Spring is in the air and, for gardeners like me, it can only mean one thing: It’s time to get serious about poop!
Every year, I add some sort of amenity to the soil. Sometimes, it’s Mesa Magic from the Mesa County composting facility at the landfill, sometimes I’ve picked up alpaca poop from local growers and one year I got a truckload of horse manure that the horse’s owner promised me was sufficiently aged.
Last year, I used bags of steer manure and something called Soil Pep. This year, I’ve decided I’m going to use Nutri-Mulch, which is a bagged compost I get from Bookcliff Gardens with turkey poop as a main ingredient.
Although I have purchased truckloads full of organic material for use in the garden in the past, these days I prefer to purchase it one or two bags at a time.
Yes, I know it’s more expensive, but this way, I don’t have a mountain of compost or appropriately aged poop in the yard. My dog is a very curious canine who likes to thoroughly explore new things by smelling, tasting, and rolling in it, and I don’t really want him bringing the scent of the garden inside the house.
I do want to be kind to my garden soil, however, so every time I plant, I add whatever organic material I’m using that year prior to planting. My best friends at Bookcliff — they must be my best friends. They know me by name and are delighted every time I walk in the door — are always happy to take my hard-earned cash and give me large bags of poop in return.
I’m trying not to keep track of the number of times I’ve already gone to Bookcliff to buy more bags of compost. It’s a dangerous thing when you live only half a mile away from a local garden center, and every seed catalog company in the country seems to have your name and address.
We have a long, lovely spring, and I’ve planted at least a third of my garden space already, filling it with early season crops like spinach, garlic, asparagus, arugula, Shanghai bok choy, pink baby daikon radishes, Chinese broccoli, purple climbing peas and a bush pea variety that’s supposed to look like a green bean and is called Snak Hero for its delicious taste.
Of course, the last pea’s name reminded me of a song, so I altered the lyrics a bit and sang “Snack Box Hero” while planting peas.
Unfortunately, I don’t actually know any of the words to “Juke Box Hero,” so I was repeated “snack box hero” over and over and with a vague tune for several hours last weekend while I buried seeds and wondered about the efficacy of turkey poop.
If I had a scientific mind, I would have conducted an experiment years ago to determine which type of poop performed best in my yard, but I rearrange words and conjugate verbs for a living, so every year, it’s just a crap shoot.
Penny Stine is the staff writer for The Daily Sentinel’s Special Sections department and can be reached at Penny.Stine@gjsentinel.com.