This spring we made a major shift in our approach to gardening, and replaced our front lawn with beds for the garden. Our front yard now has a collection of 5′ x 10′ beds with various vegetables coming up.
After laying out the wood border for the bed, I spread out a layer of cardboard as a barrier to smother the grass of the old lawn. On top of the cardboard went a 3 inch deep layer of mostly composted horse manure from a person about a mile down the road from us. The manure was about 6 months old, and was a deep brown color with some red composting worms living in it. Dave warned me about putting his unfinished compost in the garden–that it may not let anything grow at first–but I decided to take that risk and I used in anyway.
The grass from the lawn has not come through the new beds, and you should see the radishes! Until this year, I’ve always had problems with getting a decent radish to grow for me, but this spring they are beautiful. Samuel and I went out last week to thin them and we came back with a handful of dime-sized bulbs that were sweet and juicy. They barely have the first couple of leaves out and are already nice and round. This is going to be a great garden year!
The King Conservation District has a list of farms with free manure available. Most of these are horse owners who are glad to have someone come and haul it away for them. I took 4 pickup loads from the horse owner down the road, and Dave even loaded my pickup with his tractor. I’ll be visiting him more as time allows this spring!