June 29, 2014

Tall Tales of Organic Gardening

A new experiment is underway at Lillworm!

I already know that applying vermicompost to the soil before planting and a few more times throughout the growing season is a surefire way to get larger leaves, more fruits, and taller plants.

#1 Organic Gardening Assistant (husband) heard through the tomato vine that putting grass clippings at the base of tomato plants made them grow larger and bear more fruit- similar to vermicompost. Logic tells me this could be true, but there's no better test than a test!

I decided to let him cover the base of three of my tomato plants to see if we could prove or disprove the idea. 

You can still see the vermicompost at the base of the tomatoes in this before pic:
organic tomatoes
After he mowed the lawn, he piled up some clippings next to the garden:
Next, he piled the grass around the base of three plants:
grass clippings as fertilizer

grass clippings as fertilizer
Now it's just a matter of time before we have our answer....in the meantime, what other organic gardening tall tales have you ever heard or tested?

Here are some organic tall tales I'd love to put to the test:

-BEST TIME OF DAY/PLACE TO WATER- Is it in the morning without hitting the leaves? Or in the evening covering the whole plant? Does it depend on the plant?

-A BOWL OF BEER WILL ATTRACT SLUGS AND SNAILS- What kind of beer? Wouldn't it attract other things, too? If it's effective, how often do you refresh the beer?

-SINGING TO PLANTS MAKES THEM GROW BETTER- Do they prefer certain types of music or pitch of voices? Should it be continuous or just like a few a minutes a day?

-CUCUMBERS NEAR CORN, BEANS NEAR POTATOES, CARROTS NEAR ONIONS- Is there anything to companion planting? Is there really a benefit to planting vegetables and herbs in close proximity to improve their growth?

I'll share the results of the grass clipping tomato experiment throughout the summer, and here's how the rest of the garden is faring so far....

Upper bed- cucumbers in the back, tomatoes along the left, onions along the right, spinach along the front (SAD! no idea what's going on!) and parsley & cilantro in the middle:

organic garden
 Lower bed, strawberries on the left and middle, and mixed peppers on the right:
organic garden
 Close up on the cilantro:
organic cilantro
 Berry berry close up:
organic strawberries
organic peppers
Mid-season vermicompost application coming up soon!

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