The garden is mostly indistinguishable from its surroundings, covered in white. The compost piles are blocks of ice. I do enjoy snow, and if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t be living in Michigan. But it’s hard to be locked out of the garden for so long.

You do what you can, when you can.

Winter’s the time I turn to stockpiling, to quell the boredom and to prepare for goosing the garden in a few months. If I were to look at my stash from an objective viewpoint, I’d probably think ‘Sanford and Son’. But I’m not objective.

A few things I hoard over the winter months:

Half-gallon milk jugs. I like this size for tomato and pepper seedlings. A lot of folks use whole gallon jugs, but they simply take up more room and use more growing medium than I think is necessary.

milk jugs

Vermicompost, the harvest from my indoor worm bin, composed of worm castings and decomposed organic matter. I store mine in an unsealed 5 Gallon bucket indoors. There is life in this stuff that needs warmth and air to keep it active till spring. It makes a powerful addition to a homemade potting mix.


Plastic net apple bags. This is a little personal niche that no one else probably cares about. I use them to support melons grown vertically.

Pulverized banan…I said I wasn’t going to bring these up. Oh well, I lied. I’ve been drying and pulverizing our banana peels to use as a measurable potassium supplement in next year’s garden. So there.

pulverized banana peels

Coffee grounds, wonderful worm food and compost nitrogen source

Pulverized eggshells. See previous paragraph, replace potassium with calcium.

pulverized egg shells

Liquid laundry detergent jugs, for making garden markers. We don’t go through that many jugs, so I need to catch my wife before they go into the recycle bin.

Cardboard boxes. Worms love corrugated cardboard, and it really helps keep weeds down under a mulched garden path, as well as being a source of carbon in the compost piles. Cardboard turns flaccid and non aggressive as soon as it’s been soaked.

Most people stock up for the winter. I stock up for the spring.


9 thoughts on “stockpiles

  1. Your vermicompost looks amazing, and I love your idea with the banana peels. I remember the first time I used corrugated cardboard for my worm bin, and one day I was wondering were all my worms went. It took me a while to find them inside the corrugations, they really liked that glue. That’s when I discovered it was made out of animal byproducts, and thus, even contained vitamins for my little creepy crawlers. A really great post, I loved the photo-journal.

    Liked by 1 person

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