It’s spring time in Muskoka and before the bugs come out, generally residents like to don their boots (of the mudding variety), gloves (of the gardening variety), and get the garden started. We’ve been raking and prepping the gardens. We didn’t get the old garden trimmings cleaned up in the fall so there’s lots to do.
For the lawn, because we are organic, I use pasture seed from the co-op. I don’t fertilize other than my own composted soil. My composted soil is manure from my horses. Here’s the skinny on manure. Cattle manure is best for gardens, IF you are using this years manure and it’s fresh. Horse manure is for flower gardens and in particular, rose gardens. My manure ages for one year, because horse manure is acidic. In either case, I think manure should be aged at least one year. I use lots of worms in my gardening, if I feel that I don’t “see” enough worms in the composted soil, I buy more, Worm castings (worm manure) is great for a garden! I have a beautiful lawn and my gardens are wonderful also.
This past year, I increased the length of my driveway to come right up to the house. In the past, the driveway ended about 50 yds from the door, in the event of rain or snow or a lot of groceries, it was most inconvenient to have the vehicles parked so far from the house. I finally decided to have the driveway extended, it’s one of those things that you, in hindsight say, “Why didn’t I do that years ago?” The way the driveway is positioned, it left a bank on the side of the driveway that has now been graded, mulched, top dressed with composted materials and planted with the most wonderful design. Done in hostas, daylillies, peonies, cone flowers, hydrangeas, rhododendron, lillies, sweet william and a host of others, it is a beautiful sight, and while expensive, it will bloom for years to come.
Across the front of my old farmhouse, I have planted under the front windows, a semi-circle of orange day lillies and behind that a row of gigantic sunflowers. Sunflowers are so pretty and the flower of the sunflower follows the sun through the day, my old farmhouse faces south so in the morning the sunflowers face east as the sun rises and move throughout the day to face west when the sun sets.
I have done organic vegetable gardens on my farm in the past, both commercial and just for personal use. This year, however, I have opted to enjoy my flowers this summer and utilize my local farmers market for produce. If you want to know about organic vegetable gardening in Muskoka, leave a comment below and I will get back to you.
Why don’t farmers blog? Because they just don’t have the time!