Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association


March, 2014
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Vermicomposting at Home
Interested in getting started in vemicomposting, aka worm composting? Learn the basics at the Vermicomposting at Home workshop at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve in New Hope, PA, on Saturday, March 15, from 10- 11:30 a.m. Find out about different types of worms, their life cycle and reproductive system. Then get your hands dirty and create your own vermicomposting bins, adding the appropriate food, bedding and worms. Learn about the care and maintenance of the bin in your home. It%%%s a lot of fun, a little messy, and you get to play with worms! Bring a dark colored 10 or 18 gallon plastic bin (not translucent) with a lid. Note: these are not outdoor worms; the bin will need to be kept indoors in a temperature range of 55 to 80 degrees. Instructor Susan Harrison has been vermicomposting for 10 years. She is certified as a Penn State Master Gardener, Bucks County Extension. Members: $10, Non-members: $15; Pre-registration is required by Thursday, March 13. For more information or to register, go to or call (215) 862-2924.

Clever Gardening Technique

Make a Cloche With Recycled Milk Jugs
Cold-sensitive spring transplants, such as tomatoes and peppers, may need a little extra protection on nippy nights and extra chilly days. They also appreciate warm soil. You can use the commercial frost blankets to beat the chill, or you can improvise. If you are a milk or bottled water drinker, you can make highly functional individual cloches for your plants using recycled, gallon-size plastic jugs -- if you start saving them now.

Wash out the jug. Then cut off the bottom. (Cut the scrap piece into strips for use as plant labels if desired.) In the late afternoon, cover each plant with a jug. Press the cloche securely into the soil and, if windy, brace it with a brick or rock. Or, slip it down onto a stake to keep it in place. On warm days, prop the jug up on one side with a brick or remove it entirely to avoid overheating inside. Grab the cloche by the handle to make set-up and take-down quick, then thread by the handle onto a rope to hang for storage.


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