Vermicompost harvest

I took another hiatus from gardening…my container garden ended up getting neglected, which isn’t such a bad thing considering the drought.

But I’ve still been composting kitchen scraps in my worm bin. The top tray of my multi-level worm bin is almost full, so I figured this was prime time to harvest the black gold from the starter tray. Here’s about 10 gallons worth of mature vermicompost (started January 9):

img_20161124_084918

There were still some straggler worms in this tray, but the majority of them have already migrated to the top tray. So all I had to do was dump this onto my garden bed and mix it into the soil.

Oh yeah, I have a raised garden bed now. Picture and post to come soon.

Advertisements

Home brewing

April has arrived! From what I recall last year, it was one (out of two) of the months in which the Tri-Cities experiences excellent weather: temperatures between the 70s-80s, calm, and sunny. I love this time of year not only because it reminds me of the weather in San Diego, but also because plant growth starts to take off under the increased warmth and sunshine.

To give the plants an increased boost, I fed them some home brewed compost tea. This stuff provides a natural high for plants, because it’s teeming with beneficial microorganisms and nutrients, especially when worm compost is used to make the tea. Numerous articles exist detailing the science and benefits behind compost tea, and here’s a good introduction by Fine Gardening to the subject. I started brewing and using compost tea in my gardens a couple years ago and have never been disappointed with the results. However, this stuff is so good that the weeds will also get a piece of the action.

I harvested the rest of the finished worm compost (~ 24 lbs total, 6 months in the making) and used around 2 lbs of it to make the tea.

P1030943

My home brew setup was modeled from this one with the following modifications:

  • used 2 lbs of vermicompost (instead of 1 gal regular compost)
  • used a 5 gal paint sifter as a “tea bag”, which eliminated the straining step
  • secured the ends of the hoses with a rubber band to an empty jar (i.e. a small glass pill bottle), and immersed the jar in water to weigh the ends of the hoses down to the bottom of the bucket
  • brewed the tea for 1 day instead of 3 (vermicompost tea only requires 1 day)

P1030946