trying to show up. we will have thousands of daffodils
coming into bloom in the next few weeks. at last! :)
the earliest ones are the smaller/miniature daffodils.
i didn't even know we had those there. Ma planted some
stuff a friend had given her last year and those must have
been in that batch of mixed forced bulbs. not all of
those survive being forced and then planted.
the poor crocuses have been out, most of those outside
the fenced garden were bunny food. some are still coming
the grecian windflowers aka anemone blanda are doing
nicely in their place. i will keep spreading those seeds
around as they get ready.
with the temperatures finally getting warm enough for
me to be outside later this week i hope i can get some
of the onion sets in if they are in good enough condition.
i haven't even looked at them yet. they're buried behind
too much junk in the garage.
and those apple tree saplings have to come out...
wild grape vines to cut back...
ah, good to see spring warm up enough to move! :)
Mine were a lot earlier than that and the biggest profusion of bulbs is
well past. I had giant crocus coming out in January (thanks to a
micro-climate next to a south-facing wall). Periwinkle were blooming then
too. Regular crocus have come and gone as have the daffodils, Anemone
blanda, hyacinth. There are a few surviving tulips and grape hyacinth but
not many. On the plus side the huge patch of verbena is spectacular next to
the moss phlox and conceal the crocus foliage. Flag iris are up quite high
now and buds are showing on some of them. The daylilies are up too although
they are still not showing flower stalks. The collection of ferns out back
are doing well and many of them didn't even die back this year because of
the mild winter. Hostas are popping up all over the place. I have even set
out the huge pots with the Peruvian 'miracle lilies' which always
overwinter in the garage after repotting but nothing is showing there yet.
This is in central eastern Tennessee.
Oh, I forgot the English bluebells! They are actually doing pretty well
this year and a few are showing up in places I don't remember planting any.
And I noticed that some, but not all, of my trillium are coming up in the
woods out front. Might have been a partial die-off there. They were rescues
from a construction site so they will live or die as they see fit since
they don't seem to respond to human intervention.
seeds or bulbs can get moved around (wind, rain, critters).
we find crocuses moved around all the time. just wish the
critters wouldn't eat so many of them. lost a few hundred
bulbs a few years ago when the chipmunks nearly cleaned them
out of a temporary garden where i put them when i was working
on redoing a patch. planned on moving them all back when i
was done... buggers ate 'em a few weeks before i went to do
that. didn't even notice them until it was too late.
last year we waged war on the chipmunks and caught nearly
50 of them by the end of the season.
they do like some leaves/mulch. they are protected in MI
from being moved/disturbed.
worms are actually not good for them because they eat the
leaves and thus they lose their protection.
i hope yours survive, they are nice woodland plants. :)
time to get going, nice day out there and i have a pathway
to take out. :) first day of gardening season!
any of the composting worms (red wrigglers, belgian night
crawlers, night crawlers, etc.) will break down leaves. many
northern forests are not home to worms unless they are brought
in by fisherfolks or some other means.
Earthworms don't eat leaves, certainly not living plant leaves.
Earthworms eat and subsist on the microbes that compost leaves and
other organic matter. Earthworms injest the microbe laden soil and
compost, digest the microbes and eject the soil and compost as
castings... earthworms do no composting of leaves. Earthworms
congregate near fallen leaves because the leaves attract microbes, but
they do not eat the leaves. Earthworms exist very well in northern
forests, they burrow down below the frost line, same as they burrow
deep on hot summer days. Earthworms exist most everywhere on the
planet except near the North Pole where the soil doesn't thaw. There
are worms that live in the ground beneath bodies of water that do the
same. I don't know why so many believe that earthworms compost
organic matter, they do not, I suppose they can't make the leap that
organic matter attracts microbes... that's why fisherman sprinkle
cereal on the ground in the late afternoon and cover it with cardboard
to attract nightcrawlers. Microbes multiply rapidly and are attracted
to cereal, in turn the microbes attract nightcrawlers. Just before
dawn the fisherman go out with flashlights, lift the cardboard and
quickly harvest plenty of live bait for a day's fishing. The
nightcrawlers are not eating the cereal, they are injesting the
proximal soil that's loaded with microbes that are attracted to the
go back and read what i wrote. nowhere did i say
"earthworm", i used the terms "worm" and "compost
having raised such creatures for many years i think
i can tell what they eat...
i also raise earthworms.
i usually don't bother replying to you because you are
so often wrong.
