Starting Peppers, Composting with Worms

A lovely melting spring-ish day again today.  I’ve just come in from fixing my garden border along the side of my neighbor’s renter driveway again (grr), and I’ve just got my lively little red wiggler worms that came in this morning’s mail set up in their basement composting box.

worm-box1The reason you don’t actually see any worms in there (though I just added about 500) is that they’ve done what worms do when exposed to light–burrow down into their bedding.  I’ve got them in a bedding of moistened coir and peat moss, shredded paper, and some slightly decomposed leaf litter.

I haven’t added any food yet because my reading indicates it takes a bit for them to “settle in” from their long journey.  Later on today, I’ll bury some select chopped-up bits from the compost bucket that I’ve been saving for them, and the rest I’ll dump in the outside compost.

We always have a decent amount of compost around (at least one coffee filter plus grounds per day plus fruit peels and vegetable ends), so I won’t worry too much about them having enough to eat.

Another upcoming project is to start pepper and eggplant seeds (and probably some perennial flowers as well).

pepper-seed-packsI’ve got two varieties of hot peppers for this year: my usual Hungarian Hot Wax plus a long thin cayenne for ristras.  I had planned to do only two varieties of sweet peppers as well: Ace Bell and Italian Sweet, but I couldn’t resist that free pack of Napolean Sweet Pepper seed at the Seed Savers Exchange table at the MOSES conference last week.

Too, there’s a “Relleno Chili” from Seeds of Change that showed up in my nightshades seed box, so that’ll have to get planted as well.  The pack tells me it’s only “mildly spicy,” which seems like a good transition pepper from the sweet Italian types and the hotter varieties.

Alongside the peppers in the germination (or “channel”) flat, I’m putting in three varieties of eggplant: the gorgeous ribbon-winning Lavender Touch from Pinetree Garden Seeds, one simply called “Black” from Seeds of Change (which did not do very well for me last year), and a new one called “Raveena” that is long, slender, and light green.

I’m waiting to start them until Saturday because that will be three days or so before the full moon.  Sowing seeds at that time is a good way to get them up and growing fast according to both scientists and biodynamic gardeners and farmers.

In order to make room for my germination flat of peppers and eggplant plus any perennials I start, I’m going to have to move a couple flats of leeks and onions to a different location.  I’ll probably move some house plants from my south window and see how many flats of vegetables I can fit there, at least until they can start going outside more regularly.

Which makes me think it’d be really great to get that hoophouse set up in the garden this season, so I can start more things directly in the ground outside, leaving more room to get things growing in the basement.


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