Gardening

Asked February 17, 2013, 8:56 AM EST

My small acreage is almost entirely sand and gravel. I have been stockpiling horse manure that I have amended with soil I had hauled in. About a 50 x 50 mix. The soil was mostly clay. This winter I dug a deep hole in the pile and have been adding all of our kitchen waste. I keep the hole covered and so far it has not frozen inside. When weather warms I will begin watering and mixing this pile with my skid steer loader. Our plan is to use this home made compost mix for cold frames and planter boxes. Any suggestions?

Albany County Wyoming

5 Responses

It sounds like you are doing everything right. The only concerns will be the potential for weeds from the horse manure and the weight of the soil in the planter boxes. As long as the planter boxes are not too large or attached to the house (like a window box) everything should work well. Kitchen scraps work well, but you can also use leaves, pine needles, and grass clippings if you have any of those things available.

Thanks for the question.

Thank you Chris. More correctly we will use this material for raised beds for vegetables and a large cold frame that I am completing now. There will be additional landscaping locations that will need help also. We may be in touch with you again.

At a recent home and garden show we learned that adding special red worms bred for composting would speed up the process plus add the benefit of the worm castings. Since the kitchen waste is not freezing down inside the pile I would think we could add the worms now in February. Any comment?
Dave

THIS SOUNDS REALLY FAMILIAR. I HAVE BEEN ADDING MANURE TO A VERY INFERTILE SAND FOR YEARS BUT NOW PRODUCES GOOD. EMAIL PEARL@UWYO.EDU FOR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS