Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mucking about

Repulsive's waking (I was quite surprised to find active grubs in the dormant-grub boxes this weekend), so it's time to do something about his grubberies. Yes, that's plural--he had two last year, though not simultaneously. Unlike Verne, he is not allowed to colonize at his pleasure! I changed buckets early in the fall, as it was that or deal with the horror of emptying the "proto-compost" from an active grubbery, but while the stated intent was to let the stuff cure, and the actual intent to let any remaining grubs mature and move away, I think at this point it's just taking up space.

About three gallons of space. It's not all finished grub poo, as I use the grubberies for bone, which shouldn't yet be wholly decomposed, but the total bone volume can't be so much as a full gallon. All the rest is...not soil, but something not too unrelated to use for making mud-pies, assuming you were far less squeamish than I, or didn't know where it came from, maybe.

So if I have two-thirds of a bucket of aged soil-like material, why haven't I used it up yet? Two reasons. The first is half superstition: I'm afraid of the lure of the happy-grub pheromone! BSFL excreta is supposed to be prime worm-food, but I'm worried that if I add it to the towers, grubs will follow. A singular grub in the wormery isn't an issue, but I don't want Repulsive to feel welcome in the worm-homes. It's not so much of a concern as all that, considering that the towers are fed largely on dried leaves and there's a fair bit of soil in there, too, so BSFL wouldn't thrive, but I haven't the courage to risk it. The second reason it's still sitting around is consistency: the stuff Repulsive (ahem) leaves behind is more finely textured than espresso grounds. Far too finely textured to be of much use to me as a soil amendment, with my containers and reservoirs, though in-ground gardeners might well benefit from it.

What am I to do with it? I've used some in starter-packs, but can't make any more of those just now--the dormant grubs have awakened and left their boxes to roam uncontained! [Yecch.] Could just dump it, I suppose, use it to fill a ditch or pothole or something. It'd break down in time, but before that, might attract worms to the area. Perhaps I could dump it one of the area's unofficial dog parks, where a few BSFL would be helpful! Or, rather than carry it offsite, I could start a bog garden in a bucket or planter with rather more surface area than the grubbery, an idea I have to admit holds some appeal.

But I'm lazy, and there are so many different experiments running already! This time, I think I'll add a scoop of Verne and what happens.


today's image is from National Geographic; that's Arizona Slot Canyon mud, and I'm pretty sure there's no way to make BSFL produce anything that looks like that.

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