July 28, 2013

Let Us Admire Lettuce

Yes, let us!

The two veggies that almost have me nominated as Organic Gardener of the Year are my cucumbers and lettuce.  After the last vermicompost application, the cukes are growing all the way up the hill, and the lettuce just keeps going and going and going...
organic cucumbers
 With any luck, these will grow right up to the door, and I can just pick them while standing on the porch!
organic cucumbers
Since I've focused quite a bit on cucumbers here and here, I thought I'd give lettuce some props as well.

Although lettuce-flavored items are in short supply (ok, I couldn't find any), there are some interesting facts about lettuce you might not know:

-There are 5 types of lettuce: romaine (or cos), butterhead, leaf, stem, and crisphead. Leaf is the most popular.

-Lettuce grows better in cooler summer weather than in the hot humid type.

-Lettuce has shallow roots and does not respond well to overwatering.

-One cup of leaf lettuce has only 9 calories!

WORM UPDATE! The worms have been eating their way through the summer, munching frequently on watermelon rinds, banana peels, and strawberry tops- typical fruit salad fare.

They particularly enjoyed the scraps from my recent creative creation, minus the quills in this pic:
Keep in mind I added the skewers once the porcupine made it to his final destination to complete the spiky look!

More wormy updates from in the bin coming up next...

July 18, 2013

Guest Post: New Ideas for the Humble Backyard Shed

When it rains, it pours...and it's been pouring Guest Bloggers at Lilliworm!

This month, meet Ivy! Ivy Delfin is a copywriter working with SteelChief, the leader in design and manufacture of garden sheds, workshops, garages, pool sheds, aviaries, fowl houses, cubbies, dog kennels, pet runs, small sheds, timber sheds, steel frame sheds and pump houses for over 20 years. When Ivy's not writing content she enjoys swimming, shopping and taking her dogs for a walk.

Ivy has some creative suggestions for that small box shaped building in your yard...

New Ideas for the Humble Backyard Shed
steelchief garden shed
The backyard shed often seems to be looked over in favor of large garages or sometimes abandoned for the messy corner of the porch which has become the home of your garden tools. This poor little shed has so much more to offer if only you gave it a chance. Maybe you no longer need to store your tools there or you got rid of all your camping gear, your shed still has so much to give if you only gave it a chance.

With a little TLC, a new paint job and some organizing, your backyard shed could become a whole new room to add to your home, even adding value and style to your backyard which can be worthwhile if you are looking to sell. If you don’t have a shed yet, I’m sure these suggestions will get you out to Steelchief to pick out your new shed.

Backyard Home Office
A converted potting shed, giving a complete makeover with new paint, sturdy interior walls and flooring can make a beautiful and functional home office. If you work from home, having your office placed outside of your house could increase your productivity immensely, it’s amazing what a new exciting environment can do.

Outdoor Bath
If you are desperate for a bathtub but your bathroom just won’t allow for it, turn your backyard shed into a bathhouse. Again, painting and putting a new tiled floor down, you could have a beautiful outdoor bath in no time. You could train ivy to grow around it to give you some privacy or install some sheer curtains over the windows.

Kitchen Garden
Use your shed by bringing it’s use back to it’s roots. Start a beautiful kitchen garden by starting seedlings in a sheltered environment, arrange flowers, raise tomatoes, dry out peppers and shallots and store your garden tools. It’s amazing what you can do with your shed if it is just given the time and attention!


Install a shed with lots of window space, or renovate your current shed by adding windows. With lots of light coming in, you can turn your shed into the perfect greenhouse, raise seedlings and grow summer flowers in the winter.

If you have kids and you’re running out of room in the house, a backyard shed can become the perfect play area. With some imagination, your shed could be your kids new place to hang out, have friends over and play. The best part is, since you have taken the effort to fix it up, when the kids grow up, you can convert it to whatever other purpose you choose.

Artist Studio
Need I say more? The backyard shed is the perfect place for a rustic artist studio. Outdoors surrounded by trees, there is nothing more inspiring.

Summer Room
The summer months can be really harsh when your home doesn’t have the best cooling system. You want to be outside because the weather is so beautiful, but it’s just so darn hot! Solution: turn your shed into an outdoor shady shelter. Placing your shed under a nice big tree, surrounded by shrubbery will keep your new space nice and cool while you entertain guests with an outdoor BBQ.

Don’t give up on that shed, there is still hope yet!