Archive for the ‘Compost’ Category

The Worms

I question if this post gets filed under animals or garden, then I remembered, I actually created a whole category for the worms. I did it for my husband. Dave loves his worms. And Dave’s worms love him. I in turn love that Dave loves worms because I love what worms do for gardens. Can you feel the love? If bees are the key to world domination, than worms are the key to world peace. Again, it all comes together in The Garden Of Good And Evil.

Worms are amazing. Their castings (aka poop) seem to solve every problem in the garden. This is a link to a gripping study on all the good things worm castings can do for your tomatoes. If you don’t want to read the study, I know not everyone is a nerd like me, I can summarize: make worm tea (worm poop + water + 3 days of soaking, stir once a day) save the world. Ok, not the world, save your garden. You take that tea, you filter it through cheese cloth as you pour it into the garden sprayer (not the same one you used to spray Round-up before you saw the light) and you mist your plants once a week. This foliar feed increases plant immunity to everything and fertilizes so efficiently, it is probably all you need if you prepared your soil properly at the beginning of the season. Worm tea works for all plants.

Worms are easy to raise. They want to be cool but not cold (we’re in a good climate for that), they don’t like to get too wet but they have to be moist or they die and they want all of your non-animal table scraps. No butter, no oils, no fat. They are on a diet and they think Atkins is a crock of shit. Worms are smarter than we give them credit for. I’ve been giving our worms egg shells. So far, they seem to like it and I’m guessing it increases the calcium content of the fertilizer but I haven’t had the soil tested yet.

The only problem with worms is sometimes, you have to do some maintenance on their food. Take out too large particles, rearrange the really rotten stuff, the semi rotten stuff and the stuff that was just added so they are all in the proper bins with their own kind. It is a hands on activity and there’s not much to be done about that. That’s why we have husbands. If you are a husband and you have just been elected to do this manly chore, I’m sorry. I’ve pretty much been a bad influence my whole life.

At the bottom of those photos is a sort of sludge that’s draining down into the bucket. This is the extra liquid that happens sometimes. In this case, the worms got wet and there was a lot of liquid. I usually cut this with water and pour it at the base of the plants like normal fertilizer. Nothing perks the plants up faster. It’s like giving them steroids, without the peppers going into a ‘roid rage later. The sludge also horrifies and intrigues the children. Jules and moo were grossed out. The Boy spent 15 minutes stirring it with a stick. I think it’s a boy thing.

We always have two worm bins going, one at the ranch, one at the house and we have a third one that’s ready to deploy. We could probably use more but Dave can’t get anymore free from the county. If you live in the county of Santa Cruz, you can get a free worm bin. Dave got two. you know that thing where he’s good at getting free stuff? Now he’s taken to trying to convince neighbors and friends to get their worm bin and give it to him. If you’re interested, let me know but I would rather convince you to raise your own worms. Your plants, be them veggies or house plants, will love you.