Susan W
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Enriched dirt

To set stage, have an area in the back corner, mostly shaded, to dump kitchen scraps, tp tolls etc. I keep that turned, and try to bury fresh stuff somewhat. When I got more involved with the herb business, have pile of 'dirt' next to it with dumped pots. Some of the dirt gets thrown on the scraps which seems to keep the worms happier, and varmits down.
I looked at it the other day and said Silly! I am working it into one big pile, perhaps 6 x 10, combining dirt, worms, scraps, etc. I won't be making compost in the strict sense of a finished black gold, but have enriched dirt.

In a short few weeks, some of this will be used to replenish the raised beds and in new beds. (what was I thinking!) I figure it will be rich, and for herbs especially not desired. So, use some of this and some of the $1/bag top soil. Of course when I scoop it out of the big pile will throw some of the worms and the big chunks of veggies back in.

I still have some basil pots to dump in the pile, and a few others. I have my helper in the afternoon as I often pick up the g-son, (4 in April) about 3. After a snack we do the compost and check the worms. Making work fun!!
Have fun!
Susan

Susan W
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Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Enriched dirt -compost tumbler

Update on my enriched dirt pile. It is growing, and I am taking away for freshening pots. The worms are happy, and making more worms. There are also night crawlers as big as snakes. This last week I put a mess of dirt/plants etc from the parsley pots. (last years parsley).
Now, the dilemma. If it is a real compost pile, I have heat, and that kills worms. Then last night when checking on slug activity in a couple of pots, flash light in hand, saw the neighborhood raccoon lumbering off. Oh My! A couple of weeks ago saw a pair of them lumbering down my drive towards the yard behind me. One regular, one albino. (I'm in a mixed neighborhood). Last summer spotted a rat or 2. Ugh.

Move on, and looking at a compost tumbler, which I've toyed with. This for most of the kitchen scraps, and keep the enriched dirt-worm pile as is, adding some coffee grounds and other worm treats. I really don't want to get into the whole 3 bin system. I did call the Compost Tumbler people today (PA), and got good feed back, not just sales pitch.

Thanks for listening. Time to flashlight check a couple of pots of slimy slugs.
Have fun!
Susan

Dillbert
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Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:29 pm
Location: Central PA

Re: Enriched dirt

the heat won't kill the worms, they're smarter than that - they dig their way down into the soil away from the heat - but they'll be back!

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applestar
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Re: Enriched dirt

So far, from what I have seen, you have to buy the Cadillac of compost tumblers to overcome all of their shortcomings. When they get up into that kind of price range, it really doesn't seem worth the limited volume. Too rich for my blood anyway.
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toxcrusadr
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Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: MO

Re: Enriched dirt

If I was trying to keep critters out I'd use a cylindrical or square black plastic commercial bin with a locking lid. I have one at home and 3 at our office building, which is located 50 ft. from some Ozark woods, and believe me we have varmints. But they never get in. You can put chicken wire or plastic coated wire mesh (aka 'hardware cloth') underneath to keep them from digging into it while still allowing it to drain and let worms in and out. And much less fussy than a tumbler.
Tox

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