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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in the california desert. I am surrounded by crushed granite sand.
I am trying to use goat berries and bedding for gardening.
Problem is the goat berries seem indestructable. I don't know how to turn them into soil.
I filled a plastic wading pool with goat berries and litter and added some water in hopes that I could use it as a container garden a few weeks ago.
Now when I looked at it today I have found I am growing some kind of maggot. here is a picture - the upper one shows the maggot and the lower one shows the pupa (I think):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/alidansma/bugs.jpg



I don't know if they are fly maggots or what, but there is about a million of them.
Are they harmful? Should I try to eradicate them?
 

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I live in the california desert. I am surrounded by crushed granite sand.
I am trying to use goat berries and bedding for gardening.
Problem is the goat berries seem indestructable. I don't know how to turn them into soil.
I filled a plastic wading pool with goat berries and litter and added some water in hopes that I could use it as a container garden a few weeks ago.
Now when I looked at it today I have found I am growing some kind of maggot. here is a picture - the upper one shows the maggot and the lower one shows the pupa (I think):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/alidansma/bugs.jpg



I don't know if they are fly maggots or what, but there is about a million of them.
Are they harmful? Should I try to eradicate them?
The maggots are breaking down the goat berries for you. If you can turn the litter and get the pile to heat up that would move things along. Takes a few months.:cool:
 

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They are probably soldier flies. Good guys for composting and don't normally create any problems.

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I put some in a jar with cheese cloth over it and they hatched and seem to be regular house flies. So it seems I am growing house flies in my compost. Is that a problem?
 

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House fly maggots are normally cream-colored, not white. But then, the one which you photographed is somewhat yellow. There are truly no bad insects that can be found feasting on compost as their natural job is cleaning up the Earth. In your case, you probably created an ideal environment when you added the water. Let it dry out and the life cycle will be stopped or seriously slowed, especially in your dry area.

Martin
 

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To turn what you have into soil it either needs too compost down or go through somethings system, get ate.
You need to throw some red wigglers or composting worms into that poo.
The worms will eat it down rather quickly given time to multiply. A worm can eat it's own body weight in food a day, they also double in # every 30 days. If you start with more worms this happens quicker. Duh... Let's overstate the obvious.
If you are having flies this shows that you aren't generating enough heat for hot composting, too flat not enough mass. Perfect conditions for worms.
You could pile it all up and maybe add more goat bedding, moisten it down too get it to heat.

Also the bottom picture I believe is of an oothica or egg sack of a cockroach.
Do you have roaches living outside in your area? Well I know you do, everyone does.
Just because you have roach eggs doesn't mean you have a problem.
Only about 8 types of roaches of the more than 3000 variety are classified as pests. The ones you have are just a normal part of your ecosystem.
Again hot composting would get rid of these eggs if you've the notion.

You really should have some holes poked in you poo pie plate or kiddie pool. I would keep it moist but not setting water wet if you go the comsumption route.

I have one pool set up in my chicken pen. I throw all the chickens soiled bedding into that little pool every week piling it up about a foot over the rim. The worms eat it down within a couple days. The chicken can then scratch out worms when they want the extra protein.
I started last fall with one handful of worms. The next spring all the eggs hatched and I had thousands. I have also harvested about 300 pounds of worm casts from this pool this season and have personally hand fed over a couple thousand worms myself to the
chickens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh Thank You Toad's tool. Those are some great ideas.

The little seed like thing was actually a fly coocoon (or what ever you call if - I put some of the soil in a jar to see what happened and there is about 20 flies in there now.
The high desert is pretty inhospitable to most bugs. we have an abundance of stink bugs and some type of locust and flies, but honestly I have never seen a cockroach here - maybe we just don't have home dwelling varieties.

I did have red worms a while back but sadly they met their demise last year - but that is a great idea about turning the Poo Pools in to worm buffets. I just need to find out where I can get some worms now, when I bought my other batch it was about 5 years ago at a water conservation fair.

And combining chickens and worms is also a great idea -
I always thought the one thing the desert needs is soil, and there fore the desert needs worms, but I have had a problem in the past with ants getting into my worms and killing them. That is the insect that we have the MOST of - ants! If you have any more good ideas what I really nees is a way to protect Worms from ants.

And I really hate the abundance of flies.
 

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Get chickens!!! Build a nice big chicken run and put your compost stuff in there and let the chickens turn and till it plus add their OWN poo to the mix!
 
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