03 February 2008

Do You Know About Vermicomposting or Mazus Reptans?

Photo: February Fussing over plants in the shed.
VERMICOMPOSTING
In preparation for my compost worm giveaway at Muskogee's Earth Day celebration, I'm reading "Worms Eat My Garbage" by Mary Applehof and have set up a Google alert for anything related to vermicomposting.


In case you don't know, vermicomposting is practiced by making a container of moist, torn newsprint, kitchen food scraps and Red Wriggler worms. The worms eat through the materials over time, creating the most perfect way to maximize the use of kitchen scraps.


Reading on the web, some people get into the hobby to reduce landfill, others do it to produce sterile fertilizer for their garden or houseplants. The stuff pigs and cows produce is called manure. The stuff worms produce is called castings and it sells for big bucks at the organic garden shops online.

One blogger claims that Red Wriggler castings are the purest humus in the world and that they prevent harmful nematodes, bacteria growth, pathogens and fungi.

If you know about vermicomposting from experience or find useful information on the Internet, please let me know about it before my first 1,000 worms arrive at the end of February.

MONARCH WATCH
The Monarch Butterfly support network, Monarch Watch now has a blog with up to the minute updates on Monarch Butterfly waystations, migrations, tagging and population numbers.


NEED HELP SELECTING A GROUNDCOVER THAT CAN BE WALKED ON?
Classy Ground Covers is offering a variety of discounts during February - a sort of a pre-season jump start. For example: 50-bare root daylily plants for $53.50 and 50 hostas for $68.50. Plan to put all these in pots with good, sterile, potting soil for a few months until after our last freeze date on April 15. The site has links to help you choose plant possibilities.

I liked this semi-evergreen choice for zone 7, full sun - Mazus reptans (Purple Mazus: Scrophulariacaea).

Further research indicated that it grows 2-inches tall, prefers moist soil, can take occasional foot traffic, is NOT invasive, no pests, no disease problems.

Perennial Gardening on the Prairies, a Canadian garden site shows the plants a year after they were grown from seed. The site owner said the runners could become a problem but the lcoation I'm thinking of would not support vigorous growth.

Have you heard of or grown Mazus reptans? If so, let me know how well it grew for you.

Stepables is a company that garden writers learn about during conferences but we do not see their products in very many plant outlets. Their plant search link provides a quiz to help you identify the plant choice that is right for your yard.

Thinking about an area between the back door and the hammocks, I put into the quiz: Walk on it twice a day, in full sun, low water requirements, any height, any growth rate, zone 7, any color, clay soil.

The result was four choices that I had not considered - Links to more information on Mineature Veronica Speedwell, Lotus Plenus ('Double Bird's Foot Trefoil'), Sedum John Creech and Helichrysum Dwarf Strawflower.
Lots of attractive possibilities to consider. I especially like those I can start from seed.

1 comment:

kate said...

Hi Martha,

You asked in a previous post comment about my amaranthus posts. They can be found at this link:
http://katesmudges.blogspot.com/search/label/amaranthus