Rejuvenating an Old Garden Bed

Family have affectionately nick named our garden, ‘The Great Archeological Dig of New South Whales’. The reason is because you never know what old ‘treasures’ you will discover when you dig or clean up areas of the garden.

Here is one such Archeological find.

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Isn’t she a beauty?  Her head has yet to be located. Yes I am being facetious.

Today I decided to tackle another potential Archeological site. An area that was once a large garden bed on top of a brick retaining wall.  However like a Roman ruin, the retaining wall has deteriorated, leaving scattered rubble.  Weeds have also reclaimed the only remaining section of garden bed.

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We have plans to rebuild and extend the retainting wall as this area is prime north facing, edible food growing space. However for now, I have decided to rejuvenate the remaining section of the garden bed for Autumn edible seed planting.

Firstly the weeds were cleared.

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Then I removed and relocated the banana passion fruit vine.

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As the soil didn’t look healthy, I added compost, chicken manure and worm castings.  I also installed a worm tunnel to feed the added worms, whom will fertilise the garden.

For the worm tunnel, I used a plastic garden pot and added a large hole cut out to one side.

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Then I buried the pot into the garden bed, ready for some garden worms and kitchen waste for the worms to eat.  The garden paver is to stop rodents and birds getting in.

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Now I am ready to plant my Autumn seeds.

I will photograph the finished results tomorrow to share with you. Stay tuned…….

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Worm Farms, Bokashi Bins and Compost Bins all Working Together

Yes if space is not an issue, why not to have them all?  Sure if you live in an apartment or have limited space, you probably won’t want a compost bin (see my post on worm farms and bokashi bins working together).

Now we have more space, we can have compost bins. This however doesn’t mean it’s goodbye to the worm farm and bokashi bins.

How they work together?

*  Bones and meat can’t go into the worm farm (wormies won’t eat them) or not advisable for the compost bins (attracts the rodents) but into the bokashi bins is fine.

*  Food that wormies won’t eat when placed straight into their farm (protein, dairy, citrus and onions), will be consumed after it has been in a bokashi bin for a month or two.

*  A layer of worm castings (broken down organic waste) and even some worms, are great to add to compost bins.  The worms and micro organisms will help break down your organic waste.

* Worm tea (worm wee) and worm castings (worm’s ‘number twos’) are very helpful in giving plants liquid fertiliser (tea and castings need to be watered down).

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Bottom layer of our worm farm, is collected monthly (worm tea) – watered down will make a great liquid fertiliser.

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Middle layer of our worm farm is where the worms mainly live.  This is where I collect the castings and some worms, every couple of months for the compost bin.

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Also I add worm castings straight on top of the garden before adding mulch.  You will notice that some egg shells have not been eaten by the worms and there are a couple of chicken bones which originally came from the bokashi bins – it’s all good.

In short I love how my worm farm,  bokashi bins and compost bins all work together in recycling our organic waste into fertiliser for the garden.

Worm Farms, Bokashi Bins, Compost and Worm Tunnels

Worm farms and bokashi bins were my chosen method for recycling our household kitchen organic waste, when living in the city.  (Check out the numerous posts on this subject – look through my post categories.)

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Now that we have lots of space living in our semi rural home, I wanted to incorporate compost bins and worm tunnels to the system.

Compost Bins

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I purchased two compost bins second hand from Ebay (only $30 for both of them together).  After reading extensively on composting,  I decided to keep it simple and jump straight in.

The first bin was positioned where a future garden would be established (in the sun).  Then I started filling it daily with our kitchen waste (everything except bones or meat – nothing to attract the rodents).  After a couple of days I added carbon matter (dead organic matter – dead brown leaves, shredded newspaper and even shredded egg cartons).  From here I could add another layer of kitchen organic waste over the next couple of days.  Follow this patten till the bin is full.  Allow the full bin to sit for weeks / months while everything inside breaks down to rich compost.  Hence the reason for buying two compost bins – while one is ‘sitting’, the other one is in the process of being filled with kitchen waste and carbon matter.

Worm Tunnels

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A worm tunnel is just a worm farm dug into the ground.  Making one is so easy (limited only by your imagination).  I just used large old plastic garden pots.  Cut some holes on the sides and bottom,  then burried the pots directly into the garden bed.  Place a lid over them and hey presto you are done – you can now place your organic kitchen waste directly into the pots for your worms to eat and in return they will fertilise your garden.

