Gardening

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Stanley
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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 17 Aug 2017, 05:57

You may remember that two years ago my Lilac bush was badly damaged by a gale and I had to cut it back to its stocking tops. It recovered well last year but not spectacularly, I wondered whether I had hit it too hard but I noticed last night that it was growing more strongly than ever, very bushy with lots of deep green foliage and thick new stems. This may not have been the best of summers for us but it has certainly favoured the trees and plants.

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Re: Gardening

Post by Tizer » 04 Oct 2017, 18:57

I'm not sure that gardening is the right place for this but here goes. When we arrived at this house two months ago we not only inherited the PV panels but also something interesting in the garden. We knew there was a garden waste composting bin, one of those large Dalek-shaped plastic bins that local councils sell. When I opened it there was a terrible smell and it was full almost to the top, with a lot of uncomposted waste on the surface. There were rotting, mouldy vegetables (including a whole onion) and a large, solid mass of something white that looked like it might reach out and grab me. I poked around with a stick and saw that there were some small red worms, the kind that you use in a wormery. I turned over the surface, removed some compost through the bottom trap door and pulled out `the white thing' which turned out to be a giant lump of mould - I put that in the black wheelie bin before it escaped. Finally I added some fresh kitchen veg waste and left it.

A couple of days later I lifted the bin lid and found masses of the worms - but they were stuck under the edge of the lid as if trying to escape. It's not surprising really considering there was still a foul smell. But then I consulted Mr Google and learnt more about wormeries. I now know that the previous owner had bought composting worms (different from earth worms) but put them in this standard `hot composting' bin, the type you put grass clippings and weeds in, instead of using a proper wormery bin designed for the purpose. I also realised that the worms need plenty of air, which they weren't getting in the big lidded bin. A quick job with an electric drill around the top part of the bin sides soon solved that problem. We now have happy worms, with no smell, and they're not trying to get out. Lift a bit of the surface material and the top compost is heaving with them. They live close to the surface, processing the veg food, and producing lovely black compost which collects below them. Nature at work, marvellous! :smile:

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Stanley
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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 05 Oct 2017, 03:11

We used to have those red worms naturally in the muck heap at Hey Farm and anglers used to come for them, they reckoned they were best for bait. I think they called them Blood Worms and did they also call them Brandlings? I once read a book by a farmer who had abandoned cultivation, he used worms to do it for him.
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Re: Gardening

Post by Tizer » 05 Oct 2017, 08:43

That's right, names like bloodworms and brandlings although there seems to be some confusion with names being wrongly attributed. There's lots about it on the Internet and it seems to be a thriving business (or a writhing business? :laugh5: ). You can even buy `worm treats' - pellets made of fine wood particles that break down quickly in the bin and help to balance out the richer diet of kitchen waste. Worms are like us, they need their dietary fibre. Perhaps I should give them some All Bran?

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Re: Gardening

Post by PanBiker » 05 Oct 2017, 09:03

Compost heap worms especially the ones with a high manure content are generally brandlings, the larger worms may have yellow bands. Blood worms are found in silt and aquatic environments and are much smaller as they are the larvae of the common midge. Earth worms from arable land and lob worms from the shoreline are the largest of our indigenous species. Out of my head from a lifetime of coarse fishing. :extrawink:
My dads compost heap had some fishing contest winners so were OK for me. My compost bin in the front garden has an army of small brandlings that do the grunt work in the bin which produces a fruity smelling compost as it gets a high content of fruit and vegetables along with the green and brown.
Ian

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Stanley
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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 06 Oct 2017, 03:19

Is there anything that OG is not a resource on?
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