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Posts Tagged ‘worm composting’

Last year I didn’t put too much thought towards the details of fertilizing because I was grappling with the basics of taking care of a deck full of vegetables, but in these slow months I can turn my attention to what I am feeding my plants. Everything I have read has been full of praise for worm castings. They have a wide range of nutrients that are in a form easily used by plants, they improve soil aeration, they add lots of biological activity to your soil, they help hold moisture, you can’t burn your plants with them through overuse, they are ph neutral… all very good things that chemical fertilizers can’t offer.

Another big plus for me is that they are actually practical for me to produce on my own. I hate going to the store to buy things if I can make it myself! I don’t have bats or chickens to poop for me, but in January I am starting a worm bin. I figure the starting cost will be about $20-30 depending on where I can find worms and should be almost free to upkeep.

I recently bought the classic Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System by Mary Appelhof which I have flipped through a little. I understand the basics and hopefully when I read it throughly I will find answers to all the questions I have:

  • How much castings will my worms make every month?
  • How long can I store harvested castings before using them?
  • How quickly will unused nutrients wash away in the soil?
  • Are they too rich in nitrogen that they will discourage blooming or is that not a concern?
  • What nutrients are they lacking?
  • Do they cause salt build up in the soil or is that a problem only with chemical fertilizers?

I’ll let you know how it goes and post a review of the book when I get things set up, but like I said, this isn’t happening until early 2009.

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