How does your garden grow? - Page 23

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How does your garden grow?

This is a discussion on How does your garden grow? within the Farm Forum forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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    03-10-2013, 06:52 PM
Whenever I feel like getting depressed b/c I can't grow a garden, I come to this thread. It works - every time!!! :)
I just harvested more worms and put them back in fresh poo...and marveled at my wonderful silky black "product". And, since I can't win againt the pack rats, rabbits and what-not - I put a nice big pile of some out of date senior feed in the desert for them to enjoy. :)
I thought harvesting worms was tediouse...good thing I don't make maple syrup! Shwew! That sounds labor intensive!
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    03-16-2013, 05:24 PM
Missy, can you feed them fresh(ish) manure? Just curious because I don't have a clue! Any tips? What are you raising them in? (I may have asked you this already, but I know you know I'm a scatter brain! Sorry!!)

Anyone grow soybeans? Just ordered an ounce to try them out this year!
Midori Giant Organic, home grown organic edamame here I come!!!

How about Long Island Cheese Pumpkins? Got those coming too!!
    03-16-2013, 07:21 PM
I don't want to read about people starting their gardens. As I type this I am looking at a foot of snow, 6' snow banks and I know a bitter cold wind is blowing. It feels like spring will never come. The weather has teased us with beautiful warm days and now this. I'm jealous.
    03-16-2013, 07:31 PM
Originally Posted by FlyGap    
Missy, can you feed them fresh(ish) manure? Just curious because I don't have a clue! Any tips? What are you raising them in? (I may have asked you this already, but I know you know I'm a scatter brain! Sorry!!)

OMG! This is an honor! Fly asked me something on the garden thread!!!! It makes me feel all bubbly!

Yeah, you can "feed" them fresh poo, contrary to popular belief, but always put a bit of "home material" with them.

This is what I do:

Prepare a breeding container.
Start with a container of manure that is well on its way to "composted". I use an old water trough for this.

Add worms.
You can buy worms, but I imagine where you live you can just find them in garden or ground (?). Dig a little "pit" in your composted manure and put the worms in the pit along w some nice rich dirt. They will eventually disperse into the compost. They don't breed like flies, but they will multiply pretty quickly. So, the more you start with the faster your supply of worms will grow. For reference, I started w a pound. After a while your container will have ooooodles of worms and cocoons in it.

Add worms to fresh poop.

I put my fresh horse poop in 4'x4'x4' wooden containers w one side "open" so that I can slide boards into it as it fills. I don't see why you couldn't just put the manure in a pile, but I have to add water so I like to keep it "contained". And, containers reduce the surface area to poop ratio. I do this for fly control and poop disposal. You, on the other hand, could actually use the finished product. ****I am cupping my ear listening for, "poor, poor missy"** Anyway, keep the fresh poo damp. Once it gets a foot or so deep, dig a few little pits of a volume about equal to that of a 3 lb coffee can, and fill the pits w some worms from your "breeding container" along w lots of "home material" from same. Cover the filled in pits w a layer of the fresh poo. Just keep doing that as you fill the "big" container (or free standing pile, whatnot). NO further composting effort necessary. They will do all the work for you!

Every so often, top your "breeding container" back off w fresh poop to keep the little buggers happy. I actually try to move the old material to one side, and fill the other half once the container is half full or so.

I try to overfill the big containers b/c the material will really "sink". It will reduce the original volume to less than a fifth or so. Bonus..the worked and finished product has no odor at all.

A friend of mine just digs pits (for containers) in TN , I don't know if your ground is soft enough to do that. ?

Don't ever drown the littly guys...but always make sure the poop is pretty damp. Here that is a chore, but I imagine where you live it wouldn't be.

Here are some photos of my garden making material.

Poop bins:


Near finished material (it is not all castings, but pretty close). The bright sun makes it look is actually black.

Here is my standing stallion worm, an own son of Fuzzy Wuzzy.

