Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Worm bin, self waterers, basically an update on the same old stuff.

Hello Faithful Blog Followers (or half hearted blog followers, as the case may be.) I can't believe it's already May! May and I still don't have the cucurbits in their grow heap yet. Time has gotten away from me.

The worm bin is a great success! I haven't harvested the compost yet, though I could, there's plenty in there. However yesterday I harvested the tea from the drip container. And by "harvested" of course I mean "poured it into a glass jar." The amount of springtails living in the drip container was astounding, and seriously gross, I felt like they were crawling on me for the rest of the day. The bramble fruits received the tea gratefully, I assume. I poured the half cup of tea into my big green watering can, filled the can with water and poured it over the leaves and soil. The worms eat the scraps I feed them so quickly that I can hardly keep up. I've read and heard that worms aren't fond of any brassica (broccoli, cabbage, etc.) or onion family member (onion, garlic, leeks etc.) Also you have to take it easy on the citrus because of it's natural pesticide properties. So that cuts down on what I can feed them, we go through a lot of citrus in our house, and I do mean A LOT! The worms still get fed properly but they go through food so quickly I'm worried that they may be over crowded. Should I start a second worm bin? I think I'll hold off on that for awhile. It sure would be nice to have a second one come summer though, we'll have quite a lot of scraps when things start ripening.
Here's a picture of the worm bin.

And the inside of the worm bin a few days ago...

I sprouted 5 black trifle tomatoes awhile ago, if you recall. They grew quickly and feeling pressed to get them into the ground I dedicated part of the grow heap to them. I saved one to put into the last self waterer I have to make. I should still have enough room left for the cucurbits. As it stands now the grow heap is just last years compost pile spread out over one of the garden beds. Yes, I finally moved it over. The portion now dedicated to black trifles will not get a layer of soil, rather the compost will act as a mulch and that's that.

Most of our tomatoes already have fruits on them! The silvery fir tree tomatoes are loaded! Silvery fir tree tomatoes are indeterminate so it's somewhat expected that they should bear a lot of fruit all at once. Still, it's exciting.

On the right side of the yard I've started planting bush beans. I'm working this week on preparing an area for edamame, more bush beans, onions and maybe eggplant. The sunberries have really taken off since the weather has warmed. Jonas has it in for the sunberry plants and whacks them with a shovel if given half a chance. What a weird kid. Still the sunberries are getting larger and there is something to be said for that.

If I haven't stressed this enough already let me say it again, the self watering containers have exceeded my best expectations! The tomato plants in them are simply huge! And they grow so quickly they seem to need tying to their stakes every day! It's only may and I'm starting to wonder what I'm going to do when they out grow their stakes. That time is fast approaching. The red pear is spilling over the edges in every direction. The brandywine's leaves are bigger than my hand! Greg and I have decided to add a lot more self waterers for next year. I can't believe what a difference the constant supply of water has made to the plants. I'm very excited to try carrots in them come winter. Here are several pictures of the self waterers I took a few days ago.


NIKOL said...

Wow! You weren't kidding about the self waterer plants taking off! That's impressive. And I definitely think I'll have to follow in your footsteps since our gopher problem has gotten progressively worse and I'm wondering how I'm ever going to be able to put anything in the ground. To have huge, healthy tomatoes flourish in containers like that gives me hope!

The worm bin looks great, too. I'm glad to hear the little guys are flourishing.

Thanks for the update! It's been a long time since you posted!

Kristina P. said...

I didn't even know worm bins existed! Frankly, I'm slightly frightened. :)

Clong said...

As you should be. Subversive behavior at it's finest.