April 13, 2014

Organic Garden 2014 Is About To Begin!

Time to start anew- for Organic Garden 2014 (OG2014)! 

This year, I'll be growing:
Strawberries, continued from OG2012 & OG2013
Onions, the starters were a birthday gift from my Mom
Cucumbers,got a bit out of control last year
Spinach, my favorite smoothie add-in
Tomatoes, to make salsa
Colorful peppers, I was shocked to learn a few years ago actually start out green
Raspberries, started last year with zilch harvest, and the bush still looks a little meager- seems to need a double-dose of worm poop!
Blackberries, grow completely out of control and have to be cut back several times a season so they don't overtake the whole garden

I took all my materials- peat pots, seeds, plastic tray, and vermicompost/potting soil tub, out onto the deck.
organic garden seed starting
Using the time tested peat pots (I tried a more recycle-y method last year with paper towel rolls that didn't prove sturdy enough for my seed-starting ways), I filled each with a mixture of two parts potting soil, one part outside dirt from OG2013, and one part...drumroll, please...vermicompost, or WORM POOP!

organic seed starting

After I doused them with water, I let them sit in the direct sunlight outside for the afternoon with just one, small nebby visitor: 
organic seed starting

organic seed starting
Finally, I covered the pots with some plastic wrap to generate a mini-greenhouse effect and placed them in front of our glass doors for optimal sunlight. 
organic seed starting
I'll be spritzing them with water every morning, and I'll post progress pics as they poke their tiny buds out!

Of course, the worm poop is the secret ingredient that gave me comparable results like in this photo- the plants on the left were raised with vermicompost, the ones on the right were not:
organic pepper plants

Not only did those plants grow larger and more sturdy, they had double the amount of flowers/fruit. They also seemed to repel pests more effectively and had less bug-holes in the leaves.

Lesson learned!  With an exceptionally small garden, I'm focused on quality, not so much quantity.  I now start & cultivate with vermicompost all growing season so each plant can live to it's fullest. It's as simple as putting a handful at the base of each plant once or twice a month!


Don't forget- if you would like to give vermicomposting a try but just want a small amount of worms to get started,  you can order 1/2 of Lilliworm Red Worms shipped right to your door! Visit the "BUY 1/2 LB OF LILLIWORMS!" link on the right hand side of this page.

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