Just the Right Time for Squash…

Iris Bud

I am ready to put my squash out as soon as I get a chance.  It was too cold, then it was too wet, now the temperature is just right.  I have ideas for my cover crop as well – I’m thinking of cutting it down, but not spreading it across my plot.  I will pack it in a plastic bag or bucket, bring it home and let it set to dry in a box with my finishing compost or I’ll just leave it in the bucket.  Later on, I can use it for my starters and seeds, just like I would soil or peat moss.  The whole point of growing a cover crop is to let it die and decompose after cutting it down – I would just be taking it home for that to happen instead of leaving it to happen on nature’s timeframe.

I’ve experimented in different ways for the past few years.  I started all my seedlings in newspaper one year, in peat moss another year, and another year in pure compost (mostly, it can get expensive).  I purchased compost worms a few years back and drilled holes in some cheap plastic buckets to create my own compost bins. This has worked very well.  Using worms to create my own compost allows me to continue gardening at home without having to have compost delivered or going to the store to purchase it.  This was just the method that I chose.  It is important to manage your compost – always putting shredded paper, shredded or torn up cardboard or leaves on top to prevent fly eggs from hatching.  I made that mistake already and it wasn’t pleasant.  I was able to fix it quickly though by turning the compost in my bin.  Burying the flies and their eggs mostly solved the issue.

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