Coming Out of Hibernation

After hibernating for about two months during most of November, December and January, I’ve finally ventured back out into my garden due to this wonderful mock spring we’ve been having the last couple weeks.  The warmth of the sun and the 50 degree temperatures have even tempted my Rip Van Winkle daffodils into blooming.  A yellow crocus budded out last week, and of course the primroses are in full bloom. I know this won’t continue and we’ll likely have 3 more months of a lot of rain, and some very cold days ahead, but for now it’s heaven and I’ve been taking full advantage of it.

I’ve been transplanting rhodies, roses, irises, and herbs. I’ve thrown out raspberries, pulled up the bean and tomato trellises, mowed the 20 bags of leaves I’d gathered from my neighbors, covered the flower and veggie beds, mixed up the compost piles, and planted an Asian pear tree.  Of course, I’ve had some help from my friend, Ron, and now that my son is older I can get a lot of good cheap labor out of him and his friends, so thank goodness for these guys or I never would have got caught up!

I was overjoyed to see how much progress my big compost pile had made these last four months.  I uncovered it to stir it up and aeriate it, and I couldn’t believe the worms!  I have covered it back up again with black plastic and will let it stew for another couple months. Later it should be perfect for adding to my veggie and fruit beds. I’ll also be taking a bucket full of compost loaded with worms to add it to my new compost pile that I will start in another area of my garden. 

More than anything, it’s the kitchen scraps that really get a compost pile going. The more family members you can get to contribute their scraps, the better. Nothing else I’ve ever put into a compost pile has attracted worms better than kitchen scraps mixed with leaves, grass, and a little dirt.  The black plastic over the pile is supposed to absorb the sun’s rays and helps to heat it up better.  Stir it up with a pitch fork every month or so to aeriate and you will be guaranteed wonderful worms after a few months, which as we know means wonderful worm poop and microbes that your plants will love!  My next post goes into some more detail about my composting methods. 

If you want to know more about worms and the essential role they play in creating nutrients in your soil, check out this great website on vermicomposting:

http://journeytoforever.org/compost_worm.html

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