Tips **

*  If your garden doesn’t already have worms you may need to add some to kick start the process.

* Don’t feed your worms citrus, protein, dairy or onions (they are a little fussy).

Bokashi Bin Working Together With Our Worm Farm

I have been working on this video for awhile now.  Any free moment I would do a little bit more to finish it (I have been really busy at work).

This is a very basic and simple illustraion on how we use our Bokashi bin, together with our worm farm to recycle our kicthen organic waste.

The only improvement I could suggest to our system is that we should have two Bokashi bins.  When one is full, we let it sit until the next one is full.  This will give the first bin a longer time to brake down the waste (ie giving the EM powder more time to work).  Then we would simply rotate the bins around.

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Worm Farm Flower Fertiliser

Last weekend my car was forcibly broken into. L  The back rear passenger window was smashed to gain entry.

 

Luckily however I was insured so after a call to my insurer on Monday, I was surprised with the speed the car window was fixed.  Tuesday morning the ‘window man’ came around to the house.  It was all very convenient and easy.

 

One of the first things the ‘window man’ said to me on arrival was “you must be a good gardener” as he eyed off my flowering orchards.  To which I proudly responded “worm fertiliser”.

 

I have said it before and I will say it again, worm fertiliser is like liquid gold for plants.  They love it!!  It makes any ordinary gardener like me look brilliant!

 

Time for show and tell…………. thought you might like to enjoy my flowering orchards too.

 

 


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Winter cold & flu’s produces tissue waste

It is 4am in Sydney and I can’t sleep because my head is throbbing and breathing is difficult due to having tissues stuck up my nose to stop the continual mucus stream (sorry for the imagery).

 

This is a killer cold (well I doubt it will actually kill me but you get the idea).  I have become a personal tissue waste factory.  Dead tissues lay beside my bedside table & in my winter robe pockets.

 

So what to do when you can’t sleep? 

 

Whinge and tell the world your wows and or get up and inspire others with a quick worm farm tip.

 

Yes I know this will be a bit gross but it is worth sharing.  All our family used tissues for the last year have been recycled (yeah I know…….I warned you this would be a little gross).

 

We have a small bench bin in our bathroom / laundry, were we place all used tissues.  Once full I empty the bin in our worm farm.

 

Believe it or not our little worms love them.

 

Tissues are now one less thing we are sending to landfill.

 

Bon Appetit little wormies!

 

 

 

 


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Reviewing Our Worm Farm

I have been reviewing my post about ‘recycling household waste using a worm farm’.   

 

After reviewing the video attached to this post, I noticed there were a couple of things I said that I needed to research. I mentioned the bad smell of the worm farm & the small flies.  What can be done??????????????????

 

Again it is a local council website that comes to my rescue.  Wollongong City Council 

 

Here is what the Wollongong Council website suggested:

 

There are lots of small flies.  Are these a problem?

These are vinegar flies. They are not a problem, but an indication that you are over-feeding your worm system. Reducing the feeding rate should help.

 

My worm bin smells.  What should I do?

This is a sign of anaerobic conditions. Stop feeding and stir the material with a small fork and add lime.  (* see below)

 

It looks as if we are creating too much organic waste for our little worm farm and hence over feeding our worms.  What can I do about this??????  Well Wollongong council website suggested this:

 

How can you help the worms eat faster? 

Shred or mash the food scraps. 

Don’t add too much acidic food such as citrus fruits and garlic; add lime with these. 

Keep the worm system at around 24 degrees. (Celsius)

 

The problem of over feeding our worms (because we have too much organic waste for them to eat) is not the only limitation I have found with having a worm farm.  Worms are a bit fussy on what they will and will not eat.  They are not fond of onions, diary, and citrus and will not eat protein at all.  This means our household is still sending a lot of organic waste to the tip (landfill).

 

I am looking into purchasing a Bokashi bucket for recycling the organic waste that the worms will not eat. 

 

I have a couple of concerns about these Bokashi buckets that I am researching.  I will keep you posted.  Please fill free to leave any suggestions, comments or opinions on Bokashi buckets.

 

* Anaerobic conditions means without air.  See my post on ‘Are worm farms any better than landfill’, which explains anaerobic conditions a little more.

 

 

 


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