Composting Food and Garden Weeds With Red Wiggler Worms to Improve Garden Soil and Reducing Waste

Soils in areas that have never been worked before seldom have the qualities needed to grow domesticated Honeywell QuietCare HCM-6009 plants and vegetables. Although soil in a particular area may be covered in grasses and other naturally occurring flora, modern plant breeds have been selected over the years for varieties that produce the highest yields. These plants can only meet their potential when rooted in a soil that meets certain conditions.

In general the best soils for gardening are loose and friable (also referred to as tilth), spring back when compacted and even when wet, absorb water easily, retain that water until needed, contain nutrients necessary for plant development, support a thriving population of beneficial organisms, have strong pH buffering capabilities, and are resistance to erosion. The major method of improving soil conditions for gardening is to add “soil amendments.” Soil amendments are anything that change soil characteristics. Some soil amendments are better at improving soils characteristics than others. For example, it was once common practice to add clay to sandy soil or sand to clay like soils and this did improve soil tilth for a few years. However, after a few years often the soil would become as hard as concrete as the different size particles compacted themselves into a tight matrix. This was the opposite of the desired effect so this soil amendment method is clearly not ideal.

Compost is one of the best soil amendments and it also happens to be one that is available to all gardeners. This is because a gardener can either buy compost or he may even in “grow” his own compost. Every year a certain percentage of a garden should be planted for the sole purpose of enriching the soil. In areas with very poor soils during the first year a large portion of the garden area could be devoted to growing plants that will produce lots of good quality compost that will speed the soil improvement process along. Some of the best plants for this purpose are legumes. One of the beautiful things about composting with worms is that, once a large population of worms is established, the composting process can be completed in a shorter amount of time than without worms. Also worm compost is more effective pound for pound than most other compost. This means less shoveling and less work for the gardener.

First an appropriate composting bin needs to be set up. Worms are not picky about what they live in so many different things will work. Anything from stacked car tires to old refrigerators have been used. The most important thing is that adequate drainage be provided and the temperature not get to extreme, below freezing and above 105 degrees are to extreme for red wigglers.

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