Carry dung into the quarters of your Kitchen-Garden, and spread it upon the ground and trench up the quarters, laying the earth in ridges, that it may be mellowed by frost and be fit for use when the season for cropping them comes on, for if you do not get your ground in readiness at this season, you will have too much business hurrying upon you in the spring.
Philip Miller, The Gardeners Kalendar, 1732
What is it about the word “dung” that makes me wince? I can think of ruder four-letter words for the same stuff. My chickens are excellent producers of it, and I am putting it to good use this season.
I usually run all the chicken d. . .droppings produced on My Little Farm in Town through my composting setup. Fresh Chicken d. . . doo doo is so high in nitrogen that it burns any plants that come into contact with it. There are very few garden plants that withstand fresh chicken topdressing. Supposedly rhubarb and asparagus are a couple of those few, but I’m still not taking chances.
I continue to build the soil of the southside bed. In the fall after clearing it of the wizened remains of tomatoes and basil, my husband topped it up with a 4-inch layer of grass clippings and chopped leaves. I am now topping that with a layer of woodchip bedding and fresh chicken d. . . dumplings. I’ll add another layer of leaves and perhaps some spent mash from the local microbrewery when the chicken layer is complete.
I’ll ask my husband to work the area with the garden fork in the spring to mix it all with a load of sand before I plant the bed. Now all I have to do is read up on starting asparagus from seed! Begonia