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06.05.2015 admin
Vermicomposting is a quick, efficient way to convert kitchen scraps into a rich soil amendment using earthworms. The best types of worms for vermicomposting are red wigglers (Eisenia fetida) and redworms (Lumbricus rubellus). Worms and vermicomposting bins don’t smell, so you can keep worms indoors year round. Traditional composting uses microbes to do the heavy lifting, but there are other natural processes that can work even faster. Before you start composting with worms, its important to figure out how large of a composter is needed. The two most popular worms for composting are Red Wrigglers (Eisenia foetida) and Red Earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus). The thing I want to know is, how often is it optimal to stir or disrupt compost so as not to stress the worms and cocoons? Also, if i take out the finished compost, right now I just pick through and remove the worms I can see and replace them in the new compost — is this the best way to do it? In general, I would say that if it looks like your worms are disappearing, you’re probably feeding them to your snakes faster than they can reproduce.
If you’ve got a healthy enough population now near your heap, my inclination would be to leave things alone rather than mess with it. For ants, you can keep the worm bin in a garage or inside or someplace where ants can’t easily find the bin.
With fruit flies, you want to make sure any fruit scraps are buried way down in the bin under the bedding. If massive amounts of worms are trying to escape, you probably have some kind of problem in the bin and the worms aren’t happy there.
Also, for the ants(T-money), we put each of the legs of our worm bin into cups of water; kind of like a little moats. I’m a former worm composter and want to share a cautionary tale: do not (DO NOT) put pineapple refuse in your worm bin! Become a fan of Composting on Facebook to give and get even more information about composting success.
If you follow Your Gardening Friend on Facebook, then you know that about 7 weeks ago, I purchased my very first batch of red wiggler worms for vermicomposting. Not wake up the neighbors with loud crowing, mooing, and whatever you call the noises made by horses, goats, and sheep. Provide parents and homeschoolers with a plethora of teaching topics in the subjects of creation, biology, chemistry(?), mathematics, land stewardship, gardening, and sustainable living. With me being a novice at vermicomposting, this was an easy post I could offer some knowledge on. Herbicides may be inorganic, that is synthetically created in a lab, or organic, meaning the product is made from chemicals that naturally occur in nature.
They are generally used in conjunction with cultural and mechanical weed control practices. Because most organic herbicides are nonselective, they are of little use on the lawn or in the garden but great for total eradication of an area. The organic herbicide corn gluten meal (CGM) is a natural pre-emergence weed control used to eradicate broadleaf and grass weeds primarily in turf. The effectiveness of these organic herbicides varies depending upon the type of weed, the size and even the weather. While this isn’t an organic herbicide, it is a natural method for controlling weeds – boiling water. Be careful with the flame weeder for sure, but also with any other homemade organic herbicides.
Walnuts are my hands down favorite nuts with the added benefit of not only being high in protein but omega-3 fatty acids as well.
Walnuts may be either English or the black walnut varieties, with the latter having a thicker shell and more intense flavor. They can grow to 100 feet tall and 50 feet across, which makes the tree a bit unmanageable for some landscapes.
A pitted shell encases a fibrous, leather sheath that splits as the nuts begin to ripen in the fall and indicates that walnut tree harvesting is nigh.
The nuts will be rubbery in texture and are, thus, usually dried which also extends their shelf life.
Depending upon the variety and region they are grown in, walnut tree harvesting starts from early September to early November. Begin harvesting when you estimate that at least 85% of the nuts can be easily removed from the tree.
To begin harvesting walnuts, you will need a pole or a pole combined with a hook for larger trees. Store the cured walnuts in a cool, dry area or to extend their shelf life, in the refrigerator or freezer. Well managed soil with plenty of organic amendment is rich in micro- and macro-nutrients essential for good plant growth and production. Fertilizers contain the building blocks for foliar and fruit production, bloom formation and root and general plant health.
Indoor pot bound plants may be fertilized with a liquid plant food every month for most varieties.
Outdoor plants, such as vegetables, benefit from gentle formulas or slow release fertilizer throughout the season. Other fertilizer application times will be found on the plant food itself or consult your local extension office or master gardener program for specific plant needs. It is estimated that 3 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet is adequate for good growth on woody plants. In any fertilizer application, it is a good idea to water thoroughly to get the plant food to where it will do the most good. Researchers at Iowa State University discovered by accident that cornmeal acts as an herbicide while they were doing disease research.
It is important to note that cornmeal is only effective against seeds, not plants that are mature.
However, cornmeal will stop the seeds that these weeds shed in the summer so that the weeds will not increase. Many people use corn gluten on their lawns, but it can be safely and effectively used in gardens as well. Be sure to follow the application instructions on the package and apply before weeds start to grow. The best way how to make natural pesticide is to use natural products that you have laying around your house.