FlyGap and Lockwood like this.
    03-16-2013, 10:04 PM
^That is awesome Missy! Something I've thought about doing too. My dad keeps a worm box at his house for fishing bait - I supply horse & rabbit poo for them. My mom keeps the tailings. His is half of a plastic barrel in the ground with a wood box top he puts over it, always has damp newspaper on top of the "dirt". I really should look into it more. How many boxes do you have, how much do they make, etc? Let's hear details! I think this is something DH would be totally on board with, he could save a few trips to the bait shop (and I wouldn't have boxes of worms in my fridge!)
Celeste likes this.
    03-16-2013, 10:59 PM
Haha, MHF...I forgot I, too, add an occasion "helping" of rabbit puffs. I am always amazed how a small bucket of rabbit puffs stinks far worse than tons of horse manure. :)

I have 2 boxes right now. Two are being rebuilt. I need 4 (my size) for 2 horses so that oldest poop is "ready" by the time I fill the 4th. The fresh poo will be reduced to less than 1/5 its volume of over time you get quite a bit. With 2 horses, you would eventually get more than enough for a good sized family garden.

It is extremely rich - you wouldn't want to actually plant something in just castings...just a light spreading will do for most things.

Oh, and you mentioned your dad's newspaper. Sometimes I put a layer of cardboard here and there...they love cardboard and it holds moisture really well when buried in poop...if you live in a dry area, that's important.

Oh, and birds love them. We have a lot of thrashers...and they in fact "thrash" the boxes. It makes me feel good that they get a good meal b/c it is a tough environment - nothing comes easy.
Lockwood likes this.
    03-16-2013, 11:23 PM
Well with 15 equine residents & one rabbit I could fertilize my whole farm lol! I will tell my dad to try cardboard. Last year with the drought it was needed much more than a normal year. Wasn't worth using them for bait, water was low & warm, makes for mushy fish. Fingers crossed we don't deal with that again.
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Lockwood and Missy May like this.
    03-16-2013, 11:49 PM
Thank you!! Wow those are NICE! (Psh girl I'm sure you know more about gardening than me!)

I have a friend who sells it but he makes it sound sooo complicated... Everyone around here does it in old fridges and I'm not about to have a couple in my yard, lol! Yours are fantastic! I'm worried about moisture (not that we still aren't in a drought) but a loose lid should be ok?

I found an old sign in my barn that's for the "Flygap" bait farm! Too bad it's got the old number or else I'd set up shop! Hmmm now to convince DH he NEEDS another project....

Thank you!!!
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Lockwood and Missy May like this.
    03-17-2013, 12:05 AM
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So Missy,... why couldn't you mix the black gold with some bagged dirt from (insert favorite home improvement/garden store here) and make contained beds to grow veggies in?? Wrapped snug in wire for the super bunnies?
*taps foot*
You have been holding out on me here. All this time you've been make the best thing since natural humus soil whilst I toil away at cold compost beds to rejuvinate my poor strip mined soils....

Curious though, over here in the East (most people, not just my farm) the fresh horse manure piles don't have worms in them. The universities say that the residues from using dewormers have to age out of the fresh manure for a while before the worms can dig in and feast or they die.
Plus, horse manure is high in nitrogan and heats up in our conditions (hot compost as opposed to cold and slow compost) and fries the little boogers.

Nice stud by the way. Impressive genetics!
FlyGap and Missy May like this.
    03-17-2013, 01:14 AM
You are on to me Lockwood, I have done run out of excuses. :) Actually, it is the June/july heat. I have had small (relative to yours, microscopic) contained gardens (really in a large water trough) here and stuff grew well until the intense heat hit - the plants don't die, they just stop growing, don't produce and never recover. I would have to have a shaded green house.

If only you lived next could have all of mine.

I have heard that about wormers killing them off - and it makes sense. I worm every 3 months, but it doesn't seem to effect the overall population. They may very well die in the heavily loaded "pockets" (visualizing little graveyards here and there and the church bell "dong" sound affect). :) The composting process does generate a lot of heat, but I think w a larger pile or bin they move around the hot pockets. The heat is a plus in the winter for them, though. The one thing about back east is composting time is hugely excellerated vs the desert - so it shouldn't take long to let it compost a bit for a precautionary measure....if you don't want to feed them the straight poop. :) Its easy to keep a breeding container going "just in case".

And, Fly...I know people cover their bins/piles where it rains a lot so they don't get "soggy". So a loose lid/tarp would probably be needed if it rains a lot. No old frig in the front yard? And why not? :) The flygap sign is a sign!! You need to do this project!!! :)

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