Actually it's you who are rude. Once again, earthworms do not eat
leaves. The insect larva that do eat leaves are NOT worms.
Catapillars are NOT worms. You don't want to know the names I've
reserved for the likes of you and your know nothing ilk. You don't do
gardening, no one here has seen your garden because you're ashamed to
show your pitiful garden. As best I can tell you may have a small pot
with a dying plant in the one small window of your ghetto basement
yep, they raise these using horse manure or other plant
stuff, no dirt needed, just organic matter...
i have some mixed in with various other species of worms
(including earth worms) and they do a great job of composting
about anything organic.
because i actually study various processes involved in
decomposition and how worms and fungi interact (or don't)
to break woody stuff down (along with the other soil
critters) i will sometimes throw them a challenge and
see how it turns out. in one bucket i have a very
putrid bone from the christmas ham (i also study
how well the soil can deal with odors :) ). the first
few days i wasn't sure how well they were going to be
able to cope. the smell was noticeable so i added
another inch of soil on top. haven't smelled it since
then. i will be looking at in the next next few weeks
as that bucket is coming up on the feeding rotation
the other thing too is that this description is
not really complete. some worms will take any
organic matter into their burrows even if it is
green or not as long as it isn't attached too
hard for them to pull it off.
worms are a very diverse group of creatures with
i like studying ants too. :)
I get a lot of Silver Maple "helicopters" in the garden. Earthworms do
a really good job of planting them for me :) Maybe I'll take some
pictures this year. I say that every year but never get around to it...
I read an article awhile back that discussed how the earthworms were
pulling weed seeds down into there burrows. Made near perfect
conditions for it to germinate, grow. This made for unforeseen problems
using no-till planting. It was awhile back, so I've probably got some of
the details messed up... It might have been this:
Sheldon, you're full of shit as usual. The common earthworm is not
native to the US, it was introduced by settlers. Researchers have
found that it degrades the forest ground cover by rapidly decomposing
the leaf mulch. As a result, there is an effort to protect the (few)
forested regions in NA that are not infested with earthworms by
reminding people not to introduce them.
Mulch is good. Compost is good. Earthworms are a major factor in the
rapid decomposition of both. It should be obvious that earthworms are
not environmentally beneficial, contrary to popular misconception.
Imagine the advantages of soils where organic matter has a chance to
persist and only slowly decompose over several seasons, instead of
several months. Think how much richer and more productive such soils
would be - and how much less labor we'd have if we only had to amend
our soils occasionally, instead of frequently.
it depends upon what you are growing as to how much
nutrient demand there is.
for a forested woodland in a place that gets enough
moisture, if you are producing fruits/nuts then it is
great to be able to hold moisture and only have to add
some top mulches to keep things going.
if you are producing veggies, some of the heavier
feeders do much better with amended soils.
no till is by far the best method (and in a rotational
planting it is possible in three of four years to grow
without amending much at all) but if you are starting
with poor soil, deficient in nutrients and organic matter
then worms will help you out.
worms are now pretty common in all tilled fields in
this area. the neighboring woodlands may not have
them at all (i've not even looked).
the more general thing to evaluate with any agricultural
system is your base soil forming capacity. how are your
various minerals and nutrients getting there? for many
gardens worms play a critical role in that they grind
soil particles together and also add nutrients from their
own wastes. you don't get that without them as easily.
lichens only dissolve rocks and release minerals for
plant availability in areas where they grow, the same
with the freeze/thaw cycles and erosion from rains. for
N there is some deposition from the air along with some
dust from other regions. sulfur used to come via the
rains too, but with improved air quality and less coal
burning that has decreased. etc.
earthworms and composting worms play their parts. many
animals eat them. i'd not eradicate them (any more than
i would eradicate mosquitoes or flies). i think it's
stupid to remove creatures that play a very important
role in improving the soil. they make channels for plant
roots here in this heavy soil and they certainly play a
key role in how we use and recycle plant materials.
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