Southern Agrarianism and the culture of the Old South

Picking Worms

Before you can pick vegetables, you usually have to pick worms. So far, I have done all my gardening without using any pesticides, and hand-picking worms has actually proven to be quite effective.

Going out to the garden is part of my morning routine – let the dog out, check the chickens, check the rain gauge, and check the garden. When worm season is here, that also includes looking for damage and squashing the worms that caused it.


  1. Amy @ Homestead Revival

    Morning is the best time to be in the garden! Lots to do and see; plus it’s quite and beautiful!

    I looked at your post on your raised beds (no place to comment there), and they’re awesome! You’ll be gardening in those long past the time I’m replacing my redwood planters. A friend of ours did the same thing with left over blocks – made something like 10 planters, but when he found out it was going to cost him over $1000 to fill them, he quit and just let them sit! Seems like such a shame. I told my husband, he would be better off filling them one at a time than just do nothing.

    I noticed you put plaster on the inside of your planters – was that to prevent water seeping out?

  2. Stephen Clay McGehee

    It’s scary to think about how much money we have in those planters, but then it’s a permanent part of the house so it’s not too hard to justify the expense. We live not too far from an area that has a lot of commercial greenhouses, so there are warehouse-type businesses that are used to selling by the truckload. We made several trips with the trailer in order to fill them up for a lot less money than if we had gone to a local garden store or Home Depot.

    Much of the mixture is a 50/50 mix of peat moss and vermiculite. Added in is some compost and some “Fafard 3B” potting soil. The 3-B is an inexpensive commercial potting soil mix that has a lot of ground pine bark in it. The bottom part is plain 3-B potting soil since it is the least expensive part and it is below the root zone for the most part.

    Yes, that is actually a waterproof sealer that we added to keep water from seeping in through the cracks between the blocks. The folks who laid the block did it as if it were a house, so the outside was nicely finished, but the inside was a bit rough. My main concern was the moisture seeping out and causing a lot of mildew and algae growing on the outside and looking ugly. Although the utility aspect is the main focus, the aesthetic part of gardening is important to me also.

    One thing I learned when putting the sealer on is that after you mix the water in, it takes several minutes for it to thicken up enough to use. I ended up wasting a lot of it trying to get the right consistency.

    If I were to build another one, I would probably only go 2 rows high rather than the 3 that we used with these two. It sure is nice and comfortable to work with, but I’m not sure it was worth the extra expense now that it’s finished.

  3. Stephen Clay McGehee

    Just another note about picking worms – I have pretty much stopped using gloves. There is nothing on the worms that stings, and it’s a lot easier to just wash of my hands than it is to wash off the gloves. The gloves are mainly used when picking okra.

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