Friday, October 29, 2010

It's all a load of MooDoo!

It wasn't me..............honest!

It’s a question of perspective. If it’s from dogs or cats; NASTY. Bag it up and get rid of it.

Bears? Smother it with leaves or branches before your dog rolls in it. Trust me; a bear well fed on blackberries leaves a seed studded jam-like “deposit” behind (correctly called scat of course). Ever tried to get that stuff out of your dog’s ears?

Chickens? Well if you compost the droppings and add it to wood shavings you get ‘chicken and chips’; a great weed suppressing mulch. Seriously; I buy it from DeJong’s in Redmond, WA.

We’re all familiar with horse manure of course (for the smell alone) but have you ever used MooDoo?

Layering cardboard to suppress weeds and grass
As the name suggests it is a by product so to speak from cows. When grass fed cows are taken in for milking all the muck and straw is put into vats to produce a slurry which is then used as a liquid fertilizer on the farms. The residue (solids) left behind is called MooDoo and according to Pat Roome, a well known local speaker, landscape designer and Master Gardener, it’s the best soil amendment and mulch she has ever used. It’s organic, free of weeds, hormones and antibiotics, can be delivered to your door (the garden might be better…) or picked up from the farm and is very reasonably priced. It’s available from several farms in the Seattle area including Hy-Grass Farm, Auburn (no website).  However I called Mark Vukich at 206 271 6490 who delivers from another local farm; a really nice guy who managed to reverse his big truck up our muddy "driveway" with a smile.

MooDoo is lighter in color than the compost
So I’m going to try it out and have just finished wheelbarrowing 12 yards of the stuff. Comments so far? Well Pat said it wasn't smelly, but I have to disagree with her there! Let's just say that the outer (drier) parts of the pile smelled like wet grass. The inner steaming portions did not; look at the dogs face....  I wouldn't suggest putting it right next to the patio for example! It's also much lighter in color than compost. However for my purposes it is ideal. I have an area approx. 100' x 30' which I am attempting to transform from an otherwise unusable piece of  land into a sort of woodland glade. To kill the weeds and grass I have laid cardboard sheets then added 6-8" MooDoo on top. I'll let the whole thing sit for 9 months or so to decompose before turning it over and planting in it. (This process is called sheet mulching).

I’ll let you know how the plants fare and if my dog prefers it over ‘parfum de bruin’.

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