Category Archives: General

Worm Composting Introduction (video)

Worm Composting 101

This is a nicely done video showing the basics of worm composting.  Not sure why she has a clear plastic bin, worms are favorable to dark conditions.  Either way, it’s a great video showing what I think will become more popular over the next few years…the finished soil from a good worm bin is insanely good.

It reminds me of kombucha brewing too, once you start it initially, it just keeps multiplying.  It’s not a big investment, either…you can get a pound of red wigglers for between $20 and $30.  Definitely the way to go in the wintertime when you need extra help.

Plant Damage By Immature Composts (video)

Plant Damage by Immature Composts: Measuring Respiration with Solvita

Compost scientists…who woulda thought?  If the video clip seems foreign, I think the simplest lesson to learn from it is that patience is a virtue with composting.  Immature compost is a reality, it can eat up your plants’ oxygen supply.  I’d rather have too much mellow compost than a little overpowering compost.

I’m trying to find out where to buy all the gadgets they’re using in the video…how does my compost size up?  My yard says it’s plenty good.  If you can recognize items amongst the dirt, it probably isn’t ready.  Otherwise, wait a little bit and then share the love.

The Secrets of Gardening Herbs in Containers (article)

“What if you live in a high-rise apartment? Does that does not mean you can’t have your own fresh herbs? Gardening herbs in containers is an easy way of creating a beautiful indoor landscape on a shining kitchen windowsill. It is a perfect place to grow some of your favourite herbs. Being creative with a window box or hanging basket can turn an otherwise unimpressive area into something that can in an wink be beautiful, useful and aromatic. In fact, growing herbs in containers is as easy as growing any other house plant. Each plant has it own set of requirements.

All plants need nutrition supplied through sun, soil and water.  There is no exclusion for herbs. The right combination of these elements is the key to growing every type of plant, including herbs, whether indoors or out.   A southern or western exposure will give the best quantity of sunlight.   Lavender has different sunlight requirements than basil or mint but every herb needs adequate sunlight for healthy growth .  Then there are “grow lamps” to supplement the need if natural light is inadequate.

As to the soil you use, it is primary that it drain well to prevent root rot.   This is easily achieved by mixing two parts of a peat rich potting soil with one part coarse sand or perlite for herbs with about an inch of gravel at the bottom of the pots to assure proper drainage.   A teaspoon of lime, per 5-inch pot, should be added to this mix make the soil sweet enough for herbs.

And now to the matter of watering your herbs – watering lightly 2 – 3 times a week should be sufficient.  Misting in between times will give them a nice somewhat humid condition.   A pot will hold water more than the soil in a garden, so it is necessary to be diligent to prevent the roots from get soaked or waterlogged. Never forget well draining soil!

The advantages of gardening herbs in a container are numerous, such as you can move them about as you please, it adds aroma to the room, herbs are a unique type of house plant, etc.   Annual herbs can stay indoors all year long but, perennial will do better if placed outside during the summer and brought indoors before the first frost.   This does not apply to mints, chives or tarragon as they will form firmer and fresher growth after being exposed to a light frost. The lovely flowers of chamomile or the aroma of rosemary provide more reason to grow them indoors.

Although all herbs can be grown in pots , some do better than others such as mint or oregano. Left alone in a garden, these two can take over a corner of any garden but are easily controlled in a pot while adding something different to your apartment.   As I said, gardening herbs in pots is easy and takes only some special knowledge while keeping your culinary herbs available anytime you need them.

Caring for your herbs will ensure a healthy plant. With these tips and your prudence, you will be able to continuously harvest your herbs which will keep them robust giving you more supply for your next recipe.  Pruning herbs just as with other plants encourages new growth.   Periodically feed them and yearly repot them to produce the healthiest herbs. And in the end use them in your recipes, harvest them and give them as gifts to your friends.”     -Home Gardening Tips Moncton

This is a great article, as I’m trying to get more city folk into composting/gardening in their homes even though they’re cramped, up high, and pretty low on the brown contents for their compost.  Growing herbs/mint is super easy.

Anyway, I built a balcony off my bedroom just so I could finally gain roof access to my house… lots of space for planting stuff!

