October 14, 2012

Shhhhh...The Garden is Now Sleeping

The first frost came and went, and my garden looked all used up. Time to put it to bed!

dead organic gardenNotice that orange thing in the corner? Yep, that was my mystery plant-turned-pumpkin! At first, I thought it was a watermelon, but after a few weeks, it started turning orange.
organic pumpkin
Back to the bedtime story!

After reading and asking, I came to the conclusion I would put the garden to sleep pretty much how I do everything else: MY WAY.

My plan was to harvest the funky veggie remains for the worms and chop up the plants to compost right there on the spot.  I got some husbandly help, and here's how it went down:
organic garden composting
First, we picked off all the veggies and he used hedge clippers to chop up all the remaining plants.  Then, he used the shovel to get really serious on the harder stems.
organic garden composting
He also used the shovel to dig down 4-6 inches, turning over the dirt and mixing in the clip chopped garden remains.  

I left the berry plants in the lower half to die out, and he used the same clip/chop/turn method on the pepper plants. Then I doused it with the water left in my rain barrel.

Organic garden season #1 wrapped up for Lilliworm!
organic garden composting
So what became of the funky leftover veggie scraps?

worm wigwam feedingAnd how did the worms feel about all of this?
worm wigwam
We'll see how my sleeping garden method plays out this winter and spring- and of course, during organic growing season #2.

Related Posts & Links:
Stubborn Peppers and Mystery Plants
Lessons from a First Year Organic Gardener
Planting and Fencing and Raining...Oh My!

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Anonymous said...

Hi, I notice you are putting whole fruits in your worm farm. As you will know, organic material is broken down by bacteria, and to speed up the process you could increase the surface area available to the bacteria by chopping/slicing the foods before they are put in. I started doing this with my own worm farm recently and I seem to have had slightly quicker results with small chopped parts or thin slices. Even chopped finely it takes a while for the food to become available to the worms. Cheers, Rob.

Jill.BF said...

Yes- I went through a period of time where I used a food processor to combine all my scraps (http://lilliworm.blogspot.com/2008/02/i-come-bearing-gifts.html), but the motors of the processors got ruined pretty quickly and the mush didn't make for very good photos- so I returned to using whole scraps.
But you are right- they did eat it much more quickly!