Feed #104 – Summer composting & tips for injury-free gardening!
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Is it too hot for your worms right now?
The word this week is 'scorcher'. It was officially the first day of summer on Tuesday, and we're feeling it! Have you been worried about your worms with all this boiling hot weather?
Compost worms are resilient little creatures, and we developed Subpod to withstand our own scorching Australian summers – but during particularly severe heatwaves, worm populations can die off or retreat deeper into the soil to cool down. If your worms are showing signs of stress, we've got some tips that can help!
Here are some things you can do to get your worms through these summer heatwaves:
1. Add a shade structure over your Subpod to block direct sun
2. Place a frozen plastic water bottle into each bay of your Subpod (on top of the worm blanket) each morning – this is DIY worm airconditioner!
3. Add moist coconut coir into your compost every few days
If you want to learn more about these tips, hit the button below! The comment section of the article is full of even more useful suggestions right from our community. If you're thinking of starting to compost during summer, these tips will help your worms get settled in a little faster, and encourage them to feed!
This week on Dr Compost!
Have you got a burning compost question? Having a little trouble with your Subpod and could use some pointers? Get advice from Dr Compost!
Every week on Thursday, Peter Howard (our science guy), goes live to answer the community's compost questions. You can send in answers ahead of time and watch the recap on Youtube after the event ends – or jump into the call and ask him yourself!
There were some great questions & tips yesterday so we thought we'd share a few of them with you. If you'd like to watch the full recap, hit the button below!
Q. Am I feeding my worms enough? They get 2 - 6 cups of scraps around every 4 days
A. It's funny, you get a Subpod to start composting but sometimes it feels more like you're just keeping pet worms! It's great that you're concerned about your worms, but don't worry, it's pretty hard to under-feed them.
Worm populations will adjust depending on the amount of scraps they're given, so if you don't have much waste, they'll just limit the amount they reproduce to maintain the balance.
Q. What happens if I compost white rice or pasta?
A. Great things, actually! There's a bit of a myth that you shouldn't compost breads, grains or pastas – but that's only because if you throw those foods into a compost pile it can attract rodents. Luckily, that's not the case with Subpod!
Adding finely chopped pasta or bread, or just cooked white rice as-is to your Subpod will actually make your worms love you. Microbes love to feed on these starchy foods, and worms love to feed on microbes.
If you often have rice or pasta left over, add it to your Subpod and you'll probably see a big boost in both your worm population and the speed your waste is composted!
How to stop yourself from getting injured in the garden
If you know, you know. Gardening is often advertised as a hobby that's great for your mental and physical health – because, for the most part, that's the truth! But if you're not careful, it can also be a pain in the neck. Or back. Or knees.
You might vaguely remember that Brian May, a member of the band Queen, was hospitalised in 2020 after he tore a, ah... buttock during some particularly enthusiastic gardening. (No? Just us? Google it, we swear.) The truth is, gardening is a bit sneaky, because it's physical exercise that's so enjoyable you often forget you're exercising.
One gardener, Madeline Hooper, a retired PR executive who lives in the Hudson Valley north of New York, reached a point where she could no longer ignore her sore neck. It inspired her to seek help from a personal trainer (Jeff Hughes) whose simple, commonsense approach worked wonders.
Madeline is now completely pain-free – and the the pair have even teamed up on a US TV show called GardenFit, where they travel around America, admiring gardens while helping to educate the world about how to garden painlessly!
Gardening is booming at the moment, but it's important to make sure you take care of yourself so you can enjoy many, many growing seasons. (Take it from the person writing this, who once spent 4 straight days in bed after weeding a little too hard.)
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