The One Thing I Feed My Compost Worms When I’m Out of Kitchen Scraps

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Aside from the microbial-rich castings compost worms provide, one reason people choose compost worms as a source of their garden manure/fertilizer is because the worms cost almost nothing to “raise.”

A lot of the kitchen scraps people throw away (or toss into their compost pile) can be used to feed compost worms.

In the fall, I like to freeze pumpkin, including the rind, as a future food source for my compost worms. They LOVE pumpkin and pumpkin rind.

However, if I have no fresh scraps, rotting scraps I’ve set aside in the fridge, or leftovers stashed in the freezer, I’ve been known to break open a can of pumpkin puree. Yep. A perfectly good can of pumpkin puree will go to the worms. You do what you have to to keep your little gardening friends alive and well. :)

If you’d like to know more about compost worms, check out the Compost Worms 101 series.

Below are all the links to the Compost Worms 101 series:

14 Reasons to Have Compost Worms
DIY Compost Worm Bin
How to Acquire Compost Worms
Feeding Compost Worms (What, How, and When)
How to Take Care of Compost Worms
Cool Facts About Compost Worms
Giveaway: Compost Worms!!!
How to Harvest Worm Castings
How to Use Worm Castings

This was shared on the following blog hops and link-ups:
HomeAcre Hop
Homestead Barn Hop
Little House Friday
Simple Life Sunday Blog Hop
Simple Saturdays Blog Hop
Wednesday’s Prayer Girls & Link-Up Party

DIY Decorative Engraved Stepping Stones – Easy Peasy!

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This post contains affiliate links.

I. Love. Rocks.

I don’t mean diamonds, although they’re pretty cool, too. I’m talkin’ about dirt rocks kind of rocks.

We have a 3,628 pound boulder that I had turned into a bubbling boulder. Need I say more?

Here are links to all the posts in the DIY bubbling boulder series:

  1. The Bubbling Boulder Unveiling
  2. Bubbling Boulder – The Price Tag
  3. 6 Tips When Shopping for a Bubbling Boulder
  4. Bubbling Boulder: Choosing the Location
  5. Bubbling Boulder – Digging the Pit
  6. Before-Bubbling-Boulder-Delivery Prep Work

To dress up the bubbling boulder area, I had a local mom and pop stone engraving company do a sandblast engraving on a separate stone that reads, “Holly’s Hollow” and a couple critters engraved onto the stone. (I think the words might have been engraved with something like a dremel or drill, but the critters were sandblasted.)

Then there’s all the river rock, the large feather rocks, the stepping stones from our driveway to our front porch, and a couple little rocks with critters (a frog and a lizard) sandblasted onto them.

AND, I recently came across a to-die-for stone outdoor living space and STONE SOFA!

Okay, I think I’ve made my point: I like rocks.

Liking rocks as I do, I thought it’d be a neat project to do some personal stone engraving. However, I don’t have a sandblaster, nor would I know how to use one, BUT I do have … a dremel. :) (Actually, it’s John’s dremel, but he shares. He’s nice like that.)

I wasn’t sure if a dremel would even work for this kind of thing, but it was worth a try.

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How to Propagate Philodendrons

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Philodendrons are tropical plants. This means, among other things, they will NOT survive outside when it gets cold. If you live in a tropical area, I imagine you could plop these babies in your garden bed, and they’d be happy campers year-round. The rest of us have to treat them as indoor house plants or outdoor potted plants during the summer.

Philodendrons are among the easiest houseplants to grow, keep alive, and propagate. Even a forgetful or somewhat neglectful person can successfully keep a philodendron alive and well.

Let me put it this way: they don’t even need dirt! Dirt! They can live forever in a jar of water. Trust me on this one.

I LOVE to encourage discouraged newbie gardeners when/if they experience a gardening “failure.” You might see me reply to a comment with something like, “Take heart. That’s how you learn. Failures, if embraced and learned from, are really the seeds of what turns a failed gardener into a seasoned and experienced gardener.”

However, if you make even the slightest attempt to keep a philodendron alive, but you SOMEHOW manage to kill it … {sigh} you and me … we need to have a talk. :)

If you want to purchase a philodendron at your local home and garden store and propagate (create baby plants from it) it, here’s how you’d propagate the plant.

Follow These Simple Steps to Propagate Philodendrons:

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4 Seed-Sowing Tips

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Unless you live in an area that’s warm year-round, you probably just recently got your plants into the ground and direct sowed your seeds, or you’re getting ready to do that.

