i forgot to say how the

worm buckets went this season...
in total i put about 280lbs of worms/ worm pee/worm poo out into the gardens when i was planting (and another 40lbs went to the friend's garden).
then i had to restart all those empty buckets from the remaining four. because i had very little veggie scraps to put in all those buckets i used up a lot of the old soybeans i had on hand which i grew back when i was making soy milk.
to restart a bucket the basic formula went like this:
a layer of partially decomposed wood chips (PDWC) mixed with soybeans went in the bottom. the soybeans absorb moisture and then since the conditions are not good for them to sprout they eventually ferment and then the worms will chomp them up. on top of that bottom layer i add some garden soil, more PDWC, worms, repeat until the bucket is 2/3-3/4 full, top with shredded paper scraps. usually soak it with some water when i'm half way and then again before i put the top layer of shredded paper on top.
everyone looked happy and healthy the other day when i had to put some strawberry trimmings in a few of the buckets.
note that this is not normal worm composting like many others use because i use a mixture of worm species (some earthworms and some composting worms) and have garden soil in there. most normal worm composting uses only composting worms and organic materials and no garden soil.
i use my method because i want to refurbish the garden soil that i have which is very poor with a lot of clay. by using the worms to process veggie scraps and by keeping their pee/poo in the bucket (instead of draining off so called "worm tea") it seems to be working well (after five seasons).
that's about 1000lbs of free gentle fertilizer (i plant right into it or bury it around the level of the root zone). because of the live worms i make sure it is covered by at least a few inches of plain garden soil. as of yet the raccoons/etc. have not determined how much of a feast i'm putting out there in the gardens when i plant (100,000 - 150,000 worms). shhh! don't tell them... :)
songbird
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On 6/29/2016 7:21 PM, songbird wrote:

I don't remember what type of worms you use. Earthworms, red wigglers, etc. I tried red wigglers and they all died within a week, even though I did everything the book said to do. I'm about ready to start another batch.
Never thought I would have to buy worms, everywhere we've lived, except Saudi Arabia, the common earthworm was there. We just put our compost between the garden rows and it was gone in a day or less.
George
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George Shirley wrote: ...

a mix of about six species. earthworms and composting worms.

no worm likes it much when it is very hot or very cold. that is why raised beds are not always a good move (not as much insulation factor the thinner the beds the worse).
you may need pretty deep mulch to keep composting worms going in a raised bed.
songbird
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On 6/29/2016 9:10 PM, songbird wrote:

We bought some earthworm pods a few years ago and put them in the raised beds. We see one once in awhile but they are in the row beds along the fence line that we have amended many times. Our compost bucket goes into the composter and then we put the compost into the gardens. Don't see many earthworms generally but every once in a while we get startled by one plus get startled by the occasional snake up from the retention pond.
Taking a break from moving stuff around in the garage. Garage faces East and the morning sun shines right into it. We're going to hang a steel rack from the ceiling of the garage to make more room for her "stuff." Big PITA but SWMBO wants it.
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George Shirley wrote:

while compost is ok for worms as a bedding they also appreciate goodies like melon rinds and dried carrot slices. dig down a little ways to make sure things are covered and there won't be a problem with animals or fruit flies. for melon rind go back and check it in three days and see if you've attracted worms. :) they will survive without goodies, but it doesn't take much to encourage them more...

always projects around here too, but i'm in gardening/weeding/watering mode until we get some rain (maybe tonight, tomorrow morning if we're lucky - i won't count it until it hits the ground).
this house is very small, there isn't much storage space at all, just a few closets for each of us and that's it. the crawl space works for some things, but it isn't easily accessible. i am very gradually getting rid of stuff to make more room in here. it's more of a winter project...
songbird
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On 6/30/2016 9:02 AM, songbird wrote:

We do that in the raised beds with some things. I just tossed another batch of crowder pea hulls in one of the beds. Haven't seen any of those go under yet. Tilly knows better than to even sniff a bed and our only critter problem is the cats that think our gardens are toilets. Had another hit last night from one, I swear I'm going to get out the "Whisper" air rifle, pretty close to having a suppressor on that one.

We needed a garden shed here so we bought a plastic (very sturdy) one at Lowe's. It's about ten feet by eight feet and was very easy to put together, even has a floor. I bought some one foot square concrete pads about an inch and half thick to put under it and it works well. Took two old people two or three days to get it up but it has been doing well for four years now and holds a lot of stuff. I did most of the putting together and Miz Anne held things up while I bolted them together. We still work pretty good together after fifty-six years together and we've never struck either of us, yet. <G>
George
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George Shirley wrote: ...

tossed on the surface is not the same thing. i mean move the mulch aside and put a few items underneath. that will encourage them a lot more... check in the morning when it is cool.
...

we have a garden shed on the back wall of the garage. it is not extra storage for household items. it gets mice in it at times. and right now the bees too... hmm, i should check that tomorrow morning when it is cool to see how many are still alive.
songbird
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On 6/30/2016 4:57 PM, songbird wrote:

I don't think turning it over would help, there's no dirt except the one inch of sand that was put on top of the clay. I do miss the deep, fertile earth on our property in Louisiana. That area was a forest for probably hundreds of thousands of years if not millions. Dug some post holes four feet deep once and hit sand and ancient sea shells. Looking at the terrain maps for that area we were living on an ancient sand dune. It was toss a seed on the ground and jump back there. I was willing to stay there because it was only 20 miles from where I grew up in Texas. The lady of the house wanted to be much closer to the grands and great grands. Have to admit it is nice to see the little rascals more often.

