Balcony garden update: plants, squirrels and a bad batch of vermicompost

balcony_update_post_coverAs I’ve wrote in the previous post, the past few weeks have been intense, so even though the balcony garden is right there through the kitchen door, I barely spent any time in there. All I did was make sure my plants survive (by watering them and bribing the squirrels to keep them away) and dutifully replace the ice packs in the worm bin (it’s been hot!).

During that time, the squirrels seem to have entered another crazy phase, so they’re digging everywhere. Even if the pots are covered in netting, they stick their little claws through the mesh and dig like this.

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Another cucumber felt victim to the evil squirrels.

They also doubled their efforts to get to the strawberries (even though there are no flowers or fruit there at the moment). You can see the fruits of their labor in the photo.

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As a kind of fire escape garden miracle, this calendula bud remains uneaten and may even get a chance to open. The ways of the evil squirrels are truly a mystery…

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The Gypsy pepper is not only alive but setting fruit, which is ripening. The only downside is that some of the fruit engulf the protective netting as they grow, so I guess I’ll have to cut them out when harvesting…

img_20180811_105707Asparagus is also looking good, tall and bushy. I know I write this every time, but I can’t wait till next season to start harvesting!

img_20180811_105818As I wrote earlier, I knew I screwed up a couple of trays in the worm bin by blending the food waste and thus creating too dense a mix with low airflow prone to rotting. Adding perlite and extra brown material helped a bit, but the tray I harvested this weekend was still a sad sight (smelled bad, too).

The second tray from the bottom (next in line for harvesting) was also a mess of slimy stuff.

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This time I decided to mix in some bokashi bran to help with processing (the microorganisms in bokashi are anaerobic, meaning they thrive in a low-oxygen environment).

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The bottom tray was not so bad, but not great either, compared to the rich black vermicompost goodness that I got used to harvesting.

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I scooped out the worms still lingering there and put them in the next tray.

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It is really amazing how the worms are not only alive but seem to be thriving. The teeny-tiny newborns are too fast to take pictures of, so you have to take my word for it, but I saw a lot.

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So this time I’d like to thank my worms for coping with my well-intended screwups and persevering none the less! I promise to do better in the future…

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6 thoughts on “Balcony garden update: plants, squirrels and a bad batch of vermicompost

  1. Pingback: Vermiculture in late fall – The Fire Escape Garden – WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  2. Pingback: Vermiculture in late fall – The Fire Escape Garden

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