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Monday, 24 August 2009

Summer Update

I thought that this week I would give you an update on all of the recent ups and downs of garden life…

Where there’s a will there’s a wormery: I’ll be honest with you, it’s not going well. I killed most of the worms on the first evening. Not my fault. Well actually it was entirely my fault but it wasn’t intentional.

I read that worms need darkness so I lined the box with black bags to block out the sunlight… job done. I also read that during the first week of establishing a wormery, the worms will wait until night fall and then try to escape…. So I sealed them in with a bin-bag-lined lid and some bricks… job done. What I neglected to consider is that the worms would need some oxygen. Effectively what I had done is seal the little loves into a plastic box in another plastic box, in a plastic bag, under a plastic lid held down by concrete bricks, just to make really really sure that they couldn’t breathe. Oh dear. The next morning wasn’t a pretty picture… I’ll spare you the gruesome details.

The next dilemma is how much to feed them. The ones that did survive don’t seem to like the tomatoes and bread that I gave them. So, all in all, I’ve been left with a big smelly mess at the end of my garden. I’m not even convinced that there are any worms left. Shame.

Live or Let Die?: Last week I declared a truce on all but the malicious bugs in my garden. This week the spiders are literally trying to take over. You may think this is an exaggeration. It’s not.

I saw it a couple of mornings ago whilst brushing my teeth, propped up against the sink. It was like a scene from a bad 90s horror movie. Stretched across the bathroom door leading to the terrace was the world’s biggest spider, calmly weaving the world’s biggest web. Trapped. It didn’t even flinch when I opened the door. I left it to the boyfriend to decide what to do about it.

I’m not entirely sure why we’re being overrun with spiders now, after all they were never on my hitlist. All I can imagine is that the spiders have taken up where we left off and the increased food supply has made our terrace more attractive than ever. Kind of logical. My entire reality is informed by this kind of homemade logic.

Flowers: Fail. Somehow I am still unable to grow pretty things in the garden. I’ve kind of stopped caring.

Basil: Fail. Somehow I am still unable to grow basil. Yes, yes I know, it’s supposedly the easiest herb to grow. I can’t do it. I still yearn for homemade pesto though so sadly I have not yet stopped caring.

Veggies: Toms still in abundant supply. Beetroots all eaten… delicious. Nearing the end of the onion crop, they did well this year. Mini corns doing well, although this is the first year of growing them so I’m not too sure when they’ll be ready, to be honest, it’s much more fun not knowing.

What else? Ah yes, the first step into fruit growing seems to be going well. The kiwi plant is thriving. I'm still unconvinced by the garden centre man’s insistence that we’ll get fruit this autumn… I’ll keep you posted.

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Joshua said...

Ok, firstly, can you not just put new worms in the wormery and let them eat the dead worms? Gross, but resourceful.

Secondly, I've noticed there are loads of spiders around everywhere at the moment so probably not linked to your gardening activity/insect armistice. Currently spiders have made homes in my car's wing mirrors and wind screen wipers. They seem to like it there and their webs seem to survive high speeds. Which is nice.

Finally, one thing I've picked up from listening to Gardener's Question Time on Radio 4 (usually unintentionally - it just seems to always be on Radio 4) is that gardening is all about failing. People fail, then they ask more experienced gardeners (e.g. the GQT panel) what they are doing wrong and how they should do it right. It usually comes good in the end. It's like the Circle Of Life, or whatever. You know, that bollocks song on The Lion King. Which, incidentally, is your favourite Disney film Rach.

Helen Abramson said...

worms = "little loves" !


Anonymous said...

I agree with Joshua, spiders are everywhere this year so you are not alone. Everyone seems to be mentioning it. At least your hobby is not rumaging in and around old cars imported from California and meeting face to face Mrs Black Widow. They love old cars those little buggers and they are actually quite dangerous. I have seen many tough dubbers (as in Vee Dubbers) recalling those encounters with horror. Ghis.

Anonymous said...

By the way have you also thought about trying to use a Bokashi bucket? We have two in the kitchen that I alternate. Once one is full I wait a few weeks and tip it in the compost and in the mean time use the other one.


A Growing Obsession said...

Great suggestion Ghis.

A couple of other people have mentioned Bokashi. I actually just did a piece on wormeries for The Guardian ( and Bokashi definitely seems popular among their readers.

The problem is, our terrace is too small to have a proper compost bin to make it worthwhile.