I live on a block that’s covered in trees which I love, but a lot of my plants really struggle with the low light. I’ve put planters out on my balcony and they haven’t done so hot. It’s odd, because I have a few plants that do well inside my first floor windows, facing north even.

I’m trying to learn about how to design an elevated garden across my (flat) roof so I can start growing my own herbs in larger, healthier quantities… ssshh! my neighbors would probably call the City L&I if they saw me up there.

Organic Fertilizing With Unknown Guy (video)

Organic Fertilizing : Making Organic Compost

I wish I knew this guy’s name… I like the way he communicates his excitement about compost.  I always wondered if it was the compost that was making my skin feel different.  I personally have a hard time believing that strictly organic compost would create this effect, but I get what he’s saying…he loves playing with dirt.  Me too.

Organic compost or not, you’re doing the right thing.  Get decomposing, people!

…so does this place compost or not?

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000167 EndHTML:0000002061 StartFragment:0000000457 EndFragment:0000002045

So I’m staying at a hotel in New Jersey this week, and like usual I’m wondering if the place composts their food waste.  I was at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philly and a great man by the name of Marvin Dixon was running a full-on compost program.  I was so excited I had to learn more, and was ecstatic to learn that he was using finished compost for their rooftop basil gardens…truly an awesome effort.

Public perception in the “green arena” can do a lot for a company’s image.  This hotel put forth a pretty weak effort all around to show any sustainability effort, which in this day and age is pretty disappointing.  I really believe that eventually it’s going to be a determining factor for whether or not business is conducted: how sustainable is your hotel?

Hey Ocean Place, be more OBVIOUS about composting your food and be proud of yourselves…same goes with your lackluster recycling efforts.  Your patrons will love you for it and be more likely to revisit and soak up more of the awesome ocean view you have going.

Yes, fellow UIBC people, the hotel really does compost!  I went around back and took a look at their waste collection layout and they had a full-on toter system for compost.  There was also a recycling compactor, but I think this was to service all those containers along the beach walkway.  I’m impressed a tad, aren’t you?

Ugh, I have a headache.  At least the beds are cozy.  Then again I’m used to sleeping on a leaky air mattress.

Compost Tumblers: Advantages and Disadvantages (video)

Compost Tumblers: Advantages and Disadvantages

This is a short and sweet video… he’s either super strong or there’s next to material in there!  I’m surprised he didn’t mention the benefit of having a tumbler spinning end over end vs. horizontally.  This looks like a decent tumbler although it looks tippy.  Either way, good stuff.

Managing Waste Easier With A Compost Tumbler (article)

A compost tumbler is certainly a welcome innovation for people who want to help the environment though composting. Among the many ways of managing waste to help reduce garbage output is composting. But some find the process tedious, making it harder for them to contribute to a greener earth. With the invention of compost tumblers, though, making compost becomes less of a hassle and a mess.

Compost tumblers work by containing your compost and making it easier to mix your waste into the compost pile, eliminating the labor of having to turn it yourself with the use of a spade, shovel or pitchfork. Turning your waste in the pile helps it become compost faster. The designs of compost tumblers are also pleasant to the eye as compared to ordinary, open compost bins.

There are many kinds of tumblers available on the market, the simplest one being shaped like a drum which you can spin around by hand or by using a crank. There are also models which you can roll around on the ground, too. But there are electric tumblers available. Some of these even have features that make them convenient to keep inside of the house. You could also have them installed into a kitchen cabinet as well, as long as an electric supply could be provided for it.

Although a compost tumbler isn’t more effective than a well-maintained compost pile, it does provide several benefits to its users aside from making compost easier to turn and keeping the waste neatly hidden inside of it. It usually eliminates the problem of foul odor and attracts fewer animals and pests as well, making it ideal for composting in the home, or for urban areas.

Years ago, I worked in the Safety department at a hospital and my initial focus was ergonomics.  When it comes to a huge barrel filled with wet slop, using a tumbler is clearly ideal compared to having to turn a pile over yourself by hand.  I think tumblers are pretty sweet, but if you live in a city or like to move around a lot, they’re not the most fun thing to lug around.

I had no idea there was an electric compost tumbler out there on the market.  It’s certainly worth the end result, but I urge you to turn it yourself if at all possible.  Hmm…I wonder how many people hurt their backs each year due to turning compost.