Thursday, 30 June 2011
What's Good for the Garden.....
Went to Middle Cove Beach last night with my PEI visitors, but it was just about dark, and the capelin had gone back out. Still pretty exciting for our friends who are used to red sandy beaches. My friend suggested I get some capelin for the garden as fertilizer. I would have, had I not tried something similar a few years back when we lived in Portugal Cove.
Back then, the circus had come to town in Mount Pearl. I happened to drive by one day and noticed one of the elephants in the midst of a huge poop! A lightbulb went off in my head and I thought, "Now there's a lot of fertilizer in one shot." Never gave a thought to what that poor elephant's diet might have been, all I thought was manure + garden = rich soil. I don't pretend to be an expert in gardening, and I am no agriculturist, but I thought that was a good idea.
I rushed home, borrowed a friend's pick-up, then proceeded to return to Mount Pearl to collect the goods. I did, indeed, get a pick-up load of elephant's manure and was very pleased with myself. I stopped at a yard sale on the way home on Waterford Bridge Road and got a few complaints about the smell.
When I arrived home, I began to unload the poop in the wheelbarrow, then remembered reading somewhere that some gardeners steep manure to make tea to spread on gardens. I may have gotten the story mixed up, but in my own mind, I thought of the tea I drink, from tea leaves wrapped in a tea bag, soaked in boiling water. I then filled a 5-gallon bucket with water, got an old pillow case from the house, and filled it with a few shovelsful of elephant manure. I let it sit in the sun out in back for about 3 weeks, trying to ignore it but curious as to what the outcome will be. Finally, I couldn't wait any longer and poured the liquid from the bucket into my watering can. The smell was horrid, not that pleasant, fresh manure smell that comes from the dairy farm next door. This was awful. However, I walked around my yard with the watering can and spread that tea all over my lawn. In a few days, I thought, I will have the greenest lawn around.
When I awoke the next morning, the house was covered in black spots which looked like an engine had exploded and blew black oil all over the yard and house. Those black spots were those big fat flies! You know, those ones that land on cow patties, what I always knew as house flies or S H - - flies!!! It was like a swarm.
We had to spray the house down with the hose, spray the lawn down and dilute the tea as much as possible with water. About a month later, we were clear! Incidentally, the lawn did not turn the lovely green I had anticipated, but the manure burnt it up and I had the worst-looking lawn around.
Anway, that is my experience with spreading "things" on my garden or lawn. Getting back to the capelin, I didn't want to go down that road again. I will rely on my compost and scrapings of the henhouse. I'll keep the capelin for the frying pan.