Take Two, and…ACTION!

OK, so I spoke too soon!
It might not have been the best idea to try and schedule my manure hauling just before a huge winter storm hit! I ended up getting caught up with other important tasks on Thursday and, well…haven’t really had much opportunity for good driving conditions ever since!

Anyway, there IS still more white stuff on the way, but I’m really hoping to at least get the materials over to my dad’s place in the next couple of days so we can start warming up the manure again. I’m hopeful that all this snow will at least provide a good thick layer of insulation for the bed in the meantime.

This is going to be a pretty busy week on the Christmas front, so not sure how much I’ll be posting. I should get at least one or two posts up though. Believe it or not, I actually posted something over at CompostGuy recently that you may want to check out. It is an update on my ‘Sandbox Self-fertilizing Garden’ – which employed one of my vermicomposting trenches. Speaking of which, I am hoping to provide a final wrap-up for the vermi-trench series.

Talk soon.

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Manure Madness


    • Patricia
    • December 26, 2008

    I’ll bet your cans are heavy to move. We put our manure into 15 gallon potting cans (black ones for plants) and can only fill them half way. I was wondering about something. I use only manures and I recently had put a layer of cardboard over the worms and put on a loose tarp before it rained. When I removed the tarp to let in the sun, I had 100’s of worms stuck to the tarp like they were trying to escape. Is that a possibility? I then layered with some straw and then a tarp. Will that warm them up so they will want to stay? I have been gradually adding some coffee grounds in the last couple days after that episode. Can you explain the proper way to graduate up the grounds and when is too much? tks, Patricia

    • Bentley
    • January 6, 2009

    Hi Patricia,
    Really sorry for the delay responding – not much time for computer stuff over the holidays I’m afraid!
    These cans were incredible heavy to move. My dad and I had to each take a handle, and even then it was very difficult. Next time I might fill them only half way.
    Regarding the worms coming up with the tarp, that could be due to a lack of oxygen. I’m not sure what air temperatures all this is taking place at, but I know if I put a tarp directly over an active vermicomposting heap in spring or summer it would likely overheat the pile and/or cause the worms stress due to lack of air flow. I can get away with it in the winter due to the much lower temps.
    If on the other hand it is really cool there, perhaps a bit of sun on the tarp warmed the upper zone, drawing them up from below.

    As for the coffee grounds, again it will help to know what temperatures we are talking about here. I found that they really caused overheating during the summer in my big outdoor bin, but if it is cold where you are this will be something you will want to encourage. I would more than likely mix them with a variety of other materials (including lots of C-rich stuff like cardboard etc), making a sort of ‘homemade manure’.

    • Patricia
    • January 6, 2009

    I completely understand you taking some time off from posting. Hope you had a great Holidays. Our weather here has been very confusing. During the days we are in the 60 or 70 range but at night we go down to 26. My guess is that the worms came up to enjoy the day sun. The last couple years I planted some fruitless Mulberry trees to the North of my enclosure so someday it will provide a nice shade in the summer and the leaves can be used for food in the winter. (If the goats don’t get there first.) I have a Starbucks right down the street and you can get all the grounds you want there but I didn’t want to overuse a good thing. Thanks for all your help. Patricia

    • Bentley
    • January 8, 2009

    Interesting temperature swings! Wow
    You are probably right about them coming up for the warmth.

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