You may be doing more damage to your plants by killing the bugs than the bugs were doing to your plants. BEFORE USING ANY HOMEMADE MIX: It should be noted that anytime you use a home mix, you should always test it out on a small portion of the plant first to make sure that it will not harm the plant.
Vermicompost worms break down organic matter, such as kitchen scraps, into waste products called castings.
These two species make great worms for the compost bin because they prefer a compost environment to plain soil, and they are very easy to keep. It’s a great way to use up your kitchen scraps and the kids will enjoy helping out with the worm farm. Worms are popular compost helpers – these little workers eat more than half their body mass every day. You’ll need roughly one square foot of surface area for every pound of organic refuse that you generate per week.
These red earthworms are also known as manure worms, and they are different from Nightcrawlers (Lumbricus terrestris).
Finished compost will be ready in about two to three months, and redworms are also quick breeders. Grubs are voracious – they eat and breed even faster than earthworms, and they convert a higher percentage of compost into biomass. You can save money on pet food by raising grubs, and you’ll also save time by cutting down on trips to the store to pick up food. My soil is relatively short of worms, but my compost heap seems to have a healthy enough population.
If you have an ant problem, you could try spraying the outside of the bin with something non-toxic like Orange Guard.
Or alternatively, you can stop adding fruit scraps completely, and stick to vegetables and other materials that don’t attract fruit flies.
Earthworms in grass leave casting hills, or mounds, that are visually unappealing and may pose a trip hazard. You can also transplant a couple of shovels full of soil laden with worms to areas with few of the organisms. Red wigglers are the organisms of choice for worm composting, also known as vermicomposting, which is done in a bin. Organic herbicides are gaining in popularity due to both environmental and health concerns.
They are non-selective, meaning they have no ability to differentiate between weeds or basil. Commercial products like herbicidal soap contain fatty acids that kill weeds, vinegar or acetic acid, and essential oils (eugenol, clove oil, citrus oil). Okay, I can see an inherent danger here if you are a bit of a klutz, but for those of you with steady hands, you just simply wander around with a tea kettle and douse the weeds. This isn’t an herbicide, but it is an effective means of destroying weeds, especially in large areas with no other plants. Some of them call for borax or salt, which can irreparably damage the condition of your soil until virtually nothing will grow in it. Omega-3 fatty acids are touted as extremely beneficial for the heart but beyond that, they are delicious!
Once you are done harvesting the walnuts, you can eat them right away, but keep in mind they won’t be quite like those purchased ones at the grocers.
At this point, the kernels are light in color and the membrane between the halves has turned brown. They can be stored for up to a year in the fridge and for two or more years in the freezer; that is, of course, if you can stay out of them that long. This is when the plant is leafing out for deciduous species, flowering, or putting on new growth after leaving the dormant winter stage. If you are applying repeated applications to vegetables, for example, apply during the coolest part of the day. Avoid excessive fertilizer and preferably perform a soil test to see what nutrients your garden is deficit of. Using cornmeal in gardens is a great way to keep weed seeds from sprouting and will not damage existing plants, shrubs or trees. Apply every four weeks, or after heavy rains, during the growing season to maintain effectiveness. Natural home pesticides are not only easy to make, they are cheaper and safer than many products you can buy on store shelves.
Organic bug spray for plants will kill any bug in comes in contact with, whether a pest bug or a beneficial bug. Also, avoid using any bleach-based soaps or detergents on plants since this can be harmful to them.
If you choose the right vermicomposting worm types and feed them regularly (about one-half pound of food scraps per pound of worms per day), you’ll have a steady supply of vermicompost for your garden.
Worm bins often include a drip tray for collecting moisture from the compost; that compost tea is prized for watering houseplants. Nightcrawlers (which are also known as Common Earthworms, Dew Worms, and Lob Worms) are found much deeper in the soil – except when it rains. It takes about three weeks for fertilized eggs to hatch from their cocoon, and multiple worms will hatch from each cocoon.
The bedding will keep worms inside your bin without clogging the drainage holes in the bottom. A popular grub is the larvae of the Soldier Fly – a type of fly with a long larval lifespan that lives for only about 7 days after growing wings. So shredded newspaper or coir or shredded cardboard will disappear and turn into worm castings. In one of my bins, the worms go back and forth between the top tray where the food and bedding is, and the bottom moisture collection tray.
Looser soils also allow plant roots to penetrate deeper and access more resources, which in turn builds bigger, healthier plants.
The castings are excellent sources of nutrients for plants, but may pose a nuisance in yards.
That being said, organic herbicides for weeds can be expensive for the commercial organic farm or the home grower.
Organic herbicides also are most effective on post-emergent plants, those that are currently growing.
