Friday, March 25, 2011

Recycled Worm Info

I'm weeding through a stack of old magazines at home and I keep finding great information that is worth sharing.

If you read my previous article on earthworms, you know that I think that earthworms are some of a green gardener's best friends.

Here are some excerpts from an article called Worms' Work, by Amy Stewart in the April/May 2004 issue of Organic Gardening Magazine.

Worms….change the soils composition, increase its capacity to absorb and hold water, and bring about an increase in nutrients and beneficial microbes. You could say they move the earth.

A happy Home

Can you introduce worms into your garden? yes, but it's better to increase the worm population already present. 

* Sweeten the soil. Worms prefer a neutral pH of about 7. If a test shows that your soil is very acidic, add bonemeal, limestone, or crushed oyster shell to raise the pH. 

* Add a layer of organic mulch. Worms thrive under manure, grass clippings, dead leaves, and compost. 

* Avoid disturbing the soil. Tilling and double-digging damage earthworms. Layer organic matter on the soil's surface instead. 

* Worms love clover. Consider planting it as a cover crop in winter and turning it under in spring.

* If you must add worms to your soil, find a spot where they're abundant, dig up chunks of soil with worms, and carefully place the chunks in a hole you've dug for them.

For more information about earthworms, see my previous post: Earthworms - Wriggling Wonders of the Garden

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