Garden

I may have unwittingly stumbled upon an incredible soil amendment

While searching for ways to maintain and increase the acidity of my blueberry beds, I stumbled across cottonseed meal. It both adds nitrogen and helps to acidify the soils as it breaks down. Great…Get two birds stoned at once!

My only option to procure cottonseed meal is from the local feed mill right down the road. However as animal feed, not soil amending, is its intended purpose, it comes pelletized. At $13/50 pound sack, I figured I would try it out.

I applied 200 pounds to my 80 square foot blueberry bed and mulched with shredded hardwood. After the first rain was where the magic happened!

The pellets exploded in volume changing from tiny compressed cylinders to small poofs of cotton. As I was preparing to irrigate as the week following the storm had no rain, I pulled back some mulch to check the moisture of the soil. To my surprise, the puffy cotton meal was still significantly moist.

As a result, I am contemplating either mixing cottonseed meal pellets into my mulch, or laying down a thin layer below wherever I mulch. At the very least I may add some around plants in the summer when rain becomes scarcer.

However there is one downside to this story that I will post tomorrow.

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Garden

Pleasant Surprise and quiz time!

I have some uninvited (but appreciated) guests pop up in my garden beds. After some minimal sleuthing I figured out what occurred, but I would like to give you an opportunity to guess what is appearing unplanted in my garden beds!

Keep in mind, this is manure from another farm that I have not planted into this year (excepting red clover) as I thought the manure/wood shaving bedding had not had a chance to compost for a long enough time. Looks like I was wrong!

 

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