I just love a good worm.
And here’s the crazy part; I know I’m not alone. Other gardeners in-the-know also appreciate the value of the slim and sexy eisenia fetida. Not your garden-variety earthworm, the red wiggler, or banded redworm, is the sole proprietor of nature’s best soil amendment – worm poop. As organic amendments go, their stuff is the shi.. zzle.
Really though, what’s not to love?! It’s worm poop. OK, don’t answer that. I will. In just a matter of weeks, you can turn ordinary kitchen scraps that you put into a worm bin, into nutrient-rich fertilizer for your plants. It’s known as vermicomposting, an organic process whereby banded redworms feed on decomposed materials and then produce castings (poop). Essentially, worm castings are nutrient-rich pellets packed with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and healthy bacteria. You (or more likely, your kids) harvest worm castings from the worm bin, introduce them back into your soil and -as the castings break down- they go to work on a microbial level, enriching your soil with nutrient goodness.
As if diving elbow-deep in decomposing kitchen scraps isn’t good enough, it gets better. Yeah, I know… right?! You can take advantage of this right in your own home. And by “in” I mean “IN.” You can keep your worm bin in the kitchen under the sink, or under your kid’s bed. If that’s too extreme, keep them in the garage or on the back patio. Contrary to popular belief, when properly managed worm bins are not messy and they do not stink.
What follows is a summary of a series of articles I wrote on the subject. It will take you through the four-week cycle, from beginning to end.
Week 1 – Set up shop; create a worm bin habitat
Week 2 – Let the Upcycling begin
Week 3 – Almost compost
Week 4 – Finished compost, and worm compost tea
This article is the 23rd in a series of 26 consecutive articles, as part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the whole month of April. Tomorrow, I’ll post an article with a title that begins with the letter “X”… So goes the rest of the alphabet, through the end of the month.