Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Garden in Winter & Worms

Not much is going on in the garden - at least not on the surface.

Soon it will be time to start seeds indoors. Since I'm not doing onions and leeks from seeds this year (disaster two years running), I can put it off a little bit longer. Tomatoes, eggplants, cauliflower, broccoli, squash, peppers, and assorted flowers and herbs will be this year's seedlings.

Although, if one is to follow the Biointensive technique, everything should be started as seedlings indoors. Of course, if one has a greenhouse this is feasible. If one has four grow lights and limited counter and table space, it isn't. Still, I can't quite fathom starting lettuce and wheat indoors, can you? To me, starting stuff inside is for plants that need a longer growing season, or plants that are not cold hardy. Beans, peas, greens, corn - they all do well as seeds in the ground.

And yes, you did read "wheat" up there. I am going to attempt growing some of my own grains this summer: wheat and oats. Of course, that will entail having to get a grain mill, if things work out, but I figure I can cross that bridge if and when I ever reach it.

I got my worms a couple weeks ago. Vermicomposting - the latest thing. Compost indoors with worms. Why? Because this is what my compost bin looks like this time of year:

The birds and squirrels might be enjoying it, but I don't compost to keep them fed! So, I bought a plastic bin (on sale at Home Depot for $4), drilled some holes in it, filled it partway with potting soil and newspaper, and placed an order for 1000 worms. They arrived in bone dry peat moss (so they wouldn't freeze in shipping) and I dumped them in the bin, along with food scraps. So far I haven't seen much action. Haven't seen many worms, either. I'm having my doubts that there were really 1000 worms in that bag! I've never seen more than one worm at a time, and the food scraps are not disappearing. And mold is growing. HM...vermicomposting isn't as easy as I thought it would be. It could be I'm overwatering (keep as wet as a squeezed out sponge, they say...maybe I don't squeeze my sponges dry enough). I will have to monitor it more carefully this week and see what happens.

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