I was driving back from the transfer station with empty garbage cans and recycling bins, I passed by our favorite horse farm. It’s not our favorite because of the people (who are friendly), or the type of horses, (which are rare and very friendly): it’s because they have a free pile of aged manure easily accessible. Horse manure vs cow manure has been a debate that continues to rage on. What ever you use be sure it’s aged well, or you’ll be bringing in a lot of weed seeds with it. Put it under a black tarp, layer it with as much carbon (brown) as you can and let it cook for awhile. Fortunately, this stuff has been cooking most of the winter, along with the bedding (sawdust), so it’s close to being a complete compost.
So, with containers full of manure and the windows open (it barely smells, and there are no bugs at this time of year), it’s off to the lasagna bed. This bed was set up last year with a layer of manure, a layer of cardboard (killing mulch) and a layer of grass clippings. 1/2″ of aged manure added, one layer of grass clippings on top, followed by a final layer (1/2″) of compost and yet another layer of grass clippings will finish it off and it will be ready to plant, but I’ve already spent my 30 minutes for today and tomorrow (no, that’s not cheating – it’s bending the rules in accordance with the weather and other environmental concerns (such as not smelling like manure on Mother’s Day). A quick movie if I can get it sandwiched in between my other duties will soon follow.