This is my first venture into vermiculture and though worms don't seem to be a specimen that needs much attention, I find myself sorting kitchen scraps - removing the more smelly veg and then pureeing their yummy food for better consumption, stripping paper for bedding and generally just clucking over them to make them happy. So I dedicate a little of my time to making my worms happy - at least I think they are....
I purchased 1 pound of red wigglers and put them in a bin as it is a little too cold outside yet and they reside in my living room. My partner wrinkles his nose at the smell, but I find the smell rich and earthy and have gotten quite used to it but then I love the smell of my compost pile too. This is only short term until it warms up outside. They will be ready for 'harvest' next month and I am so excited. I never ever thought I would be this excited over worm poo but I feel I had a huge part in creating it and therefore making all my vegies in the garden more bountiful.
I had a few things growing this winter, broccoli, carrots, potatoes not much as it is my first season in Sth Texas and was a little afraid of what the weather might do. As it turns out, winter here this year was quite warm and threw us all for a loop and I probably could have had a lot more growing and I had just got some seedlings started when the weather turned cold over the last few nights, so I am sitting on the edge of my seat to see what may happen this month.
But spring is coming and I am armed with worm poo, mulch and seeds and can't wait for the new season.
If any of you have worms, I would like to hear from you, tried and tested methods etc, and certainly would love to hear from southern-ish Texas gardeners to learn a lot more about the uncertain weather and growing conditions in these here parts!
My first broc harvest EVER!
LOL LOL Thankfully our dog park caretakers are very strict on the pooping rules and thankfully the visitors are compliant, we also volunteer there quite a bit to make sure it is clean. And no, I certainly wouldn't use it for my gardening for the very reasons Annie states, besides, I have two dogs and certainly and never ending supply of dog poo if I wanted - it is actually a pity that it is not so useful.
I do have plenty of cows and horses around me and last year I gathered poo and left it in a pile out back. I haven't done much reading on what I am supposed to do to 'treat' it - and I will, but it is dried out now and I am about to mix it up with my leaves that I have mulched to put on that dreaded clay yard. It seems poo is becoming a very big part of my life. I am just grateful that it is not 'shit creek' with no paddle!
I finally got to harvest my worm poo and after some research, I opted for what I thought would be the 'easiest' (laziest) way, I simply scooped up the top layer and moved it to another bin. I read that the red wigglers keep to the top of the pile so scooping them out would be easy. NOT SO! While I may have got the bulk of them this way I still had to sort through what was left and pick out the worms and place them almost one by one in the new tub. Next time I will try the light bulb method - making a new pile of bedding, shining a light on the old area to 'chase' them over to the new pile with the light. I just have to find a suitable area to do this.
My worm bin is just one of those regular sized rubbermaid totes with holes drilled in and I found that the bottom layer was very wet, so perhaps I need more drainage holes in the bottom or perhaps even half the amount of worms I have in there and make two bins.
My raised garden bed has now been turned, mulched and worm poo'ed. The only thing I had left in there was asparagus in it's second year of growth and some clumping onions. I watered with fish emulsion and boy oh boy did my onion and asparagus fern tops turn the most beautiful color of green!. I have lettuce, carrots, tomato's, cucumber, melons, peppers and spinach seedlings popping up in jiffy pots nearly ready to plant. I had started early with a few tomato's in pots and one is starting to flower already but we didn't have a real winter in Texas this year so an early spring has been a great benefit for the garden.
I was fortunate enough this week to have the backhoe available at the pecan orchard I work at and got a good scooping of soil from a 20 year old burn pile that is now not in use. Though the wood ash sent my PH level a little high - around 7, it was still a huge bonus for free soil and it was in such good condition, smelt rich and was FREE! lol did I mention that! oh I love free stuff.
Sandi, I just opened this and your seedlings look great! My goodness, you are going to have some delicious meals this summer and probably enough to preserve. Good Job!
Sandi, beautiful seedlings! You will have a great garden!