[quote="grandpasrose"]Hi D! Sounds like you're doing quite a job! Welcome to the world of raised beds. I have gardened this way for years, and there is no better way!
Thanks Val, glad to hear we have some raised bed experience on this forum. I will probably try to tap into that experience!
You are fortunate you have access to so much manure, but just a warning, don't plant anything in it until it has aged. If it is too fresh, it will burn anything you plant.
We do have alot of cow manure (& a neighbor has lots of horse manure I can get). I am using fresh at the very bottom of the bin, thinking there may be critters in the fresh manure that will help it decompose. Closer to the top of the bin, I'm using well aged manure (powder & wonderful in a breeze!).
Also, using newspaper is great, I use it myself, but be sure to tear or shred it up, and don't use any with coloured inks on it. They have dyes and extra chemicals in them that the black doesn't that you don't want to add to your soil.
I'm shredding all my newspaper & don't use any slick or colored paper.
You could be throwing in your kitchen scraps as well - vegetable peelings, fruit peelings, egg shells.
I do use all my kitchen scraps (and Mom & Dad's too), but in a 2 person household, there's not that much. Will be going to Dallas tomorrow, so I have made a list of the Starbuck's along my route & will try to get some coffee grounds. Hopefully, I can bring back a pickup load!
It's great you're adding leaves and grass clippings as well!
We have lots of trees in the pastures and around the house & alot of them are already losing their leaves, so I'm adding lots of leaves to my mix also.
This is alot of work, but I think it will be worth it...