Friday, November 19, 2010

Vermicomposting and Herb Gardening in Manila: Updates

It's been a busy week in the garden but not everything has been positive.  The Lavender that I've been tending to for months has been looking really good.  The plant size to soil ratio has increased.  From what I read, that's a good thing.  Why?  Well Lavender likes it dry.  In fact, repotting the plant can be counter productive because the bigger pot will have more soil and therefore a higher tendency to be wet.  In fact, I think that's why my Lavender got sick in the first place.  I put it in a big pot.  Now, I really just water it when the leaves are drooping.  Same thing with my Rosemary.

Sorry, I don't have out-of-focus pictures today.  My camera phone's acting up.  I'll have it fixed in a week or two.  Can you believe it though?  It costs P500 to get my keypad fixed in Circle C.  And that was just two months ago I think. 

My Peppermints are all dying!  It's amazing in an awful kind of way because I have about three different locations and they're all suffering.  There's some sort of rust I can't figure out.  Plus, the dang caterpillars love mint leaves.  I also have spiders all over and they're webbing all over my herbs.

Even my Cinnamon Basil has been struggling as of late.  In fact, in the backyard, they're almost devoid of leaves.  Man, insects must really enjoy mints and basil.  In contrast, my Cat's Whiskers have been flourishing in the damp soil in the backyard.  I think caterpillars don't find the leaves tasty.

As for my 5-gallon indoor container vermicompost experiment, things look positive.  The content level has really gone down by about half.  And since I introduced some mushrooms from my other bin about a week ago, mushrooms have sprouted all over the bin.  Great, huh? They'll help my few worms there decompose the bin contents.  In fact, I'm now thinking they can have the job done in 3 months.

I also gathered some vermicompost from my Worm Bin 1 over the weekend.  I got one and a half venti-cups worth of vermicompost which I spread all over my garden (especially to the sick ones).  Hopefully, things will improve with my sick plants.  I also observed from Worm Bin 1 that the worms are now eating faster.  I think the worms have both matured and multiplied since a few months ago.  In fact, I can feed them about a half cup of leaves and banana peels every three or four days.  Yes, that's a major improvement.  In fact, I think I can gather vermicompost over the weekend again (yeah, it's just an excuse to play with my worms).

As for Worm Bin 2a, I've received an inquiry from Naga.  I just realized I don't know how to ship African Nightcrawlers from Manila to other locations in the Philippines.  I asked Air 21.  They're not into shipping live cargo.  I wonder if LBC will do it.  Hmmmm...In any case, I'm really excited that someone wants to buy it, not so much because I'll earn something, but because it gives me an excuse to create another new bin!  In fact, whenever I'm in Landmark, I get captivated by the different plastic containers and I wonder which one will be my next worm bin project.

Well this is a bit long already. Hopefully, my upcoming updates will come with out-of-focus pictures again.


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