Warm temperatures in January are an opportunity to get outside and play garden catch up. I had several things that needed attention; adding fertilizer to my raised beds was number one. Normally this activity begins in December and activity like direct composting and fertilizer tea are added year round.
Adding fresh animal fertilizer is normally during the winter, this gives it time to settle and add value while the garden is resting. If you purchased organic soil in the spring and your last harvest was wonderful, now it’s time to keep that soil healthy by continuing the feeding process.
Gardening is all about the soil; maintaining and prepping is never ending. Today I’m sharing how to winter fertilize in new raised beds. This same method can be added to an open garden plot.
Pine needles were everywhere so I raked them up in addition to leafs. I refer to this as natural matter. It’s perfect for new and existing raised beds because it can be used as a base and mulch.
This is a new bed and that container of needles and leafs were dumped here to establish the base of this bed.
My plan is to grow flowers here in the spring so getting this bed established during the winter will allow spring planting to move along without a lot of additional labor.
After this matter was all spread out I covered it with a layer of dirt.
Three buckets of the worst mistake I could have ever made. That’s right for a short time I implemented a stationary chicken coop. NEVER AGAIN!
One word can describe cleaning up after chickens, “Disgusting!” This is not my thing which led me to happy thoughts while I focused on the positive and let this new bed benefit. This manure went into the bed and once it was spread out I covered it with a thick layer of dirt.
I also added a layer of llama droppings and another layer of dirt. Llama Fertilizer is high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; you can apply it year round in your garden, flower beds and hanging planters.
I know many gardeners just focus on natural matter and food waste compost for their fertilizer and that’s great.
The animal droppings also compliment and really makes the biggest difference in my experience.
If you don’t have access or might be looking to find some, I’ve got some great tips on Finding Animal Manure.