Water Water Everywhere?

Well we are still waiting for the monsoons and our compost piles are suffering from the heat. Until the weather cools a little you should be watering your piles every day so they do not dry out. When the rains start it would be a good idea to take the coverings off your bins and let the rain thoroughly soak them.

If your bins get soggy (don't we all wish we had this problem!) you can always add some brown material and let them dry out a little before resuming your normal watering routine.

Today I was watering my bins after neglecting them for a few days and because they had become so dry a mouse family had taken up residence. Mom and cute little baby vacated very quickly but I'm sure they will be back if I do not keep on top of the watering.

Wigglies or No Wigglies?

Spent Sunday afternoon, June 6, at the Guiterrez-Hubbell House for the Food Festival. Master Composters had a demonstration table at the permanent compost area on the grounds. We had over 100 people stop by and visit. The weather was over 100 degrees so my cute little wigglies had to stay at home as they cannot tolerate temperatures in excess of 80 degrees very well.

Many of the questions we got were related to how to set up a compost system. Those of us maning the table agreed that there seems to be a lot more interest in composting than we have ever experienced before. I would be interested in hearing what my readers have to say about this. My next post will give some pointers on how to begin composting at home.

My next demonstration will be at the Los Poblanos Organics South Farm on this Saturday, June 19 from 10:00 a.m. One of my fellow Master Composters and I will be conducting a two hour class on composting basics. It is free but registration is required. For a syllabus and to register go on their website. Hopefully, I will be able to bring my worms to this class as the weather has moderated some.


My First Master Composter Presentation

Last night, on behalf of the the Albuquerque Area Master Composters, I did a presentation for the local Gardening with the Masters series. The worms were a great success! I thought only children would be fascinated by this form of composting - little did I know.

Although I have been doing bin composting for many years, I am new to vermicomposting (I have had my little guys for only a month), I am still in awe of their ability to decompose so much in such a short amount of time and their ability to reproduce. I now have at least twice as many worms as I did a month ago and will soon need to add another floor to their home to keep them happy.

The leachate (liquid created during the composting process) in the bottom bin is ready to be made into compost tea and just in time to spray the vegetables and herbs that have recently been planted in the garden. The solution should be diluted 10 parts water to one part of leachate and put in a spray bottle with a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil or dishwashing liquid (this helps it stick to the foliage). I will do this everyday for the next several weeks to ward off any insect infestation and add nutrients to the tender plants.

I probably won't have enough worm bin leachate to do this for any extended periof of time so more later on how to make compost tea from regular compost.