Behind the Fence

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Worm Relocation

My pet worms received new homes over the weekend. They started out in the gray bin about 7 years ago. A few years later a good friend decided she no longer wanted to do vermicomposting and gave her bin to me. By that time my worm population had expanded enough to have two bins.
Both containers have served me well, but the original bin recently became cracked and started leaking all that wonderful compost tea (and it kind of made a mess) on the basement floor.

The larger bin is still in pretty good shape, however worm poop is heavy and I can’t move it outside to harvest. Instead I scoop the poop into a bucket and carry it out. A much easier way is to take the bin out, dump it on black plastic, form the poop into a mound; the worms will head toward the bottom away from the light. As they move down, I scoop off the top until there is just a mass of worms left.
So I asked Handy Randy to make me two new bins, one to replace the cracked one and the other to replace the large one.
On the left is the large bin, replaced by the one on the right.

It is pretty easy; he just put three air holes on each side of a plastic container and covered them with screen which he glued in place with E-6000.

Here is a link to an earlier post about vermicomposting. If you are interested in starting your own worm bin, I have worms to share. This is one of the easiest and most valuable garden projects I have experienced.

HR also put together my new compost tumbler replacing a metal one that rusted after 10 years.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Herb Garden

This past winter took its toll on the herb garden. My tender perennials didn’t make it through the extreme low temperatures. Although it was covered, I lost a 7-year old rosemary tree in addition to 3 of my lavender plants.

I thought the tarragon was gone, but found a sprig still living.


The sage and oregano survived but were stunned. Fortunately for the bees, the creeping thyme and bee balm in the potager were not affected by the harsh winter. Nor did it stun the weeds!

A redo was in order.

After pulling all the weeds (and applying a little weed killer to the stubborn Bermuda grass,) I put compost with worm castings around the existing plants.

I placed a pretty little bird bath where the rosemary stood.
Replaced the faded “Herb Garden” sign; to see how I made this sign, click here,
and planted basil in a pot.

Thursday I hope to find rosemary and lavender at the Purchase Area Master Gardeners Association Herb Appeal plant sale.

Herb Appeal is an annual luncheon focused on herbs. Under the direction of Laura Duff, of A Pampered Palate, Master Gardeners prepared a menu using herbs in every course. Keynote speaker, Marcy Snodgrass of 3 HeartsYoga and Juice Bar will speak on “Healthy Living with Herbs.” I will conclude the program by offering tips on growing herbs. I will share my tips next week on this blog.