Iggy babies?

So I looked in the worm bin again tonight. It looks like some kind of worm swingers’ club in there. This time two days ago, I had never seen worms mate. Tonight, I look in the bin, and they’re all over each other like a bunch of teenagers at the drive-in.

I am, of course, delighted. Their bedding looks a little too wet — especially the lower layers, which are mostly castings, which I need to harvest soon — but apparently they like it. I hope they have lots of babies so I can feed them lots more of my kitchen scraps. Tomorrow, we are going to find out how they like sweet potato peelings, as I am planning to make a batch of candied sweet potatoes and some stuffing for dinner tomorrow night.

Here is a picture of some of the worms:

Iggies

I also took a picture of two tiny spiders that were hiding in the zipper part of the Ziploc bag that I am using to store my okra seeds. I need to find a safe place to release them. I don’t want them to starve to death in that bag (I see no signs of other bugs — just spiders), but I don’t want them running around my house, either. Tiny as they are, they are still arachnids, and I still am not cool with arachnids taking up residence in my home.

Anyway, here they are:

Spiders

That’s about all I have to report today, aside from the usual pigeons hanging out above the Broken Arrow Expressway.

Emily

Seagulls and worms and tomatoes (oh, my!)

1. I saw a seagull circling the parking lot today at work. It was gorgeous.

2. I looked in the worm bin tonight. They have been busy chewing up the stuff I put in there (except the lettuce, which they continue to ignore) and have made a pretty good supply of castings. As I was checking their food and moisture levels, I saw a pair mating. I’ve never seen that before. I did not take their picture, as I was afraid the flash might bother them. I know how it disappoints you to miss out on the opportunity to view some gratuitous earthworm porn, but just imagine how you’d feel if some giant started flashing a blinding strobe into your bedroom just to satisfy some weirdo’s curiosity….

3. I spent about an hour this evening turning a dozen 32-ounce Gatorade bottles into terrariums for starting tomatoes. I planted two varieties: Early Girl and Mortgage Lifter. The Mortgage Lifter seeds are a couple of years old, so I planted extras to increase my chances of germination.

It’s really about two weeks too early to start tomatoes, but I figured I’d go first and see how these mini-greenhouses perform while you start rounding up Gatorade bottles. If I have healthy seedlings by Feb. 15 (seed-starting time in my zone), then you’ll know this project is worth the trouble. If you decide to try this at home, here are the instructions:

Rinse out the Gatorade bottles and remove the labels.

Put a garden trowel full of perlite, vermiculite or small gravel in the bottom of each bottle for drainage, then add a scoop or two of potting soil.

Plant three or four seeds in each bottle, using a chopstick or fondue fork or something to poke the seeds down into the soil about a quarter-inch.

Give them a little water, cap the bottles, and use a Sharpie to write the varieties on the lids.

The finished project will look like this:

Tomato starts

Obviously you should keep these in a sunny window and watch the moisture level to be sure it’s not too wet or too dry. Add water or remove the lids to let the moisture evaporate as necessary.

I am going to try an experiment next week. Tomatoes supposedly love the color red, so I am going to try to find some sports drinks with red labels and leave the labels on when I do my next round of seed starts. I guess if you left your labels on the bottles and drank different flavors of Gatorade, you could use the labels to sort of color-code the different tomato varieties you planted.

Hopefully this will get my plants off to a good start.

Emily