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Post  yolos on 1/4/2019, 9:40 am

@AtlantaMarie wrote:
@OhioGardener wrote:Yes, the do love it, AM!  Next spring when I turn over that drum full of coffee grounds to begin emptying it (I forgot to mention those two drums on the left have had the bottoms cut out, so they are open to the soil), I will find balls of worms in the coffee grounds.

"Balls of worms"......  My dream here with our GA red clay....

My sentiments exactly AM.  These gardeners have been talking about all the worms they have in their gardens and I just weep.  After 7 years of gardening in the same spot and adding large amounts of compost each year, I now can unearth a worm or two with each shovel full of dirt.  I was hoping that putting all this coffee in the garden will help bring more earthworms into my garden.  I remember when I first started gardening at this house, there was not a worm to be seen.  We actually cheered when we found a worm.  Someone told me to add compost and the worms will come.  I asked him where they were going to come from, maybe wiggling out of the woods.???  Well, 7 years later there are a few.
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Post  OhioGardener on 1/4/2019, 10:13 am

@yolos wrote:
@AtlantaMarie wrote:"Balls of worms"......  My dream here with our GA red clay....

Someone told me to add compost and the worms will come.  I asked him where they were going to come from, maybe wiggling out of the woods.???  Well, 7 years later there are a few.

Having lived near Chamblee, GA, for almost 4 years in a former life, I know how difficult adding organic matter to the red clay can be! The more compost I added to the soil, the redder and stickier the dirt seemed to turn. I still remember the bouncing of the Troy-Bilt tiller as it tried to chop up that clay to small particles.  We moved there in November on year, and my first act was to "till up a place for a garden". Little did I know what I signed up for! Having been raised on a farm in Indiana with sandy loam, I never knew how similar Georgia Clay and Cement are!  The first year garden was okay, but nothing to write home about. That fall I hauled in a truck load of "compost", which was really a cleanout of a cattle feed lot, and tilled it into the soil before sowing Crimson Clover cover crop. The next spring I tilled under the cover crop, and felt bad that I chopped up a number of earthworms that had apparently been brought in with the load of compost. By the time we moved from there, our garden was the envy of the neighborhood. I'm not sure it was worth all the work I did on that patch of ground, but I'd be lost without a vegetable garden....   In my golden years, I enjoy gardening so much more since I changed to no-till, and raised beds with homemade organic soil.

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Post  yolos on 1/4/2019, 11:24 am

@OhioGardener wrote:
@yolos wrote:
@AtlantaMarie wrote:"Balls of worms"......  My dream here with our GA red clay....

Someone told me to add compost and the worms will come.  I asked him where they were going to come from, maybe wiggling out of the woods.???  Well, 7 years later there are a few.

Having lived near Chamblee, GA, for almost 4 years in a former life, I know how difficult adding organic matter to the red clay can be! The more compost I added to the soil, the redder and stickier the dirt seemed to turn. I still remember the bouncing of the Troy-Bilt tiller as it tried to chop up that clay to small particles. 
I laughed when I read about your tiller bouncing.  We bought a tiller when we moved to this house and tried to till a garden.  Not only did we have the hard red Ga clay but we also had large rocks.  That tiller bounced so bad that I thought my arms were being ripped out of their sockets.  After that first year we made raised beds and started using Mels Mix and the tiller has been sitting under my porch for 8 years now.
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Post  OhioGardener on 1/4/2019, 6:50 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:A side note:  During a recent conversation with a neighbor she brought up about how much juicing she does for her family of four. I asked her what she does with the pulp, and she said she puts it in the garbage disposal. I guess she noticed my gasp when she mentioned the garbage disposal. I couldn't imagine all that good food going into their septic system, and we brought up composting. They don't garden, so don't have any interest in compost. To make a long story short, she is now saving her juicer pulp into a 5 gallon bucket, and brings it over once a week to dump into my tumbler. The next day, that section of the composter will be up to 110°F to 120°F.  She juices primarily carrots, kale, and beets. The finely pulverized pulp composts really fast, and the microbes can't wait to start digesting it.

Update:

This afternoon I took the compost thermometer out to check the status of the compost tumblers.  The side that is finishing was at 110°F, which is okay for that side. But, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the new side where I had just put the juice pulp was at 130°F, and it is really cooking! I added a little rock dust and some Biochar to that side, and in a few days I'll be adding another 5 gallons of juicer pulp to that side, and it appears the microbes are waiting an anxious to get it!
  cheers

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Post  sanderson on 1/4/2019, 11:13 pm

You both are a testament to SFG!  Raised beds sure do make gardening easier.

When we first moved into our house in Oct of 2013, the house was 2 years old and did have sprinklers and some landscaping. During that winter, I stepped on the red soil and sunk 3" in the ooze .  Come spring that ground was as hard as cement (exaggeration) so husband rented a good tiller.  When it came time for digging holes, I had to sit on top of the frame of a 3" auger to help punch through the hard pan.  The second year I wanted to redo the walkway strip so he rented a jack hammer to remove 2 feet of the miserable stuff and fill with bags of stuff.  He rototilled 13 cubic yards of humus into the soil and tree drainage holes.  

Back to worms.  The soil was so bad that there weren't any worms.  After the extensive work and amending, it was only a year and there were worms!

Please excuse typos and brevity as I am typing on the iPad as we drive down a bumpy CA highway.


Last edited by sanderson on 1/7/2019, 2:54 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/5/2019, 7:50 am

OG, that reminds me of my f-i-l. He decided that we needed a garden & he knew just where to put it! So he brings his tiller from AL. We're expecting a big honking thing (he was a BIG gardener/landscaper - a beautiful acre on the TN river) & he pulls out this tiny little thing, lol! He bounced all over the place!

Oh, thank goodness for SFG & NO TILLING!

Yolos, you can get red wigglers from your local bait shop or Wally world... Maybe add a few of those. And as wonderful as your beds are, I bet they'd love it!

Oh, & OG? I grew up in Doraville! About a mile from spaghetti junction...
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Post  sanderson on 1/7/2019, 2:58 am

The red wigglers do well with PVC worm tubes. It's a great way to use kitchen wastes. Just make sure the tubes and scraps are in place before ordering or buying the worms. A little moldy foods will provide food and they will learn to return to the tube for dinner.

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Post  raisedaddicted on 4/25/2019, 1:17 am

What happens to your compost if you are putting daily coffee into it? I've gone back and forth between spreading it around the roses and [currently] filling the compost with lots of coffee grounds. I'm definitely at more than 10% - unfortunately for my compost I've been diligent about food waste and not so diligent about tending the gardens.
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Post  sanderson on 4/25/2019, 2:28 am

RA, You can also just store coffee grounds in a bottomless cage. Over the months, the worms will do a good job on them.

Would you like to introduce yourself. Your garden, compost pile, hopes and dreams this summer? We love photos! Very Happy

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