Don't ever move away bird, HOA's are a literal PITA with their stupid rules. Every house here but ours has a live oak in front, some folks added other trees and got away with. A tree has to make it's living to be with us, pear tree in the front yard, fig and kumquat in the back. Had one neighbor, somewhat of an old bitty type, asked me why I didn't have a live oak, told her the acorns weren't very tasty. She walked away shaking her head, haven't seen her since. 99% of the folks here go to work early in the morning, get home somewhere between 4 pm and 9 pm and then go to work again. Most of them ignore the traffic rules and don't know what a stop sign or speed limit is. I watched them this afternoon and called the constable, there will be a few coppers in the neighborhood for a few days. Lots of kids play in the streets too, scares the bejabbers out of me.
Making more fig jam tomorrow, getting just enough to make three or four pints here and there. Still picking them crowder peas and freezing them.
George
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Can be nice, actually, if you have a system worked out - apple processing is often that way for us - not that they comes in dribs and drabs so much, but they will hold on the tree (or even picked) a while, if they are there in the first place. This year looks bad for that, I don't think the blossoms even opened. I get into a rhythm where I process so many, turn them into sauce or butter or dry them, turn around and do it again.
The plums last year came in a great mass so that we were desperately processing 40 lbs trying to stay ahead of them spoiling. That will have to hold us though this year, at least, as the late freeze has done for nearly all of them (on those, the flowers were out, but I see exactly 2 green fruit on 5 trees that made hundreds last year.) Bummer - the "I had major doubts" plum "wine" came out sort of OK (green plums, sugar and what was supposed to be some sort of rice liquor that I subbed with diluted-to-the-correct-proof vodka. Should be "umeshu" plums, but source claimed it worked OK with others.) Next time I have some I'll try with ones a little riper, I think, but it's acceptable for low-effort cheap homemade, after a year of sitting.
--
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Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
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On 6/30/2016 7:26 PM, Ecnerwal wrote:

We had a 20 year old fig tree in Louisiana, it grew in the shade from a sprout from a next door neighbor. After all those years growing it only was about eight feet tall and about ten feet around. Our last year in that house I went out to pick figs and the main tree fell over. It had a hard base at the root level and that branch was still green even though it wasn't connected to the roots anymore. This new one is growing about that slow too but is getting more prolific by the year.

We used to make 20 to 40 pints of fig jam at the old place, we're older now and much happier with 2 to 4 pints a week, makes the job easier.

We had two plum trees, about six years old, never had a plum on them, don't know why, the local ag agent was also bewildered. Had a Japanese persimmon that did well, made lots of persimmon wine, about all they were good for. Used to make wild persimmon wine years ago that was pretty tasty, and, after a year in the jug, it had a rosy tint. Good stuff (hic). Our kumquat tree is maybe 4 feet tall and is loaded again this summer, lots of blooms and a whole lot of fruit. We don't drink much alcohol anymore so I haven't made any kumquat wine, the old one in Louisiana had so many fruit one year I made two gallons of kumquat wine, pretty good stuff too. This young tree produces enough fruit to make several pints of kumquat marmalade, that is really good stuff there, even the great grands like it. I'm really watching the pear tree in the front yard as a lot of folks walk by there daily. I think most of them don't know anything about fruit trees. It is a Tennousi, developed by a local ag agent. It's a cross between an Asian pear and a European pear and gets fairly large and is russet in color. Have not tasted one but am looking forward to it. We used to put up a lot of pear jelly, sauce, and sliced pears from an old Kiefer canning pear tree we had. Kiefer is a very good canning pear but have to be dead ripe to eat out of hand.
George
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George Shirley wrote:

i don't mean turning it over, i mean moving some of it out of the way, putting down the scraps and the covering the scraps back up. this way the worms don't have to go up to the hot surface to find it and it will encourage them. :)

i know, i've read enough horror stories along with the local paper talking about all the various small town regulations about what people can and can't do in their yards. my cousin just got a letter from the city about tall wildflowers in his front yard, says he mows them and they come back within a few days. nice yellow flowers. and before when i was dating my gf of the time her ex got the city she was in to send her a letter about some wild- flowers that she liked to let alone when she was mowing. silly crap...

people run the stop sign here all the time too and they don't know what yield means either.

:)
i'm glad to wake up today with rain in the rain guage. Ma says about half an inch. first time we've had much rain in a few weeks... hot and dry this next week. at least something is better than nothing. i might be able to get more weeding and digging out invasive grasses done today.
songbird
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On 7/1/2016 8:42 AM, songbird wrote:

Ha! We beat you, yesterday and the day before we got .67 inches of rain. Free water for the gardens. Just back from taking Tilly Dawg to the vet, she's been sneezing, wheezing, and coughing but only at night. Vet checked her out, prescribed two meds, cost me $88.00. I think I'll take her to my doc next time, he only charges $5 a visit. <G>
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George Shirley wrote: ...

AC gives me sinus troubles, i think i picked up some sinus crud from the AC cranking on at my dad's place last weekend. ick.
songbird
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