Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Winter garden clean up/feed

Cut back old leaves on Helleborus so you can enjoy the full beauty of the flowers

Cut back all Epimedium, evergreen varieties, so you can enjoy the winter blooms, make sure to watch out for the emerging buds

Start cutting down deciduous grasses, (do not trim evergreen types, unless you only cut back by 1/3-personally  I'd save it till late March)

Start mulching....preferably with manures in the perennial borders- steer manures, chicken manures....I know you like the look of Cedar Grove-but it has no food for your plants.
It's a dead over processed material.   (Like hot dogs and fishy crackers...)

Fertilize your lawns (if you do lawns) with an organic blend that includes (why YES! we do carry these!) rock phosphates and kelp- among other fabulous ingredients

IF you have an area that is depleted, or if you moved in a house and never see worms when you dig in the soil (probably chemically fed- all life is killed off) use worm castings (nice word for poop)
Why yes we do sell it-as a matter of fact we are THE only West Seattle retailer for YELM worm and castings

Seed clover in the lawns (again if you have lawn) to feed the soil,  a natural nitrogen source and stays green all year!     plus!!! a very good source of nectar for HONEYBEES

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Worm composting/worm bin

I love worms. Pink/grey/red what color are they anyway?
I have no clue how they see where they are going or if they can smell anything...
They have very simple lives, when no chickens or birds are hanging around...or potential fishing experts.

These critters are amazing. They multiply by the thousands very rapidly, so if you want to keep a worm bin, the worm part is easy. 
I harvested 5 gallons of fresh worm manure tonight from my worm bin...that will literally be enough castings for about 300 square ft of vegetable gardening. That's pretty impressive, I think.

Keeping a worm bin is easy, low maintenace and odor free if you pay attention to the ingredients going into it. I personally use old newspapers shredded up as bedding, lighlty moistened, then pile the food wastes on it, add a scoop of garden soil for grit and another layer of wet paper. The worms like cool and dark, so don't worry about covering them too deeply, they will be fine.

Do not overload them with food...a few cups of food for about 2 cups of worms seems about right. Give them a few days with that amount, and then check them. Overfeeding can lead to a smelly worm bin.
 Give them a week and check them again, if they need more food, give them another cup of veggie scraps. They will start to multiply rapidly, at first you won't  really notice, but you'll be amazed.

Every time you feed them, make sure to cover them with moist shredded paper. They prefer dark, cool, damp areas for eating and burying themselves. They are kinda shy.

A worm bin can live outside on the cool north side of you house, or in the basement or garage. In my experience, as long as it's somewhere you will have easy access and they will be out of the direct sun, and enough food, they will be happy to make great soil for you, free of charge.

happy worm composting!