GROWING HEALTHY SOIL

Posted by admin in Environment, gardening, red wiggler composting worms, vermicomposting, worm castings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Healthy productive soil doesn’t just magically pop out of thin air it’s a valuable resource that’s sadly unappreciated by most in our modern world.  http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2011/11/08/stop-treating-our-soil-like-dirt/  In order to maintain and grow new soil you have to treat it well.  Of course the simplest method of soil production is using worms, indeed worms are the only creatures that produce balanced soil or as it known, vermicast.  The first step in the process is composting or to be more accurate, the action of decomposition. What is it that makes organic material break down into soil components?  Without getting too technical, microbial, in this case bacterial agents begin the process of decay.  If they are aerobic they off gas carbon dioxide, the anaerobic bacteria off gas methane and all organic decomposition produces a GHG.  The trick is to make it CO2, much less harmful in our atmosphere than methane.

Once decomposition by micro-organisms has begun to break down the material larger life forms can start to feed, it’s their waste products that are the base of soil.  The most obvious of these builders is the worm; composting vegetation goes in one end and a tiny cast (poo) of balanced soil comes out the other. How simple is that!

There are many ways to attract worms to your garden but front and centre is food, worms have to eat.  The worms we sell are composting worms and live most successfully in active compost; indigenous earthworm would not thrive in such a volatile environment with higher temperatures and unpredictable acid levels.  Your garden soil is a more stable less active habitat.  That said it can also be a food desert for soil growers like worms.

In nature a layer of decomposing organic material will form in areas that allow for it, on the prairie for example the dead growth of plants from the year’s past forms a mat at the soil surface.  What happens under that mat is the key to worm survival. Think of a pile a dead leaves, if you ignore it for a week when you flip it over you will find a thin layer of “rotting” mulch, it’s already started to compost.  This is what and where worms eat and a hint for attracting them to your garden.

The very best way to encourage worms to begin growing soil for you is to bribe them with food and the best food for them is mulch.  We suggest using leaves or for a “cleaner” look, straw.  Not only will you find this effective for encouraging soil growth the mulch itself has a myriad of benefits for plant growth and for you. http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2012/05/26/the-power-of-mulch/

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