Monday, September 9, 2013

Gardening Below The Cody Scarp

Permaculture designer Dave Young lives in Wakulla County and copes well with the sandy soil-- "I have the normal white sandy soil of everywhere south of the Cody Scarp (South Leon ...and all of Wakulla Counties.).

That means of course; very good drainage for plants that like that sort of thing.  On top of that, I put about 2 ft of the LeonCounty (free) compost/mulch; and mix in about 4-5 inches of mushroom compost with that. 

Two problems with the Leon County stuff; in many cases (1) it's still not done decomposing (it can be very, very physically hot when you get it) ...and (2) it needs nitrogen for sure. But you should see how black and beautiful, soft and fluffy, it is after about a year.

The main secret ingredient is chicken poop. I have corrugated plastic panels underneath the birds' roost, and use a hose to wash them into a 5 gal bucket. I'm working on a system that is simpler and less labor intensive. 

I've read in a dozen places that chicken poop is too 'hot' with nitrogen, 'it will hurt the plants if you put it straight on without curing it,' but I've seen no evidence of that. So far everything loves it; best garden I've ever had in my life. I make sure to keep any pathogens off the beds with ground-level food:  lettuce, carrots, etc, so as not to contaminate the food.

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