Rethinking Worms

How often do you think about the worms underneath your feet? I rarely give them a thought - except when I'm digging in the garden.

When we built our first garden in our new home 4 years ago, I thought of earthworms - because there weren't any! I had never experienced clay soil before. It was hard, heavy, and devoid of life.

But we made a garden anyway; turning in compost and peat. Fast forward a few years to when we remade and expanded the garden this spring. While digging in the current garden space, we encountered numerous worms. Even wire worms (oh no!)

But as we dug to create the new garden boxes, we were in fresh clay again. Heavy, thick, and wormless. I mean zero worms. Not even the yucky wire worms. Or slugs or pill bugs. Or anything.

We've since amended that soil as well and my kids are constantly relocated worms to the garden. You know the ones that almost drown after a rain storm? My kids collect them and settle them into the garden every time it rains. Is it helpful? I don't know - but it sure is cute.

If I could, I'd grow worms in a compost bin indoors. The red wrigglers. Or outdoors if we didn't get such cold winters. Neither of those are going to happen, so I've made plans to wormify my new raspberry beds for next spring. The plans include layers of cardboard, grass clippings, leaves, and compost to create a worm haven that will eventually become a hospitable raspberry location.

And in the meantime - I am learning far more about worms than I could have ever imagined. If you are a gardener or somewhat interested in "how the world turns," then I recommend you check out The Earth Moved from your library.

It's a fascinating story about worms - told from a gardener's perspective. It's seriously fascinating. And if that's not enough to satisfy your gardening itch for the winter - I'd also suggest you take a look at The $64 Tomato and Square Foot Gardening. The first is an all-out riot (garden comedy??) and the second is just an amazing way to look at maximizing your space.

I've read them all this last month and am open to suggestions if you know of any great garden reading for the Winter months. Spring can never come soon enough!


Christa aka The BabbyMama said...

You are super smart for re-worming, and I think it's awesome. But dang, if I am not totally grossed out right now ;)

Sara said...

I don't give worms much thought unless I see one. oops!

I want to start gardening with my 3 year old. I think it would be nice for him.

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