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Monday, 17 June 2013

Happy worms

Mother's day, a year ago my daughter gave me worms.
Fortunately they were the kind that do great things in the garden, and I put them to work in a new home made from the bowl of an old washing machine with a lid made from a huge pot plant saucer. I felt though that I wasn't reaping the full benefit of their lifestyle, by not harvesting the vermiliquid.
So yesterday I rehoused 50% of the colony into a huge old terracotta pot which sits in the carport now.

I covered the drainage hole with some mesh, so I can collect vermiliquid now. Then I added shredded newspaper and old potting mix, which I dampened. I put in a little food, even though you are not supposed to feed them when just moved until they settle, I wanted them to be happy.

Then I added some compost from my old worm farm, with resident worms, and a topping of damp newspaper for them to hide under. And a lid.

I read a magazine article recently, written by Ben Elms, which gives some ideas for using vermicast (worm poo). Here they are..
  • Use it instead of compost in a homemade seed-raising or potting mix. Use 1 part vermicast to 1 part sand to 1 part coir.
  • Pep up your old seed-raising mix by adding 1 part vermicast to 1 part seed-raising mix and use again.
  • A generous handful of vermicast planted with every clove of garlic will give you great results.
  • When sowing carrot seed, in an icecream container mix 4 handfuls of vermicast with 4 handfuls of sand. Mix thoroughly with a packet of carrot seed. Sow the mix thinly in shallow furrows.
  • Topdress all those indoor plants to keep them fresh and healthy.
If you want more vermiliquid, put 1 part vermicompost to 4 parts water into a bucket for a few days. Stir when you remember. Then use immediately. 

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