Monday, June 6, 2011

Who needs a worm bin?

I am growing celery!  This is quite unusual for this area - we have a little cooler weather lately and that seems to have made all the difference.  I laid out some empty eggshells around the veggies.  This is supposed to keep the white moths away -  they think there is a bigger moth than them there already.  I wonder who asked them what they think?  anyway I have given it a try - I had some empty eggshells handy. I am not saying it worked - but there dont seem to be as many white moths in the area.


I have talked about how I stir my compost up quite regularly , and then the bottom quarter seems to sit maturing until I need it.  Sometimes I pull it out when it is not properly matured, and evidently that is OK in this hot and humid climate as things deteriorate quite quickly here.  I make sure not to put it right up close to the stems of plants.  I always dig it out of the front, and this week the wheelie bin (that is the cute Australian  name for a trash bin) was out on the kerb for pickup, so I dug out of the side.  It must have been six months since I dug some out of there, and it was fine, dark and wriggling with worms.  Lovely stuff, it looked just like the worm poo everyone else gets out of their worm farms.   I make sure that I dig down deep and get all the good stuff out, and then the rest of what is in the bin falls into the hole where the worms can come and work their magic once again.  So essentially I have a two tiered system, compost on the top and worm bin underground!  a win win situation! Doesn't it look good tucked around the lettuces?

The bandicoots were getting in under the fence so once again that had to be reinforced.  As the compost that I had placed there rotted down it gave them an area under the fence to poke their noses in and once their noses get in, they dig until they get through.  I placed some pieces of wood against the fence and topped up around the tomatoes with this lovely well rotted down compost.   I also added a bit to each row of veggies.

I think my garden is getting a pretty good varied diet of organic amendments, which in turn allows me to feed the family a pretty good varied diet of organic veggies.  Lovely circle.

17 comments:

  1. Compost is black gold isn't it. You are lucky in the tropics. Everything breaks down so much quicker than here.

    Do the bandicoots eat the vegies. I remember when I lived in Cairns they stole cat food.

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  2. I'm interested with vermicomposting but I cant get past the uneasy feeling at the sight of a wriggling worm.

    Your veggies look so healthy. It must be the good care you give them and the compost you apply.

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  3. Your veggies are looking great. Btw SA has progressed to Wheelie bins too.

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  4. I can't read the bit about the worms as I am quite squeamish and even the sight of them in the garden turns my tummy, but I can so jump with joy along with you over celery!!

    Well done! I have some on the way for the very first time this year and am as proud as punch... yours are a fair bit further along than mine, so keep me updated with yours so I can see what I'm supposed to do with it!

    Congratulations AA!

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  5. Congratulations! Those look like healthy veggies. Tempts me to try worms. I heard from some friends though that vermicomposting isn't as simple as it seems once the worms multiply. How much time do you devote to it?

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  6. Oh,sounds like you are really having fun composting! I also love to see earth worm in the soils because that means I got some good soils :) Your veggie garden looks great with all those black gold.

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  7. Missy,
    Yes I can turn my compost around in about 4 to 6 weeks if I mix it up often. The bandicoots don't eat the vegetables, they just dig DEEP holes right next to them - I think they eat grubs and roots. I think it is the cane toads that eat the cat food.... LOL always something here in the tropics.
    Solitude rising,
    yes I cant say I would like handling worms the way some people do, but my compost looks pretty good.
    Garden girl - I love that description :)
    Ali,
    Great! you should have a lot of success with celery - some winters it doesn't get cold enough here for celery. I understand they do need lots of water, but this is the first time i am growing them.
    Bom,
    I don't know of anyone in this area that has had success with an actual worm bin. They cant take the heat in the summer - even in the shade. So letting the earthworms take over the area under my compost bin seems to be working. Once a day when I add the vegetables peelings I give the bin a good stir, and that is about all. I think the red wrigglers that are in actual worm bins are a different breed, and seem quite fussy to me!

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  8. In our property we just let those organic matters pile up during summer, where they are plenty, and then when the rainy season comes, we just get the compost underneath the pile. That way i am not introduced to the worms which i really might not be able to touch, i barely look at them. I am the agriculturist who is not fully at ease with worms, nor butterfly larvae! You havent seen my kiasu post linked to yours yet, haha!

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  9. I'm going to remember the eggshell trick. Haven't seen any white moths around here yet. What in the world are bandicoots? It's a fun name for sure!

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  10. Andrea,
    I have a very small space, so my small bin is all i have room for. You win the kiasu competition with your collection of butterflies on the plantain.
    Carolyn,
    well I figured the eggshell trick wouldn't harm anyone so its worth a try. Here is a photo of one of the bandicoots - you will have to click on the photo to see details. http://africanaussie.blogspot.com/2009/08/bandicoot-battle.html

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  11. I can see how these bandicoot could be a problem in the garden. Never heard of the eggshell trick, pretty neat if it works. WE have 1000s of worms in our compost bin pretty amazing isn't it.

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  12. I need to work on composting more. I can see the richness of your soil and almost feel it from here. The eggshell trick is worth it even if it deters only a few pests. Such great ideas in this post!

    Thank you also for the kind comments on my blog, I appreciate them very much!

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  13. Okay, I'm keen on this eggshell trick as well. You have to post an update and let us know if you think it's working or not.

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  14. Randy,
    I just love the whole process of composting!
    Karen,
    You are welcome, and thank you.
    Laura, Randy and Karen,
    Well what I thought were cabbage moths disappeared, so don't know if that just coincided with the placement of the eggshells, or maybe it got too cold for them. It doesn't do any harm so think I will continue to do it.

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  15. Too cold? I doubt it. I've had them up until very recently in Sydney. They seem impervious to the cold here, I'm sure in your back yard they never take a break.

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  16. Okay, I'm really frustrated. Yesterday I picked 3 of the small green caterpillars off my brussels sprouts. I began to doubt myself so I did a web search and the worms I saw are definitely cabbage moth pupa. It's mid winter and gets down to like 10 degrees over night so what's going on?

    I've moved my egg shells about and will keep placing them as I eat eggs but I begin to despair :-(

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  17. Laura,
    that is strange, but I know a couple of bloggers down in Melbourne have cabbage moths and use a net, so maybe the cold doesn't discourage them. I havn't seen any lately but something is nibbling on my bok choy.

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