I Scored a Whole Wheelbarrow Full of Wet Hay

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Bob Bauer
November 20, 2017 (Last Updated: ) | Reading Time: 2 minutes
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November 20, 2017

I scored a whole wheelbarrow full of wet hay this morning for mulch, and it made it all the way around two melon mounds. It's a welcome looking contrast to all the melon mounds that are encircled by leaves. I don't have any leaves in storage for spring yet because I keep finding more places for them. I'm also putting them on thicker, because last year they were decomposed half way through winter. The more you feed your soil the more active the microbes become and the more quickly your mulch will be consumed.

Some quiet evenings I think I can hear my garden soil rumble. We've been asked to not tidy up our winter gardens because standing seed stalks, tall grassy stems and leaves and sticks help the indigenous beneficial insects to survive. Finally a movement I can get behind.

November 22, 2017

Today I learned that you can't tell if you have a gopher or a mole by the look of the mound. Moles tend to burrow close to the surface, so they can often be recognized by their tendency to push the dirt up, making ridges along the ground above their tunnels. Gophers dig deeper and have larger burrow holes which is convenient for inserting the traps. The trap in my garden was sprung today with no gopher or mole in it, but I think the cats reached in the hole and snagged the trigger because it was fully extended, which I've never seen before.

I also learned that Apple Cider Vinegar makes kale more palatable. I think Italian dressing would also because of the vinegar. I wonder about Ranch dressing? Ranch is great on broccoli so my guess would be a go.

November 23, 2017

The oak trees are pretty much finished dropping their leaves but the cottonwood, willow and poplar leaves are golden yellow now. I got a wheelbarrow full of poplar leaves for the garden and they made it around two more mounds. It's getting colorful in there now. November is a slow month for gardening so I might as well work with color and texture to create an artistic landscape. It's play, but also sound gardening principals.

The pathways are smooth brown aged stall cleanings that are what seems to work best this year. Dark brown apple leaves encircle the six artichoke plants and compliment the shades of green on them. Earthworms are in the top two inches of soil this time of year reminding me how warm of a November it's been. I can keep them there, mini rototillers that they are, all Winter long, decomposing the organic matter and making fertilizer, by just making sure there's enough mulch on the ground so that the soil doesn't freeze.

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