3. Feed not only your plants, but the worms themselves.
As Aristotle said: worms are “the intestines of the soil”, and we all know what moves through our intestines: decaying matter… in its various forms. Worms can eat their weight in organic matter each day so it’s important to make sure there is a good supply in your garden.
The key to keeping these hard-working creatures happy is compost, compost, compost. Creating a compost bin for food scraps (with an open base to allow the worms to work their way in and out) is easy. If you do not have the space for a compost bin or you want to concentrate the nutrients in a particular area, try direct composting.
The same kitchen and newspaper scraps that you would put in a bin can be put directly into the ground.
Dig a trench next to the area you plan to plant. Alternatively, if you can, plan a couple of weeks ahead and dig the trench directly under where you will be planting. Dig approximately one foot down and then dump about 4 inches of compostable material into the trench. Cover the items you dumped in the hole with dirt and lightly compact it down.
If the direct compost is next to where you intend to plant, go about your planting. If the compost is under your planting area, wait a couple of weeks. When you’re ready to plant, gently prod your composted area (when dry) with a garden fork, and aerate the composted material below. You can direct compost during the winter as well, but do not expect the material to break down until spring.
To turbo-pack your nutrients, mulch over the area you’ve composted. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the worms go to work.
This is the wonder of worms; the humblest of creatures making their way through the earth below our feet, imbibing and recycling waste to create a new foundation for growth.
Now, that’s what I call a miracle!