This year, I’m determined to grow something in my garden, dangit! In Virginia, I’d open my back door sometime in the spring, toss some seeds in the general direction of my small patio garden, and 3 months later start bringing in a respectable harvest. Texas? Texas mocks me. We’re at the front end of a drought that may last another 7 years. (Curse you, La Nina!) And our house is built on “soil” better suited to throwing pots than planting tomatoes. And we have a backyard on the northwest side of the house with three big oak trees in the back.
Sure, part of this is that I haven’t done the research to fully understood what I needed to do for my particular growing environment. And I haven’t been diligent in tending my garden, watering, feeding, keeping evil bunnies away. (Good news on the bunny front! An increased numbers of predators have been sighted in our area. Eat the bunnies, coyotes!) In short, I’m having a “cursed is the ground” and “by the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread” experience after the Eden of Virginia. If I want a garden, I’m going to have to work for it.
Although gardening is definitely harder here than it was in Virginia, it can be done. I’ve seen it, just not in my backyard. Enter my renewed resolve to grow things. I have a plan: Step one, construct deeper beds to cope with the hotter, dryer weather and the clay soil. I’ve been using The Square Foot Gardening method, and the author says that 6″ is deep enough, but I don’t think it’s working. I’m bumping it up to 12″, we’ll see if that works. Step two: tear down the %*$ Red Tipped Photinia that was shading the garden no matter how often we pruned them. Stop planting them, developers! Those danged bushes are the tribbles of shrubbery. Step three: become a worm farmer.
Worms are amazing little creatures that make the best soil around. Their waste is basically gardening gold. Worms in a garden are an evidence of healthy soil and keep your soil healthy. It’s chicken or egg, but with worms.
At Christmas, we bought this Worm Factory, but I’ve procrastinated getting the actual worms. Until now. People, we’ve got worms! (Um, ew?) We ordered 1,000 red wrigglers and set up our worm factory. We’ve chopped up some lettuce and crushed some eggs. And now I’ve got a worm composting bin in my homeschool room.
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From this glorious setup, we’ll get worm castings and worm tea. which are just fancy ways of saying worm poop and pee. Another benefit of worm farming: the boys keep asking for little pets and I just got them 1000. Parenting win!
To keep me accountable, I plan to use the Seinfeld calendar I’m using to track my blogging. (FYI, this is the app I’m using for that. They are similar apps for Apple products.) So this is the game plan: Deep boxes, more sun, worm poop, and hard work. Wish me luck!
Via @DHMrs from The Common Room Blog: Free for Kindle Worm Composting: & Composting Ideas for use in Organic Gardening & Growing of Vegetables & Herbs. Not sure how long it will be free, so get it now!