Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kitchen Scraps Mulch - Update 3

It's been almost two months since I put African Nightcrawlers inside a pot while I was trying  below-the-soil-mulch.  The experiment was conducted with my habanero as participant.  Here's my two-month worth of experience conclusion:  African Nightcrawlers can thrive inside a pot (about 14 inches) for at least two months.  In my last post, I indicated that I saw vermicompost on the ground below the pot.  That means the worms were pooping at the bottom.  Not yet convinced? 
Earlier, temperatures reached a punishing 33 degrees.  Summer is here!  Since the habanero likes full sunlight, the pot is out in a sunny spot in the garden.  My initial worry was that worms will not survive the heat.  Earlier though I saw them.  When I lifted the pot earlier (about 3 PM), the worms were all below the pot.  There must have been at least a dozen of them there (adults and babies).  If I remember correctly, I must have put in about half of those.  The rest must be due to reproduction.  
But why below the pot?  It's the first time I've seen that.  First of all, there was cardboard below the pot.  They must think it's a good place to hang out while the scorching sun was creating a burning environment within the pot.  Even for African Nightcrawlers 33 degrees is much too hot I would guess. 
As for the habanero, well it's doing fine.  The chili peppers are big but still unripe.  However, the whole vermicompost thing has not really resulted in plentiful, green leaves.  In fact, in at least three plants, I've had some yellowing of leaves while using pure vermicompost.  I am thinking that my worms' general diet has been too low on nitrogen, therefore resulting in fairly low nitrogen vermicompost. So I just top dressed the habanero's leaf mulch with coffee grounds to give the plant that green pep. 

That's it for now.  Until next time.


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