Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Worms and the Soil

This picture illustrates one example of what the worm does in our soil, burrowing tunnels that allow water and air deep into the sub-soil levels where the roots of our plants penetrate for water and nutrients.

But the worm does so much more by helping to complete the decomposing process of our organic waste, eating bacteria and fungi and mass producing these microscopic life forms in their gut and pooping it out in the form of castings.

Castings, often called gardeners gold because of its value has a unique shape of its own.  Torpedo shaped and covered in a substance that slowly breaks down like a time release fertilizer, the casting helps build the soil both in physical structure and chemical make-up.

Two books I recommend for soil education are:

The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms


Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition

Worms, the soil, gardening...these can not be separated.  If you do one you must do all three.

Chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides all kill the naturally occurring life in the soil.

Mother nature really does know best and if assistance from man comes is the form that mimics mother nature then you feed the cycle instead of breaking it.

Feed your garden and it will feed you.  Let the worms help!

Organic Minded
Organic Conspiracies


Monday, February 27, 2012

New worm added to the herd.

Technically I have not added this worm to the herd, as the worms have their own bins. The reason for this is that I want both worm species, Eisenia hortensis and Eisenia foetida, to thrive and since they have different requirements (even though minute) they must live in separate bins.

The new guy on the farm is of course, Eisenia hortensis. This worm is bigger and fatter than Eisenia foetida and remains active at colder temperatures making this worm an excellent choice for fish bait.

Also called the European Nightcrawler, this worm likes it drier and does not like to be disturbed. Not the top feeder that its cousin E.F. is, it stays down in the bedding.

As I said it’s a much bigger worm and great for fishing. Fat like a common nightcrawler but not as long so you don’t break it up to put it on the hook. This worm stays active in cold water and flops around like the red wiggler.

I loved this worm the first time I tried them but I messed with them too much and kept the bedding too wet. In essence I tried to raise them like an E.F. and they didn’t like it.

Check out the website for purchase information on this worm and give it a try. You'll fall in love all over again if you're a true wormer.