Worms and Lacewings (and a fat Tom Turkey)

Every year I order worms for the compost bin.

My original compost bin is rather small (we now have three total, two of which are quite large). Because it doesn't generate enough heat by its size and volume of material, I need to add worms to help with the decomposing process. I generally get a pound every year or so. This year, I ordered from a new place, The Worm Farm. They are fairly local, up north, and the worms arrived today.

What do you suppose the letter carrier thinks of this?
Within the box, the worms are usually packed in a muslin bag, with dirt and shredded paper. A pound of worms is about 1,000 - so the bag is pretty packed and squirmy.

Upon opening the bag, I was pleased to see a lot of dirt and not a lot of shredded paper. Better for the worms.
Then you release them into your compost. The worms tend to burrow down in the contents of your bin pretty quickly; they like to be at the lower levels, it seems to me.

You don't want to buy just any worms - you want Red Wigglers - or Eisenia Fetida. These are different from earthworms. Earthworms are great! But Red Wigglers are master composters. 

I've also already noticed aphids in the garden. Only on the roses that are left (only three now - I've taken out dozens that were here when we moved in), but they could spread and often do. I've released ladybugs before, but they just tend to fly away - it's larvae you really want anyway. So I bought Green Lacewing Larvae from Arbico Organics, 5,000 eggs. They also arrived today.

The postman is really freaking out now.
They were packed nicely, in a heat-shielding bag, in a tiny container.

They were packed in bran. I scattered them in three places - on the roses where I've seen aphids, and in both the North and South veg gardens.

The instructions said I probably won't see them hatch. But I sure hope to see them flying around the garden, eating up all the baddies.

I also use a garlic spray for aphids. I chop up a clove a garlic, add it to the sprayer along with some dish soap and water, and then I spray it directly on the affected area. It works a treat. But I don't like to use the spray on veg, so that's why I was proactive about the lacewings.

Of course, turkeys are a regular part of living here in the foothills of Mt Diablo, but heading up to the open space to walk Joe today, I came upon a whole passel of males, displaying. It was spectacular. I got a shot of the largest one.

I don't know if the female turkeys are impressed, but I sure was!

His wings made a funny sound, dragging on the pavement. He wasn't concerned about me at all, just as proud as proud could be. 

It's raining creatures around here. Tomorrow I go pick up the new honeybee colony!