Five days after you apply the corn gluten meal, water it in well if you haven’t had any precipitation. The organic components then remove the waxy plant cuticle or damage cell walls causing the weed to lose too much water and die.


Mature perennial weeds will likely need multiple dousing and, even then, the leaves may die but the plant rapidly re-sprout from the undamaged roots. Good because the weeds will have a hard time reestablishing, bad if you wanted to plant something else there. On commercial organic farms, steam has been used, which is sort of a similar idea but pretty impractical for the home gardener. Mow or weed whack any tall weeds and then cover the area during the hottest 6 weeks of summer. I rather like the idea of torching the weeds, but my cautious self can just see trying to explain exactly why my garage burned down to my insurance agent. Walnut trees can be grown with a central leader or remove the leader which will encourage side shoot growth and restrict the tree’s size. Take your nut samples from as high up in the tree as possible since those that are at this height ripen latest.
Additionally, if you delay too long, the outer husks become soft and black and the resulting nut has a bitter, rancid flavor. The application of fertilizer may be from a soil drench, time release granular formula, stakes, or foliar spray. In some zones, early spring may still contain the surprise of a late freeze or even snow, which can harm the new growth forced by fertilizing. For plant spikes and granular formulas, the best time of day to fertilize is when you are watering so the nutrients can start to break down and get to the plant’s roots.
Over fertilizing can be as bad as no fertilizing and a soil test can point out what, if any, is needed for a bountiful harvest and vigorous plant growth. Be sure to wait to apply in flower and vegetable beds where seeds are sown at least until the seeds are grown up a bit. It is always best before mixing up any natural insect repellent recipes to think hard how much damage pests are really doing to your garden.
In addition, it is important that a home mixture never be applied to any plant on a hot or bright sunny day, as this will quickly lead to burning of the plant and its ultimate demise. Vermicompost is richer in essential plant nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium than traditional compost. They excrete soil with even more bacteria, and their waste has helpful aerobic bacteria instead of foul smelling anaerobes. Most earthworm activity takes place in the top inches of soil, so most of the waste they digest will likewise be found in the top inch or two of a worm compost bin. Some worm composters also include a sieve tray to collect worm castings (that’s the polite term for worm poop).
Nightcrawlers don’t do well in compost bins, because they are always trying to burrow out of the bottom.
The bedding should be made of organic material that the worms will nibble at, but its best to use something with a high carbon content, such as tree leaves, shredded paper, strips of cardboard, or coir (aka coconut fiber).
Worms in gardens also perform cultivation functions that increase soil porosity and allow oxygen in to roots.
One of the biggest benefits of garden worms is their ability to turn garbage into fertilizer. Consider that if there are 5,000 worms in an acre of soil, they can produce 50 tons of beneficial castings. Placid red wigglers will turn your kitchen scraps into compost quickly and also provide compost tea for plants that need extra babying.
This, unfortunately, means that your days of pulling weeds will probably never come to an end, but an organic herbicide may still be of assistance. If they lie there too long, they will either begin to mold or become over run with ants, or both. Application of fertilizer in the wrong season can cause bursts of tender new growth that can succumb to cold weather. Whichever method works best for you, the time of year for fertilizing is a crucial bit of information.
In these regions, it is best to wait until the date of your last frost to prevent harm to juvenile growth. Using cornmeal as weed killer is a great way to eradicate weeds without the threat of toxic chemicals. Worm castings make a great fertilizer and they can be used to restore biological activity to inert soil. Worm composting not only produces lots and lots of usable soil, it also produces an endless stream of bait for trout fishing!
Soldier flies convert about 5 percent of the waste into friable compost and 20 percent of the compost will turn into additional grubs.
Upon discovery, I removed all the grubs that I could find on the surface but I am sure some must have submerged.
Encourage earthworms in soil or even try worm composting to experience the life-giving effects of worm castings. After the 6 weeks have passed, the weeds, along with any of their seeds, have been roasted dead. The hulls of walnuts contain phenols, chemical compounds that cannot only stain hands but for some people cause skin irritation, so when handling walnuts, wear rubber gloves. The length of time until complete drying depends on temperature but, generally, will be dry in 3-4 days. For this reason, a fertilizer application schedule for each type of plant is an effective tool. Line the bottom of the compost bin with this bedding material, then sprinkle on water until the bedding is as wet as a wrung out sponge. They work extremely quickly – a bin full of grubs can process 5 lbs of compost daily. If you have ever wished there was an easier way, you’ve probably considered using an herbicide but worry about the potential effects on not only your edible plants, but on your pets, kids or yourself. At this point, the kernels should be brittle as well as the membrane separating the two halves. This bedding should be kept damp to help regulate the temperature of the compost bin and so that worms have a supply of moisture to stay alive.



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Comments

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