Confused about mulch

AMKuska

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
1,425
Reaction score
2,523
Points
267
Location
Washington
:oops: Bears are scary!

Have you thought of doing an indoor wormery or something? I realize that won't solve the compost pile issue, but worm castings are black gold. I was actually thinking of doing one myself just so I can get the worm castings.
 

CDitzel

Chillin' In The Garden
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction score
52
Points
40
I'm a big mulcher myself, and I've always wondered about that 'compost as mulch' suggestion too. If I were to do that, it would grow it's own weeds, which is what I want to avoid and a big reason why I mulch in the first place. To me, compost 'mulch' is more like top or side dressing, like I do with manure. The compost nutrients would filter down too, in that sense.

I really like straw as it's cheap, it goes a long way, and when it breaks down it adds a really wonderful quality to the soil. I've added many straw bales to my garden over the last ten years or so. Having said that though, adding straw mulch to crops that really like warmth, say corn and beans, it does slow them down I find. Peas love it, lettuce too (gotta watch the slugs though) and I always mulch my rhubarb plants. I stopped with my tomatoes and peppers because they just didn't seem to do as well. There is a really fine bagged straw that is sold in farm supply stores, it's really soft to the touch, and it is dreamy to mulch with. And makes a bit more of a tight fit together, so no weeds can weasel their way through. Bit more pricey though, but very nice looking.

What can I say, I love mulching!
I am wondering if I can use the pine shavings I use as bedding for my baby Chicks and ducklings when I clean out their crates. I have been mixing it with a large pile of top soil left from when they built our pole barn.
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
9,419
Reaction score
8,986
Points
327
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
:oops: Bears are scary!

Have you thought of doing an indoor wormery or something? I realize that won't solve the compost pile issue, but worm castings are black gold. I was actually thinking of doing one myself just so I can get the worm castings.

worms are pretty easy even at a small scale. you don't need fancy equipment. and if you don't overdo it on the liquid/wet content you can even avoid having to deal with worm drippings aka worm tea. my setup is 5 gallon buckets with curtain mesh fabric on top which is held on by the rubber rings that come in many of the bucket lids. you can also use old t-shirts as long as they don't have holes in them. all you want to do is to keep the worms in and any bugs from getting in or out. i do like the curtain mesh fabric because you can see through it enough to notice if you have a bug problem before you open up a bucket to check on it. :)

more details on what i do are at:

 
Last edited:

AMKuska

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
1,425
Reaction score
2,523
Points
267
Location
Washington
worms are pretty easy even at a small scale. you don't need fancy equipment. and if you don't overdo it on the liquid/wet content you can even avoid having to deal with worm drippings aka worm tea. my setup is 5 gallon buckets with curtain mesh fabric on top which is held on by the rubber rings that come in many of the bucket lids. you can also use old t-shirts as long as they don't have holes in them. all you want to do is to keep the worms in and any bugs from getting in or out. i do like the curtain mesh fabric because you can see through it enough to notice if you have a bug problem before you open up a bucket to check on it. :)

more details on what i do are at:


Thank you, I've been dreaming about setting up a wormery! I'd love to do it.
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
9,419
Reaction score
8,986
Points
327
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
I am wondering if I can use the pine shavings I use as bedding for my baby Chicks and ducklings when I clean out their crates. I have been mixing it with a large pile of top soil left from when they built our pole barn.

IMO it is always a question of "Used for what?"

how long does it stay mixed in that pile before being moved someplace else? does it ever actually heat up like a compost pile?

pretty much once something has been properly cooked in a compost pile it should be ok to mix it with about any garden soil where you want to add more organic material to the soil (to improve drainage, moisture holding capacity, increase soil diversity, give some longer term nutrients back to the soil, etc.).
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
9,419
Reaction score
8,986
Points
327
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
Thank you, I've been dreaming about setting up a wormery! I'd love to do it.

i love it, i wish i had more room here to do more because it is such a useful thing to have when spring planting comes around. we don't have basement storage so if i want to do anything through the colder season i have to keep it indoors and that meant that Mom had to be ok with it. 18 buckets were too many, i'm down to 10 now. in this small room they are kinda in the way at times but considering what i get from them in return that's a minor inconvenience. :) in the middle of winter when there's no gardening going on outside it's giving me chances to see the dirt once in a while and to learn more about how these simple creatures can keep doing so much.

that and considering how much money is spent on food to have some way to recycle food scraps is to me very important instead of having it thrown in the trash and landfilled. same for all the paper scraps i can run through the worm bins. it is now being kinda amusing to me to get some of my very old useless college papers shredded and being used as worm fodder so that in the end after all these years i'm finally getting something more useful out of them again. :)
 

Dirtmechanic

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
2,168
Points
217
Location
Birmingham AL (Zone 8a)
I started a new pile yesterday. I just wet it as I layer it up and I will flip it in 6-8 weeks. The warm summer helps a lot.
PXL_20210419_180210208_resize_42.jpg
 

heirloomgal

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
308
Reaction score
990
Points
115
Location
Ontario, Canada
:oops: Bears are scary!

Have you thought of doing an indoor wormery or something? I realize that won't solve the compost pile issue, but worm castings are black gold. I was actually thinking of doing one myself just so I can get the worm castings.
I really like using worm castings fertilizer too, some kind of magic in that. But I'm squeamish about those worm buckets. I don't know why as my garden is just loaded with worms and those just seem like part of the landscape. I also just recently, accidentally, killed all of our fishtank fish, and felt TERRIBLE about that because we've had them for years. I've abandoned the whole tank for good because I feel so bad! So, I hesitate to add worms to my list of fatalities... :hide
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top