Adding Composted Manure to Stump Grindings - October 2022
This is the third in a series of posts related to the removal of our large, 70-year-old (but in decline) Norway Maple tree in our front yard. First, I shared photos of the tree being removed. Then yesterday, I showed photos and a video of the stump being ground out. Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about what comes next. After doing a little bit of digging on the Web about what to do after you grind a stump, I've come to the conclusion that I needed to think about both amending the soil with organic material AND....being deliberate about adding nitrogen.
The stump grinding left behind A LOT of small pieces of wood. A mulch of sorts. But, about two-feet-deep. I knew that we're going to plant a new three here, so I wanted to be proactive with the soil. I also knew that I'm dealing with a LOT of hydrophobic mulch in this area, so anything I do here will likely help. In fact...I'm pretty sure the act of grinding the stump - AND all the soil and mulch in this area - are actually going to be helpful with the hydrophobic mulch.
Now...the hydrophobic mulch is just *part* of the problem here - the other one is the massive (and quite invasive) mat of roots from the tree. Now that the stump is gone - from what I've read on the Web - the roots will begin to rot naturally.
#19 on my 2022 to-do list was to 'improve the soil conditions' up there - and I've started to do that this season. In early March, I added nitrogen to this bed - with soaked Alfalfa cubes. Then, this Fall, I applied a load of Black Gold - compost from my tumbler - to the bed as a soil amendment.
Today, I'm doing two things:
1. Adding biosolids to the bed as a soil amendment.
2. Adding a bunch of composted manure and mushroom compost to the stump grindings to provide a new, happy home for our new tree - to be planted.
First...a look at biosolids. I ran over to the 'mulch pit' and filled up three trugs and a five-gallon bucket (note...I didn't fill them ALL-THE-WAY because I didn't want the smelly stuff to spill in my car!) and brought home some new, organic material. I did this a few times and dumped the load both behind and in front of the boxwoods. I didn't really work this in (just yet), but am hoping that it will work its way down below the thick, hydrophobic mulch layer. (Note...I've used biosolids in the past and they've worked well.)
Here, below, is a look at this new biosolid layer. My plan is to try to find a few more times to go get even more of this stuff for this front-yard bed this Fall.
And...the second part: adding composted manure and mushroom compost to the thick layer of wood chips from the stump grinding. I found this product - Moo-nure - at the orange big box store.
This compost has an analysis on the back of the bag - showing N-P-K that I *think* is 4-1-4.
I didn't want to put all my organic-material-eggs in one basket, so I also found this Mushroom Compost in bags a couple bays over from the composted manure.
I ended up buying 10 bags of the composted manure (250 pounds total) and four bags of the mushroom compost (4 cubic feet or..about 1/6th of a yard). I drug them over to the pile of stump grindings and emptied them on top. See below for the compost pile - 14 bags in total:
Here's the damage - in empty bags - after I added the compost: