 2020. More info, please about your double tomato row system? Spacing between the CP? Do you have any issues with mold/mildew/disease with the rows being adjacent to each other? How far apart do you space your tomatoes? Determinate, Indeterminate, Varieties? Do you prune your tomatoes?

I do a single row CP system with tomatoes sandwiched between CP that are spaced about 16" apart, and raised up about 12" for easy access to mulch under them. I often place marigolds or citronella between plants. Love that CP!!!
 

baymule

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We LOVE Cherokee Purple tomatoes and I plant a double row, 32’ long. That sounds like a lot, but they aren’t as prolific as some of the newer varieties. The CP’s are 18”-20” apart. I plant the tomatoes 12”-18” apart, staggered on the other row. Never any disease, never pruned them either.

The short row is for whatever other variety I want to plant.

I cardboard or use Feed sacks to smother out weeds in the tomato rows.
 

baymule

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@Mini Horses I’d love to come visit! What fun we could have-a regular barn cleaning party! LOL

We finished cleaning the barn yesterday. Today we raked leaves and loaded the mule, then raked them out in the sheep barn. We put 10 loads in the barn! Now those little beauties need to stomp them down and poop on them. LOL
 

CrealCritter

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Why must we continue to label things...

Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, Green Zebra, Early Girl, Amish Paste, Better Boy, Hillbilly Tomato, Big Beef Mr. Stripey.

I thought we were over that as a society???

Tomatoes Lives Matter
 
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