We are starting a garden this year in the Back to Eden style (I know there are several names for this type of garden, we were introduced through the BTE documentary so that's what I always think of it as) that will have a layer of compost 4-6" thick covered by 6"+ of wood chips (and then manure).
I will be bringing in compost from off-site this first year, and I'm wondering if I can spray an activated/diluted compost prep directly onto my compost layer in the garden before adding wood chips (and then sowing in it within a week), or if it needs a longer amount of time to incorporate with the compost before using, for it to be effective? Are there planetary considerations for applying compost preps?
I'm not a bd expert but am a student of biodynamics, first I would say don't put manure on top of this, cimpost and would chips should be fine... When wood is buried it "locks" up nitrogen so any manure you add would just go to the buried wood. As far as using a bd prep I would recommend a combo of horn manure and barrel compost to start and follow that with more barrel compost down the road.
There absolutely is a prep which you can spray onto your mulch once you've finished laying it down. It is called cow pat pit, or barrel compost. You dilute it, dynamize it (stir in vortexes for a while), and spray it. Soooo good. To make it they ferment fresh cow manure with crushed egg shells and basalt, and all the biodynamic compost preps. It is not as good as real full biodynamic compost, but it is a really great substitute when you are in need. You can find it online.
Location: Eastern Shore of Virginia, USA, Zone 7b, KeB Bojac Sandy Loam
posted 4 years ago
Ehrenfried Pfeiffer recommends adding the preparations before mulching. We use the Farm & Field Spray from Earth Legacy Agriculture under all out mulch for the garden. If you are smaller scale, the Pfeiffer Field Spray (from JPI) should work similarly. I think this is working well for us. If I weren't able to activate and use the preparations before layering mulch, I might be sure to dust some biodynamic compost under the mulch -- being sure to cover it quickly. Compost loses more than HALF of its nutritive value if exposed to sun/light for more than a couple hours (according to Pfeiffer again, see Soil Fertility, Renewal & Preservation. I feel like spraying the compost layer on an EVENING so the spray can't dry out and (within 1 hour) covering with mulch will result in the preparations being the last "cosmic" influence before the mulch "shuts off" the soil, so to speak.
Is it possible to soak your wood chips in liquid cow manure first? That might help the entire process. The compost preparations might be added to the liquid manure too. I do NOT think that the preparations will do much good if you apply them above the mulch.
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I like your idea of manure/wood chips. It's basically the main tenet of the humanure process. My friend rented a chipper for a few hours and chipped a lot fresh pine and oak foliage with a bunch of horse manure we shoveled as a favor for a neighbor. We have a big compost pile of just those three ingredients. It's very, very nice stuff. Gonna use as mulch around my baby trees, and plant comfrey around the trees before i lay the chips. I will sprinkle the cow pat-pit prep all around them before I mulch, sounds like that's the consensus.