In the back of the house we have eight raised boxed beds for growing fruits and vegetables. As my son and husband built them last year, I filled them with compost, peat moss, and topsoil. I put to good use the five years’ experience of growing a large garden in Missouri and applied liberal amounts of the complete organic fertilizer I made per Steve Solomon’s Gardening When It Counts. It is an extremely informative guide to gardening and helped me have great yields in Missouri.
Gardening in the High Sierra desert of northern Nevada is an entirely different matter.
I had already had several years’ experience attempting to grow tomatoes, squash, and carrots before we moved to Missouri. Admittedly, I knew very little about gardening. I was much more successful after reading Steve Solomon’s book, and after having some respectable soil, rain, and temperatures to work with. Still, I had to try again in our new high altitude home.
And I had great success last year, worlds better than any of my previous years in Nevada.
This year, however, the yields put last year’s harvest to shame. The difference, I strongly believe, is rabbit manure. I should have been weighing everything all along, but I didn’t think about that until now. We’ve had more squash than we could keep up with. We didn’t have enough strawberries, but I had 1/10 of an acre of berries in Missouri, and we never had enough then, either. We should have planted more corn. The kids always say there is too much lettuce. We’re still eating the spring carrots. I grew the biggest bell pepper I have ever seen. The best measure, for me, though has been the tomatoes.
|Strawberry plants need some serious thinning|
|Corn has produced and died and the stalks are now supporting beans.|
The plants are producing prolifically. I’ve already made 32 pints of salsa. Now the rest that aren’t eaten fresh will be turned into tomato sauce.
So, now you are wondering how you can get some of this black gold, ummm, rabbit manure, for yourself. It isn’t difficult. Here are the steps:
1. Buy rabbit, preferably French angora, from your neighborhood 4-H girls. They make the best manure. ;)
2. Feed rabbit.
3. Collect droppings.
4. Put droppings in garden.
5. Enjoy a bountiful harvest.
Yes, the droppings go straight into the garden. Rabbit manure, unlike chicken manure, is not “hot.” It does not have to age or compost. However, like all manures, it does contain pathogens, so you may not want to put it directly in your lettuce or strawberry beds.