Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thrifty Thursday-Worm Condo

With the onset of the summer temperatures here,
not much is growing in the veggie garden.
It seemed like a good time to try a little experiment.
I'd read about a specific way to add compost to the garden
and attract worms at the same time.
Earthworms are a boon to the organic way of gardening.
Worm castings have so many benefits, 
including improving the soil in your garden.
You can read a great article about that topic here.

Now, we usually do direct composting,
where we take the contents of our freezer compost bin
and add it straight away to various parts of the backyard bed.
It works just fine, but I wanted to try something different.

Most of the articles I've read on this subject
suggest PVC pipes, but I didn't have any on hand
and I wanted to use what I had around the homestead.
These large yogurt containers were repurposed for our undertaking.

The drill was used to form holes in the bottom of the container.
As long as the holes are about eraser-sized, 
the worms should be able to travel in and out just fine.

The holes were filed just a bit to remove any sharp edges.

If the container collapses while you are drilling,
you can add water to the container, freeze it and then drill your holes.
The ice inside helps the receptacle retain its integrity as you drill.
When you've completed your drilling, 
place the container next to your plants 
and they will get a cool dousing as the ice melts. 

We also cut out the bottom of the vessel to allow the contents to be worked down into the soil,
as well as adding even more access for the worms.

The clear tops should make it fun to watch as the compost breaks down.

The containers were placed into a snug hole
right in the garden bed.
The pipe version adds them to the corners of the garden,
but I think they'd be fine just anywhere.

As we are transitioning our veggie bed,
no planting is happening right now and
it will be easy for us to watch the progress of this research project.

We added some compost from our freezer container.
We had carrot peelings, cherry tomatoes, ends of peppers,
coffee grounds and egg shells that were about thumb-nail sized.
I'll be monitoring the contents every few days to see how it decomposes.
If it works, we'll be using it all over the garden beds.
If it doesn't, we haven't lost a thing,
and we'll continue with our direct composting method.
Either way, we're sure to learn something!

The worm condo we created was
based on the idea found here.