Earthworms, Rocks and Ground Roses
I probably should have chosen a different day for gardening, because we reached 90 degrees today. I visited Home Depot yesterday and I filled the back of our car with new plants. They needed to be planted as soon as possible. All except for four found their permanent home in our flower garden.
There were four plants that didn’t really like living with us. It just wasn’t the right environment for them. I pulled those out and planted ground roses instead, in 5 different colors. This does not sound like a hard work to do, but it took me over two hours. Why? We live in a new development, and the quality of the soil in the backyard is super bad. We hired someone to finish the backyard, because the only way to get into the soil was with a jackhammer. They did an OK (but far from perfect job) with the paving stones and paths, but their flower garden preparation was really poor. In Colorado I was lucky enough to have my visiting father tend to the new and empty backyard, and he turned almost a foot of compost into the top of the soil before we planted anything. Here, the backyard builder group placed about 2 inches of gardening soil on top of the existing one, and called it good. Well, it’s not good. As I was digging the holes for the roses and other plants, I was pulling out huge rocks from the clayish soil.
Every time I plant something I add more good soil to the area, but generally speaking the backyard has a very dense, poor quality soil. In order to help the situation, a few months ago I ordered earthworms from a place called Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. The order included 250 Super Reds European Night Crawlers, which aerate and fertilize the soil. While I was digging holes for an Oleander and two Geraniums, I unfortunately had to disturb these worms. But I was very happy to see baby worms among the grown-up ones. It means, that they like this environment, and they are here to stay.
Almost two years ago I ordered Red Wigglers from this same company (I highly recommend them), which are smaller than the Night Crawlers, and they are composting worms. They created a rich compost in a specially made box. I mixed some of it with store bought potting soil, and I welcomed the new plants with this mixture to our flower garden.
Well, let’s see what is new in the backyard.