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WORMS! Wonderous, Wonderful Worms!

February 17th, 2007 at 08:21 pm

First, let me state that I am not much of a gardener, but I got a bug up my patooty a few months ago when I read the book, "Lasagna Gardening". Basically, you build layers of compostable material on top of either newspaper or cardboard that you've layed down to block out the weeds.

My neighbors weren't all too happy about me starting this project in my side yard...especially when I went and came back from a mushroom company with a full truck bed of "fresh mushroom compost", also known as horse poop! Smile Now, granted, it didn't smell quite like flowers in Spring, but it was something that would compost well and add a lot of the nutrients my homemade soil would need. I also understand that having my side yard only 15 feet from their front door wasn't going to make them my steadfast friends. Smile (You can tell my neighbors LUV me, right...hehehehe). The gal next door didn't understand why I just didn't rototill the whole thing and be done with it. She just didn't get the idea of lasagna gardening (blocking weeds) and what I was trying to achieve (creating new, nutrient rich soil).

Anyway, today I went out to the side yard to yank up all of the straw plants that had decided to pop up from one of the "brown" layers of the lasagna. Low and behold, under the roots, squirming around, were TONS of BEAUTIFUL worms! Now, if you garden at all, you know worms are a sign of good soil. Good soil equals a strong base to feed your new plants. I was THRILLED. It's exactly what I wanted to have happen.

I used to have lots of worms, until, while I was away from home for a couple of months, a friend of mine decided to do me a favor. She scraped off all the topsoil and redwood compost in my entire front and side yards so she could lay sod for me. Frown Well, she never layed the sod and I came home to a soupy, wet, muddy mess because of the stormy, heavily rainy weather we had. I was in shock, literally shocked at what she had done. To add insult to injury, she hauled off all of the topsoil, along with my lovely worms, to the DUMP!!!! The final kicker was when she presented me with a bill for the dumping AND for the BACKHOE they (her and her husband) rented to scrape off all the topsoil!!!!

You better believe I've never had her watch my house since then! Also, I have never told her what I thought of her "landscaping" and never will. Just some things are better left unsaid, especially if you want to keep the friendship. *heavy sigh* I'll tell you about her killing off my huge plum tree someday. Talk about a black thumb! Smile

I'm looking forward to planting in my new soil soon. It's not a huge space, maybe 20'x 10'. Half of the space gets sun about 2/3 of the day, the other half gets very little because of the layout of the house. Not sure what I'll put there , but it will have to be two different types of plants..shade loving and those that can handle partial sun. I'm pretty sure that I just want to go with flowers. There's an area in my backyard that receives full sun, where I'd like to get a vegetable garden going...eventually. Smile

10 Responses to “WORMS! Wonderous, Wonderful Worms!”

  1. tinapbeana Says:

    woohoo, congrats on the worms!!! and BTW, my mom SWEARS by mushroom compost. it reaks (LORDY does it reak!), but it definitely gets the job done.

  2. Cheetahwoman7 Says:

    Hehehehe, yeppers Tina, that's why my neighbors LUV me...all the reaking! Smile With the direction the wind blows here, it hits my compost first and heads straight towards there door. If I could change the direction of the wind I would, but....in any case, I have worms!

  3. barbara L Says:

    I was so happy when I was digging a little this year and found worms in my front flower garden. When I moved in last year the clay was so hard that I really had to dig to put the flowers in. On top of that I added compost and then bark. I loved that lasagna gardening book!

  4. Cheetahwoman7 Says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Did you know that the woman who wrote the book used to do all of her gardening in the nude? Shoot, my neighbors think they have something to complain about now, just think if I was to do it all au-natural. Smile

  5. boomeyers Says:

    We are still trying to decide where to plant our garden. The spot I want to use, DH says has too much zoysia (sp?) grass. It is the perfect spot though! My sister told me to put down rabbit poop? I'm sure that will drive the dogs wild!

  6. contrary1 Says:

    I'm counting worms too! I haven't done the lasagna gardening to the letter, but have continued to add layers to my garden beds. I'm blessed with a couple acres of horse poo, plus a chicken coop full of straw & poo there too........so as often as I have a dry day, I'm "layering".

    Simply can not wait for home grown veggies again.

  7. Cheetahwoman7 Says:

    Contrary, I wanted to ask you a few questions about gardening, if I may. I know you run a frugal gardening site and was wondering if you happen to have a list of plants (i.e. veggies and flowers) that do well in shade and others that do well in partial sun? Where I built up my lasagna bed, it has two distinct areas: the shady, sun for 1/4 of the day side and the sunny, sun for 2/3 the day side.

    My lasagna bed has horse poo, chicken poo (which I'd like to get more of), straw, dryed leaves, grass clippings, and Starbuck's coffee grounds! I always try to end with the Starbuck's so the horse and chicken poo aroma doesn't totally gag out my neighbors. I'm not going to build up the layers anymore this season as I plan to start planting soon. I will store stuff for the end of the season and rebuild the bed again so it can "over winter" as well as it did this year.

  8. contrary1 Says:

    Cheetahwoman7: What zone are you in, first of all? Or, country??

    Also, most of us are not very good at guessing the amount of sun on a garden space.......... I know I thought my new area had partial shade, but it isn't enough to even count when I got down to actually looking at the garden space at different times during the day.

    For cooler crops I always go to the leaf lettuces, spinach and peas for starters. Other things that have been getting too hot and therefore "bolting" in my garden are broccoli and brussel sprouts. They too will go into my cooler area.

    I actually put my spinach under the eaves of my house, protecting it even more, so it would barely get an hour or so of morning sun.....otherwise, I couldn't get any of it to mature before it bolted.

    After I find out where you're gardening at.........we can come up with more things for you to try out.

    I'm big on putting flowers with my veggies, as I was always taught they did better together than apart.....and it seems so to me as I continue experimenting. I also like the look here...more of a riot of plants, no neat little rows for me.

  9. LuckyRobin Says:

    Good plants for shade are hostas, stone crops, ferns, bleeding hearts and astilbe. I've also had luck with caladium and coleus in partial shade even though they are supposed to be sun lovers. I'm zone 7.

  10. Cheetahwoman7 Says:

    Contrary,

    I live in zone 9, the Monterey Bay Area of California. Should I do a "survey" of the amount of direct sunlight that garden gets each day? Maybe starting when the sun comes up and going out every hour to see where the direct sun is touching? If I can get out of the training I have tomorrow (yes, on a Federal holiday they're making teachers go to a training), I'll check out the sunshine factor. Smile
    Robin, thank you for the list. I've always loved bleeding hearts. I used to have one plant that was two-tone (I'm not sure if they're all that way), beautiful red and white. Don't really know what happened to it. Time to purchase a few for the garden. Smile

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