I have worms in my back yard!

If you read my post recently about my garden, then you know I'm trying to grow some food in my back yard. Things are going well but I don't expect the results to be extraordinary this time around.

I've identified a few issues with the way we did the garden and unfortunately some of the plants are dying. No matter what I do, they continue to wither. The green beans yielded quite a bit of pods, but only once, after that the plants started dying.

One of the things I think that went wrong was the timing. We started planting way too late into the season and so I think we missed valuable growing and developing time. That wouldn't be so bad if we had nurtured the ground more thoroughly.

The ground when I started working on it was tough, dry and mostly clay. I broke it down with a pick-axe and flipped the top layer (about 14 inches). Then I added one bag of organic gardening soil and one bag of organic compost. Looking back, I probably should have added about five or six bags of new soil and a couple more of compost.

That will be good for next time around. But until then, and in the meantime we're also raising worms. That sounds a bit strange if you have never heard of this. We're doing this to get compost of course.

The way we are using the worms is as compost makers. We feed them table scraps and they in turn give us really potent compost. It's called vermicomposting. We feed them vegetable scraps, vegetable and fruit skins, grains, breads and other non-dairy and non-animal products. Over a few days they'll eat that, process it and basically poop it out. The nice name for this is worm castings, and this is what you use as fertilizer.

I know it can be kinda gross sounding, but it isn't bad at all. It doesn't  smell, and it is very low maintenance. All you have to do is feed the worms every few days, keep them out of direct sun and cold temperatures and that's it. This is a quick video I made about 2 months ago.

3 Comments

  1. Good for you! I’ve gardened in clay and let me say: “Raised beds”. Mound up your soil – doesn’t need to be fancy. Just keep adding compost and organic matter. It’ll get better every year but worms are the first sign you’re getting somewhere!

    Personally, I would not dig and flip the soil again. Soil has structures that you don’t want to disturb. Just keep adding on top and you’ll get there. Also, MULCH! Deep mulch around your plants will make everything easier and better.

    Can’t wait to see next years crops. 😀

    • Thanks Sarah for the tips! The worms are actually in my worm farm, not in the garden. And I know a little bit about the soil structure, but believe me, this soil is so poor, I cannot harm it by flipping it again. As soon as we get ready for fall & winter crops, it will get a good dose of fresh soil, compost and yes, mulching is another thing we forgot. We did get some green beans, and cucumbers, but I don’t think the cantaloupes are going to grow.

  2. Yet! Not yet!

    Doing what you’re doing they will and soon. It’ll be better every season. Organic matter ALWAYS wins. 😉

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