recoveryjones
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Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:02 pm

New to the Forum and Organic Gardening

Hi Friends,

I'm new to organic gardening and new to this forum. I'm from Vancouver BC, Canada on the west coast.

I have 14 fiberglass planter boxes at my workpalce(3rd floor rooftop, downtown Vancouver) in which to grow organic vegetables in, commencing the New year.My Planter boxes are 6' long x 18" wide x 18" deep.I had a bumper crop(excellent summer that year) there 3 years ago, however, grew with chemical fertilizers.Organic vegetable gardening is a new thing to me and I hope to learn and share here.

I have four indoor rubbermaid vermicompost bins going each with a pound of red wriggler worms . I'm about to start an outdoor bin of compost as well.So far I have 10 huge orange garbage bags full of dried Mapleleafs, and endless amounts of organic kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, cardboard, newspaper, grass cuttings etc etc at my disposal. I'm not lacking in any greens or browns for my 50/50 mix.

Tonight I got back from the Pacific Ocean near Stanley Park/English Bay and within 10 minutes I picked up a full garbage bag of seaweed mix.I would have grabbed more however, I thought Id' consult the experts here first.

Some Questions:

I plan on adding some of my indoor worms to my outdoor compost bin once things warm up a bit in the Spring.Will the salt on the seaweed harm the worms if I decide to use it, as I can allways give it a rinse first.

Also the seaweed I obtained is within the city limits, so no doubt the water is poluted somewhat. Is this a cause for concern?

Also, what percentage of seaweed should I add to the green 50% of the mix?Is the seaweed really beneficial additive to the compost?Can I add too much?

If I get the green light on this seaweed, the amount available to me is endless.

Anyways, that's what I'm basically about, so any comments appreciated.

Merry Christmas to all,
RJ

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Hi Recovery,

As far as the pollution is concerned, it would be a good idea to call the local municipal office from where you collected the seaweed (I know that their used to be a sulphur deposit across the way from Stanley Park) to find what pollutants are in the water their and what the currents are like as far as the dispersal of the pollutants. Though, in general; I would say that it would be best to collect your seaweed away from downtown Vancouver. Try out by Cresent Beach or White Rock.

The Salt from the seaweed won't be a huge problem, I've been adding unwashed seaweed to my worm bins and compost piles for years with no adverse effects. And if you outdoor bin is open to the elements, all this rain that we've been having will wash the salt away anyway.

Don't worry about waiting for the weather to warm up, just dig a hole in your compostables, add the worms and fill the hole up again. The worms will be just fine.


Seaweed is a green so, just substiute the appropriate amount of browns for any added seaweed.

PS

I haven't seen Stanly park myself except for on the NEWS. How is it looking? Looks like the last storm really took a tole on the trees their.

Good luck with your gardening and with all this lovely compost that you will have come spring, there will be no need for any commercial inorganic fertilizers. You are well on your way as it is!

Merry Christmas!

recoveryjones
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Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:02 pm

Thanks for answering my post, much appreciated.
I'll definitly go out to another part (less poluted)of the beach to collect some seaweed.

I'll also throw some worms into my outdoor compost once I fill it.
Merry christmas,
RJ

recoveryjones
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Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:02 pm

Also forgot to mention, I haven't seen the downed trees in Stanley Park other than the news. I've heard up to 3000 trees were downed, so the damage was quite extensive.

Stanley Park is a goldmine every fall for Maple leafs and I did well to collect 10 full garbage bags.
RJ

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Yes, I have my little sites over here on the Island where I find mine too! UVic has several groves of Tilia Americanus (Linden Tree, aka: Basswood). Maple leaves are a goldmine for both micro and macronutrients. You don't need to but, they do decompose a lot quicker if you mulch them before adding them to the compost. Though, the Red Wrigglers do and excellant job of that!

Merry Christmas!

recoveryjones
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:02 pm

Forget to mention that I already mulched my 10 bags of Mapleleafs with a lawnmower and ended up with only one huge bag and 1/2 of powdered Maple leafs.It should be good enough for several layers of browns for my outdoor bin.I pretty much chop everything down that goes into my compost bins as yes it really speeds up the process.

I can't wait to collect some more seaweed as I've been reading it also makes for good tea (for plants,veggies) as well as a good mulch.No doubt it will add some great nutrients to my compost as well.

On the topic of teas, if you know of a good recipe for homemade compost tea, that would be appreciated. I'm also intrested in making a homemade compost tea maker.Thanks for all your help.
RJ

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Oh, see if the ladies from Earth Elixir are still around, if you can't find their website via google search Victoria Seeds and Caroline Heriot, she'll know if they are still around.

But, I just add compost to a garbage can and stir regularly. However, the experts above recommend using a proper aerator, I can't afford one right now but, will buy one once I have the chance.

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