The Importance of Building Your Soil

PJ Jonas
The Importance of Building Your Soil

One of the main reasons that I have a garden is so that I can have a reliable source of healthy vegetables for my children to eat.  I have found that even organic vegetables aren't necessarily grown in nutrient-rich soil.  And if the soil isn't nutriet-dense, the vegetables grown in that soil won't be nutrient dense.

gardening homesteading

Composting and adding the compost back to your garden soil is a great way to maintain soil fertility.  But it requires a certain amount of patience and a LARGE amount of organic material - especially if you have as big a garden as we do.  For us, the number one best way I have found to maintain my soil fertility is rabbit manure.

gardening with rabbits

We have a lot of goat manure and chicken manure available to us at all times.  So why do I use rabbit manure?

Because you don't need to let rabbit manure age before putting it on your garden.

Chicken manure in particular is very "hot".  That means it is very high in nitrogen.  And while your plants need nitrogen, too much "hot" nitrogen will burn your plants and possibly even kill them.  So it's not good to add chicken manure to your garden without composting it for at least 6 months to a year.

Again, I'm too impatient for that.

So instead, I let my rabbits do the composting for me.  I feed them lots of clover and other vegetables (which they love).

Then I send one of the children (in this case Emery) to clean out their run.  One of the great things about rabbits, is that they tend to poop outside.  So we keep their inside with clean shavings and they go outside to poop.  That makes it easy to "harvest" the manure without any bedding in it.

manure for gardening

This manure can be spread directly into the garden.

gardening

Don't get me wrong, I love snuggling with the rabbits (especially the babies).  But the main reason I keep them is for the benefit they provide to my garden!

PJ Jonas