The Heat is Hard on the Garden.

The Heat is Hard on the Garden.

It’s hot, it’s August this is what should be expected, but the rain yesterday was a surprise. It never rains in California during the month of August, it just doesn’t; however I hope it becomes a common occurrence. The Rabbit Lady and I were talking in April that perhaps with Climate Change rain will turn our arid summer state into a tropical green summer paradise.

It already is in many ways, Surfing, Camping, and Gardening are a mere few of the enjoyable activities we partake in. The Garden can take a beating during heat waves such as the one we are currently experiencing and expected to hang around until late next week.

The Tomatoes, Eggplant, Zucchini and Butternut Squash are all doing beyond expectations. However my Crenshaw Melons are dead, the 100°F. temperature yesterday did not give them a chance. The vine had two nice Melons 1/2 way through their growth, but no more they are now Earthworm Food. I remove the seeds after cutting them into 4 pieces, one for each colony. I will dry the seeds to enable them to be saved until next spring when they will be replanted. I freeze the divided Melon overnight, along with two Zucchini which will receive the same treatment. The freezing breaks down the fibers in the fruit making it easier for the Red Wigglers to dine upon.

Coffee Grounds (previously brewed) will be offered as food as well, they are hard to tell the difference between them and the Worm Castings. (manure) Partially rotted kitchen waste will be included in the mix, along with a piece of Cactus I found. Flowers, Cotton, Burlap, Ice Plant, as well as most organic waste are all eaten in the Colonies.

The hot temperatures affect the Earthworm Colonies in the same way the cold winter temperatures will, it slows their metabolism which impacts numerous of their activities. Breeding, Eating, and Bodily functions slow down until the temperature drops below 80° F for 3 days. That is how long it takes for the bedding to reflect the ambient, much like a body of water. I am more concerned with moisture content during these days, the bed is slow to dry but when it does it is difficult to return it to optimal conditions.

In the mean time they will be eating Melons, Squash and Banana’s making castings. Do they eat 1/2 their body weight each day? I cannot tell because the food’s moisture content changes from one feeding to the next. The water has the potential of increasing the weight of the food to unpredictable levels; rendering it impossible to tell just how many individuals are in the Colony. I resort to a purely unscientific method, Guessing, it seems to work just fine.

I have a new computer and I am attempting to master iMovie, that’s the reason I have no photos, I will soon, perhaps tomorrow’s.

Jacques Lebec Earthworm Farmer and Composting

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