For various reasons, the two most prominent of which are I live on top of a granite mountain (deepest topsoil most anywhere on the farm is 23.5" ) and my knee and back aren't in any shape to be digging... I need compost advice.
I lost my "special" dog this morning. He had something similar to CF and was never 'right' from the beginning. One vet told me to put him down at 9 weeks, but he was never in pain, so I couldn't see killing him... At any rate, he was five this year, and if you'd have told me he'd have made it through is first summer, not to mention five very healthy, happy years, I'd have lost the farm on that bet. He was always happy. Not always continent, but there was never a bad day in Augustine Donegan's world. He was a wonderful, daily reminder of that. He died quite suddenly, of what appeared to be CHF. I held him and he passed quite peacefully and amazingly quickly this morning.
I've got NO IDEA what I'm doing though. I started with a small hollow, put him there. (I did leave him in his blanket, I had to. ) He probably doesn't weigh more than 60lbs? 70 tops. I had about 2 bales worth of very moldy old mulch hay and layered that... five or six wheelbarrows of aged manure--some of it quite loamy. It's the stuff we age to put on the gardens this time of year. Quite rich, but I'm not sure how 'active?' And I put in the two muck bucket tubfulls of last years tomato plants. Lots of roots and plant matter in those, in addition to mulch/manure.
I had to stop there for today, to go to work. I need to know what else I need to do. Lime? Water?
I've got more fresh and semi-aged horse manure from the run-in shed and the 'stallion mountains'... but I don't have a manure pile. I spread the stall stuff. I use shredded paper for bedding. I don't know how that breaks down either. I have probably 2 or 3 wheelbarrows of wet-but-clean shred paper (bags ripped during the hurricane) should I add those or not?
And a very, very stupid question which shows my ignorance, but I just don't know... I have two very old horse blankets which once they stopped being horse blankets, covered round bales for two winters. They sat on the ground all summer awaiting me getting around to fall cleanup. I had a thought to lay these out on top of things to help keep heat in... but then wondered if they would harm more than help? I have some holey tarps too? I just don't know ANYTHING about this.
Help. I'm ok with it, he's gone... I'm not overly sentimental about this part. (I am glad though, I could put him with those others who helped build and share the farm... ) I'm more concerned about critters--coyotes, bear... fishers... Obviously I've got to do what I need to do quickly. I don't think anything will bother him tonight. Enough moldy hay to cover any sort of scent...