Monday, March 05, 2012

How to grow big, fat happy worms and beautiful compost

by: Marsha Anderson

Good soil is crucial to a productive garden. Healthy soil will contain live microbes that are mostly dormant when soil is the typical, neglected landscape. Microbes rapidly propagate when soil is nurtured by controlling moisture and organic matter or compost. To get a compost pile started you need straw and vegetable or kitchen waste.

Compost piles can be handled in a trash can or bin but they work best on the ground. Dig out a patch about 3 feet by 3 feet by 6 inches deep, gently mix a bucket of vegetable waste with about a bucket of straw or mulch and a bucket of the excavated soil in the pit. This is a good recipe to get the microbes in high gear. Mound the remaining excavated soil over the pit to prevent smells, finish with a heavy layer of straw or mulch to retain moisture and prevent weed seeds from propagating. Give that pit at least a month to cook before adding a few worms. Don't throw live worms into a pit that is very warm to the touch. Compost piles reach high temperatures and yes, they will occasionally catch fire if not monitored properly. Read more...

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