Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A Garden Tip

Thank you, Michael, for mentioning that straw can be a useful additive in the garden, for improving the soil's water retention properties. I live in the sand-belt area and getting moisture into my soil is a mammoth task. Where does all the rain go? Last night it rained solidly, but this morning only the top few centimetres of soil were damp.

However, last weekend at the Ashburton Festival, there was a children's farm unit, and because Michael had mentioned to me the idea of getting straw from a horse stables [complete with horse poo] I approached the children's farm operator and was told I was welcome to the straw [and the poo] at the end of the day. We raked up a trailer full, covered it with a tarp and happily drove home.

Yesterday I dug about a quarter of it into a small area of my vegie patch, which was actually quite hard work, until I discovered that layering it was easier, and then joy oh joy, it rained all night! The straw obviously made an appreciable difference as this morning's investigations showed that the rain had penetrated quite a long way down in that area. I shall dig in the rest of the pooey straw as soon as I am able, and shall then plant my next crop.
Of course I put extra straw around all the strawberry plants, to keep the snails away and the berries clean.

The children's farm operator was happy for us to take it, as it meant that he didn't have to rake it all up and dispose of it himself. I'll be on the look out for more petting farm events later in the year.

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