Look who we caught up with recently - yep, Sabrina Hahn invited us to come and have a chat. We had a great time checking out Sab's garden and discussing growing food using microbes with her and Jamie. Keep a look out for the upcoming release of the podcast at Sabrina's Dirty Deeds.
Bonnie's Compost Making Adventure
Recently, my hubby became slightly compost obsessed. He counts down the days until he can “turn the pile” and goes so far as to demand (with great pride) that everyone stick their hand in to feel how warm it is!
From a microbial point of view, he somehow managed to make one of the most active composts I've ever seen! Needless to say, it got used up pretty quickly topping up existing garden beds and preparing new garden beds that were basically just sand as a starting point. So this weekend, when we were pulling out old and gone-to-seed plants from one of our vegetable gardens, the decision was made to keep all the greens and stick them through a mulcher to then add to our new compost pile. Thus began the adventure.
It turned out that we actually had way more “brown” than “green” and as we were working towards a 2:1 green to brown ratio, hubby went on the hunt for more green! This paddock turned out to be perfect for the job (anyone remember the tune: “one man and his dog... went to mow a meadow!”)
In addition to the mulched green “waste” from our garden, we commenced layering 2 parts green to one part brown in the metal cage my dad created for this exact purpose. As the layers were added it was watered and stomped down to ensure compaction. This is to give the microbes as much crushed surface area to work on as possible .... we continued on until we ran out of all brown, removed the cage, and were left with this perfectly layered, ‘cake like’ compost pile! What now!? Well now we wait... wait for it to bake into a chocolatey goodness compost that will feed our microbes, that will build our soil and grow healthy plants.
"The knowledgeable and passionate team have inspired me to learn more and already I am passing that knowledge on and putting it into practice. My work as a horticulturist has become easier and more exciting through a better understanding of the soil food web. Thank you Earthwhile Australia!"
"Brilliant. I had the absolute joy of recently attending two classes with EarthWhile Australia, including their ‘It’s The Soil That Counts Master Class.' I can’t thank EarthWhile enough for taking my love of gardening to a whole new level."
Andrew ( The Kalamunda Plant Company)
What do you think this fellow is?
Is it a nematode? If yes...
Is it likely to eat plant roots?
The answers are 'yes' and 'yes' ... although most nematodes are beneficial we are seeing a few more of these troublesome ones as ground is becoming dried out and compacted over summer. Gently aerate (e.g. with a garden fork), dribble compost/compost tea down the holes formed, moisten soil and mulch to improve plants strength and resilience to pests and diseases.
This one is a bit special cos it looks like it is about to moult or grow into a bigger skin!