Alternate titles: The Wormening; Wormhole; All Along the Worm Tower; Gardening at Nightcrawlers.
Since my last post, I’ve been gardening. Without the aid of a soil sample, education or experience, I’ve decided that my soil is awful. We do, after all, live in an era where opinion trumps fact (I’m now embracing this rather than fighting it ) It doesn’t feel good, but talking about what I feel is a lot easier than doing research and thinking about a problem.
I could mulch, compost, fertilize, turn the soil, make a 3 year plan to improve a clayish, compacted soil that has maybe never seen anything but grass. Except I rent. And with the exception of the soil, I like the triangulation of location, cost, and features of my apartment, so I am not sure I’m in for the long haul here, but I do want a patch of dirt to grow some herbs and tomatoes in.
So I’ve decided to go worm to soil. And I lied earlier, there has been some research, vermiculture, the keeping of worms to compost left over food and organic matter, is common practice for gardeners. For the most part, a series of trays holds red wigglers - while they may all be bait and half of an aphorism about starting early to most of us, not all worms are the same. Red wigglers live in compost, leaves, needles, etc. Nightcrawlers live in soil.
I think I might eventually go with the red wigglers in a bin, harvesting their castings (worm poo) to add to soil, for the time being, I want improve my soil as quickly as possible so I am going to add night crawlers to my 3 patches of dirt I am calling a optimistically calling a garden.
|Add Worms here|
I am not the first person to fall for the worm. Charles Darwin’s last work was on the wormy worm. Darwin using a series of observations and estimations, estimated that an acre of dirt may contain 50,000 worms and they can move 18 tons of dirt in a year. He was widely ridiculed, (again) and he was right/wrong, right about the premise of the awesome power of worms, but underestimated what was happening below ground, you can multiply his numbers by anywhere from 2 to 9 depending on what wormoligist you want to believe.
Considering my back and ankles are still aching a week after ripping sod and turning soil, I rather have the little bulldozers to the work for me. In the next 10 days, I will be installing 3 worm towers in my garden. PVC with holes drilled in them ripped damp newspaper, compost, more newspaper, add worms, cover and sit back drinking a beer.
If all goes to plan, the worms will enter the tower at night, much down on the food, then burrow back into the ground as those damnable early birds are out circling, thus aerating the soil and going above ground at night to leave their casting, double thusly enriching the soil.
I’ll update, but for now that’s the plan.