Worm castings as top dressing

Some of my veggie patch has bare dirt that dries out fast. I don't have enough home-made compost to do much, so wondered if anybody had experience using worm castings as top dressing. I have quite a bit of that left over.
TIA
Persephone
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<Persephone> wrote in message

Wow. I'd think that using worm casting to stop drying out would be like using gold. It'd work but seems to me to be a bit of a waste. Do you have access to a less precious mulch that would do the same job? For around small veggies and seedling, I use horse food ie chaff. It's very fine, and once watered and settled in, doesn't blow away but keeps in moisture quite well in addition to adding to the humus levels of the soil.
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wrote:

Could you clarify re: term "horse food ie chaff". Is that something I have to get at a horse place, or...? Sorry, not familiar with term.
Sounds promising.
Yes, worm ca$ting$ are overkill; I usually mix them with soil and mulch and maybe some nutrients for planting/transplanting.
TIA
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wrote:

Couldn't you just buy a bale of hay from a feed store? A bale of hay will cover a lot of area. Around here it is $5 from a store ans as low as $3 from the grower.
- Bill Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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wrote:

I see you fixed your .sig, Bill. Congrats.
For OP - is chaff what remains when you thresh grain?
Do horses really eat that?-
I don't have a way to get to a feed store; not driving at the moment, and can't use a large quantity anyway.
Sigh! Guess I'll have to see if there's enough cooked in there to scoop out the composter. Tough job.
Persephone
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wrote:

Thanks, grrrrr

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaff
No gardening buddies who you could split it with?

Sweat is good. Builds the cardio-vascular system. (At leas that's what I'm telling myself right now. It's the hottest day of the year here so far (91 F at 10 to 3 PM) I'm preparing a new corn bed (4'x8'). Turned it by hand and incorporated 4 - 5 gal. buckets of horse manure into it. I've just reset the drip and now I can plant my seedlings. I have a dozen seedlings. My gardening book recommends against starting corn inside. Any idea why? Well, a glass of water and back to the heat. I gotta wrap up the garden pretty quickly because I'm about to be visited by the curse of the "drinking class" (work).

- Bill Halb betrunken ist heraus geworfnet gelt (immer)
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It doesn't transplant well. I've read in other gardening books to start them in peat pots (tear off the tops before planting so they don't wick water from the rootball). People do this to get a jump on the season, especially if it's been cold and damp. I've never bothered, I just start them in the ground once it gets warm enough.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Expounded!!!!? Observed or, noted or, remarked, maybe, but expounded? Yawn. Time to go garden in my dreams. Tomorrow are 6 more peas, another Sugar Baby watermelon, maybe 4 mammoth sunflowers, basil into pots and, more tilling but this time in the shade.
- Bill z-z-z-z-z
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Everybody expounds, don't take it personally <G> I've got to get out there myself, I've got all kinds of transplants to put in (only the cool weather ones yet). Today I'm off to mum's to help her get her garden ready for our big annual herb society meeting.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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The message
My gardening book recommends against starting corn

In the UK everyone starts sweetcorn indoors then transplants it into the garden ground after last frost date. I've done this for decades and it works fine. The only caveat is that if you let it get too big in the seedpots, transplanting gives it a setback and it sits there in the bed sulking doing nothing for weeks instead of growing away strongly. . So, timing the sowing and transplanting to optimum size, is important.
Janet.
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wrote:

So by that reasoning, Bill, we should get ganz betrunken to get our money's worth.
Reminds me of a story from the Talmud: =============== One item deals with Chanan the wicked. He stood before a court for striking a man on his ear. His fine was equivalent to a certain coin. His only coin had a face value twice as much as the penalty. His coin was faulty, and no one would give him two smaller coins in exchange. What to do? Chanan the wicked was not about to pay a greater fine than necessary. He struck his victim on the other ear and surrendered his coin (Bava Kamma, Chapter 4, page 37a).
=============== Persephone
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wrote:

Genau!
In for a dime in for a dollar. If something is worth doing, do it right. The sense of the quote will be found along those lines. The people who revered Bacchus saw it as liberating the body from the tyranny of the mind. Unfortunately, this is a pathology for some and the rest of us are sanctioned to silence for fear of empowering that pathology.
Anyway, back to reality (what a concept:-)
Tchuss,
- Bill Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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The stuff featured at Wikipedia is most definitely not what I would call chaff. If you scroll down in the Wiki article until you come to the heading "Other Meanings" and look at "Agriculture", then that is what I mean.
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wrote:

Hay is a great mulch for vegetable gardens, but please do yourself a favor and only use alfalfa hay and not costal bermuda. You will never forgive yourself!
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Actually, I meant to say oat hay but on reflection I think straw would do it but, then again I have no idea what I'm saying. Every profession has it's own meaning for words and I'm just an average Joe (named Bill). All I know is that I saw an ad in the paper for hay last year. I got me three bales for $10 and enjoyed sitting on two of them for most of the summer. Mulch, exterior lounge, and a wonderfully nostalgic smell, not a bad deal. Before dinner, I'd have my happy hour there in the garden and watch the butterflies, squirrels, birds and, finally the bats, all the while nursing a large margarita (I find that it is easier and, just as good to put the whole peeled lime in the blender with the triple sec, tequila and, ice cubes). I have a little of the hay left. It's decomposed a lot. Soon as it's gone I'm getting some more, even if I pay a premium price. I might even move-up to the high priced alfalfa. No since rushing it though. After 4 PM, and the shadows here get long, the mosquitos come out. They should thin out soon but right now they are oooogly.
'nite all - Bill Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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And that was the best thing you could have done with the hay. Hay bails are best if they are allowed to 'mature' in contact with the soil and turned once a month. It starts the rotting process happening. Fresh ahy can be quite water reppelant when new.

You will get no better soil food than lucerne (aka alfalfa).
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wrote:

The very word "bermuda", used in a garden context, strikes terror to the soul!
Persephone
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On Tue, 08 May 2007 10:57:57 -0700, Persephone wrote:

Indeed. I have it in some of my beds and I am getting ready to buy a blow torch. By the end of this growing season I hope to be rid of all signs of turfgrass in the entire backyard. I want to make lovely crushed granite walks with herbs and perennials spilling over onto them. I can't stand turfgrass. Such an incredible waste of time, money and energy.
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<Persephone> wrote in message be given>

Yes. It comes in all sorts of varieties (eg wheaten chaff, lucerne [alfalfa] chaff etc) and is basically straw that is chopped up very fine so it is very good for both feeding the soil and not covering fine seedlings.

:-)))
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On Sun, 06 May 2007 18:27:38 -0700, Persephone wrote:

How much is "quite a bit?" That is a very expensive mulch if you ask me. You can definitely use it for your purpose, but it will also dry out and form a crust.
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