(Don’t do like I did one year. I sowed my corn in so late that John teased me we’d have Christmas corn. :) )

I know many of you are newbie gardeners, and some of you are still working up the courage to start your first garden. So I thought this would be the perfect time to share a few seed-sowing tips to better prepare you for a successful gardening experience.

1. Read the Seed Packet

This tip may seem a bit over simplistic, but sometimes skipping over simple instructions can be cause enough for failure.

2. Seed Planting Depth is Somewhat Proportional to Seed Size

As with any hobby or passion, you learn or pick up on things through simple observation or common sense. Something I noticed over my gardening years is that teeny tiny seeds barely need any dirt over them, while large seeds need to be planted much deeper.

For instance, the seed packet instructions for teeny tiny carrot seeds may suggest a planting depth of only 1/4 inch, but it may recommend corn seeds be planted as much as 2 inches deep.

I did a quick search online to see if I could find a nifty chart to show this. Here’s an image that shows a few seeds and their planting depth. It demonstrates how small seeds are planted almost on the surface and larger seeds much deeper.

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12 Ways to Critter-Proof Your Garden

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This post contains affiliate links.

Back in January, I asked on Facebook which specific critters, insects, or plant diseases have been the most problematic to your garden. So many of you chimed in with responses. Most people named one or more adorable but destructive critter; quite a few people mentioned insects; and no one mentioned any plant diseases.

To keep this post from becoming a novel, destructive insects and plant diseases will be addressed as separate posts.

Here’s how I see these adorable but destructive critters:

Nearly all of them will fit into one, some as many as three, category based on how they move about: flyers, tall walkers, short walkers, climbers, and diggers. Many solutions for one animal will prevent all animals in that category from getting into your garden. Of course, that won’t always be the case, but many times it will be.

I’ve included at the end of this post a nifty little table I created of various critters and the category in which they fit.

1. Cinder Blocks

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Okay. This idea is not for the faint of heart. If you consider yourself a leisure gardener, this will NOT appeal to you. It will take a one-time big investment of sweat and brawn.

If you’re bound and determined to live off your land and keep persistent diggers out of your garden, here’s an idea I had:

  1. Dig a trench 8 inches wide x 8 inches deep around the perimeter of your garden.
  2. Place cinder blocks – with openings vertically oriented!! :) – back-to-back in the trench.
  3. Bury the cinder blocks with the dug-up dirt.

If you’re up to the physical workout, you could even go two cinder blocks deep. (It only took me about 5-10 minutes to dig one hole for a cinder block, as seen in above photo.)

Don’t get in so much of a hurry that you forget the simple things, like making sure the cinder block openings are vertically oriented. Otherwise, you’ve just unwittingly constructed an elaborate underground tunnel highway INTO your garden. :D

2. Motion Detector Sprinkler System

John is an engineer and an amazing problem-solver.

The first house we lived in, we had a very nice neighbor next door who had a few cats. When our gravel driveway got wet from rain or the late night or early morning dew, the cats would walk around gathering the gravel dust onto their paws, as much as their paws could hold, – oh, yes, it was intentional – and then jump onto our cars and make these *adorable* paw prints all over them.

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DIY Easy Fence Gate

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The year John installed our garden fence, we were in a hurry. We didn’t think it was a good idea to plant more tomatoes until we had a fence up, since the deer had just finished plucking three young tomato plants right out of the ground, ate pretty much everything except the vine, and then dropped the vines on the ground. “All done. Thanks for dinner.” ;)

We needed a fence gate FAST.

John quickly threw this together as a temporary gate. It’s not glamorous, but it does what it was meant to do: opens, closes, and keeps critters out.

While we use this as a garden gate, it could also be used as an animal fence gate. It would need one more latch, a middle latch, if it were to be relied on for that purpose.

Since we did not take photos during the gate construction, hopefully these photos are mostly self-explanatory.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to build a gate like this:

  1. Wrap your fencing around the corner post.
  2. With wire cutters, at the very end of what will be the gate, remove the ends of the horizontal fence wires. This will actually remove the vertical section.
  3. Cut a board the same height as the gate.
  4. Drill holes in the board. Space the holes according to the fence wire spacing.
  5. Feed the horizontal fence wires through the board holes. Wrap the wires around the board, and twist the wires as seen in the photo.
  6. First Latch (top hook): Bend the very top wire to hook into the loop around the post.
  7. Second Latch (top loop): Drill a single hole (so the latch will pivot). Place a thicker aluminum wire through the hole; bend it over the board (see photo); and create a loop at the other end.
  8. Third Latch (bottom hook): Bend the very bottom wire to hook into the loop around the post.

Below are more photos.

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