In the past few months, I've been finding lots of little smooth lumps of dirt on the lawn and especially on the bottom edges of the raised beds. In an effort to keep things tidy, I would constantly pick them up and throw them at the base of plants but the stuff keeps coming back. In some places it heaps right up within a week.
I was pretty sure they were the excavation debris of earthworms, I thought they took a wrong turn tunnelling up through the gravel. But it wasn't until I started reading Teaming with Microbes (good book, Elaine) that I realised what these really are.
In other words, black gold to a gardener. From now on, I'll be collecting them. :)
Thought I'd share this bit of info with others who are as ignorant as I was about what worm castings look like. I always thought worms left their term deposits below the ground, but it makes sense, like all good animals (chooks excepted), they don't poo in their bedrooms.
So interesting! I knew they were from worms but didn't realise it was their castings.
Same here, I thought it was just their tunnelling debris. Actually I was hoping I could ask you about peppercorns. I came across a post of yours from a couple of years ago where you asking about growing peppercorn vines from the white peppercorns. Did you manage to grow any? I've been looking for the peppercorn plant and they're not easy to find. Thanks!
Joseph you could find the giant pepper vine at an Australian native plant nursery. It's not the commercial pepper, that comes from southern India mostly, but it's a true pepper and its seeds are quite tasty I hear. It's a sub-tropical rainforest plant, there's some growing beside the track on Mount Glorious. They don't call it 'giant' for nothing though. The trunk is around 25cm in diameter and it climbs as high as you can get in a rainforest tree. However, I reckon if you had a warm spot and a strong trellis you could get one to grow and fruit here. There's a Pepperberry from Tasmania which is really pungent but only grows in the cool.
Thanks Elaine, I'll have a look at the giant pepper vine, although size-wise it's not ideal.