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Monday, October 5, 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The worms live! & a garden update

I posted recently about the unfortunate death of many of the compost worms in my worm bin. In that post, I described finding a graveyard of dead worms and my attempts to rid the bin of an ant infestation. My attempt was successful, and there are no longer any ants in the bin! I am also excited to announce that the worms appear to be reproducing again, and I continue to find more of them in the bin each day. I was afraid that too many of them had died and that I'd need to buy more in perhaps a smaller amount than the first order, but after letting the worms be for about a week and feeding very small amounts of food, it appears they are doing just fine! I recently added a squash rind, some moldy peach chunks, and a pear core to the bin, and they seem to be enjoying the buffet.
This is what the bin looked like this morning once I took the lid and cardboard covers off. Every couple weeks, I have to add more newspaper, which I did after checking in on the worms.
They really love avocado skins, so I tend to put other small bits of food into the skins to provide them easy access to two food options to munch on.
The pear core that I added to the bin has gotten moldy, but from what I've read online this is normal and okay. To avoid mold, though, I read that I should cover food scraps with more newspaper.
This is what it looks like underneath that moldy pear core--worms enjoying a feast! That's a good sign since for quite a few days, I didn't see many worms eating the food I'd put in there.
These are some worms inside the squash rind. I scooped some of them out of their castings and put them into the rind so they would have quicker access to it. They seems to be enjoying it, and I imagine that once it begins decomposing more, there will be more of them munching on it.
After checking on them, I decided to add more newspaper covering. When I add newspaper to the bin, I first put a handful of shredded paper into a bucket.
Then I pour some water into the bucket--maybe a cup or so depending upon how much newspaper there is. Then I mix it all up in the water and squeeze it dry. It can be challenging to pull apart the wet newspaper to add to the mix, but it's important that it still be separated into strips so that it can act as a cover and not just a soggy ball of newspaper.
This is what the bin looked like after adding a couple more avocado skins and damp newspaper to the top.
I also added some dried leaves from the garden bed into the bin, and then put the cardboard on top. The cardboard, which is slightly damp, helps keep everything well covered and dark for the worms. Then I put the lid to the bin back on and let the worms be. I probably won't check on them again until tomorrow morning, and I probably won't add any more food for a few days unless they get through the small bits I've added in the past day or so.
Some plants in the garden have grown up a lot lately, such as these seedlings that I believe are arugula plants.
One of my nasturtium plants is really growing well.
The sunflowers continue to grow quickly and are creating their own shady corner of the garden. I hope the angelonia is okay with getting a bit less sun with these sunflowers towering over it.
The mystery bulbs continue to be a mystery. In a previous post, I said that perhaps I had planted bulbs there, but now I'm pretty sure I didn't. The container below is where I planted bulbs from a gift flower I had received in April. There were two bulbs from that original plant, and I'm seeing two sprouts in the container, so I must have planted them both in the container. In the garden where the mystery bulbs are growing, I'm seeing 4-5 shoots, making me think that someone must have planted bulbs there in the past. They are somewhat crowded next to the sunflower plants, so we'll see how well they grow. It's been fun watching one of them sprout up and unfurl in the interestingly veined leaf above.
 The bulbs I planted in this container are sprouting.
Above are some of the mystery bulb sprouts coming up next to the sunflowers.
Cilantro growing in the tomato and basil container.
They chrysanthemums in the garden are doing great and add a nice touch of color to the scene.

Thanks for reading!
Green Gal

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rain! and our first harvest

It rained today at my house, which means my plants are happy as can be and the world smells amazing outside. Sadly, I didn't see or feel any rain today since I was indoors at work, but the signs and smells and evidence of rain was everywhere on my bike ride home and in the garden out back. Rain drops on leaves, damp soil, and the smell of wet earth and asphalt. Finally, fall seems to be here! (Knock on wood!)
Sunflower and my mystery bulb, which I'm straining to remember if I maybe did plant... I planted a bulb in the plastic container in front of it after finding bulbs at the bottom of a dead flowering plant I received as a gift (it was alive when I received it as a gift!). I must have planted the second bulb in this spot. I feel silly for forgetting!
 The mystery bulb has emerged!
 Rain-soaked garden!
 Look at those little rain drops! (Click the image for a larger view.)
Today is also special because we harvested our first veggies from the garden this evening to make homemade pizza. Today's harvest from the garden included two bell peppers, a jalapeno pepper, and some fresh basil. We also harvested some green onion from the jars propagating on the kitchen window sill. The rest of our pizza ingredients include store-bought Trader Joe's garlic herb pizza dough, pasta sauce, bacon, and garlic. We also added some mushrooms from the farmers market. Green Guy added cheese to his side, as well.
Garden or kitchen window sill ingredients
All of the pizza ingredients, except for the bacon and cheese. We also didn't end up needing to use that store-bought orange pepper on the bottom right. I thought our small bell peppers wouldn't be enough, but they were just the right amount! The olive oil was used for greasing the pizza pan.
The bell peppers all chopped up. The greenish one was delicious, and the red one was okay. I'm definitely going to harvest the other bell peppers before they turn too red.
This pizza was amazing, and it felt so good knowing I had grown many of the ingredients. Thanks to Green Guy for helping out in the garden every so often and for helping me cook the bacon, spread out the pizza dough, and eat this delicious creation.

Thanks for reading!
Green Gal

Sunday, September 27, 2015

New additions to the garden

Yesterday, I picked up the white watering can on the right from the garden center, and then last night, my Aunt Diane surprised me with the one on the left! Thank you! They have different spouts, so one is for getting close to roots and the other is for watering larger patches. I went from having zero watering cans to two!
Since I didn't grow my own pumpkins this year, I bought some small ones and put them around the garden, front porch, and inside the house as festive decorations for fall and harvest time.
These new flowers were on sale at the nearby garden center for only 50 cents each! I couldn't resist.

Thanks for watching with me as my garden grows!
Green Gal

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