I definitely seem to have run out of the will/ability to come up with witty, and borderline inappropriate for my audience (beyond borderline, and, what audience?) titles for my posts. But, in all honesty, even I can’t work with ‘worms’ without going to places that only my family and friends would tolerate, and then, only just.
Based on the perceived difficulty of separating worms from the worm compost generated in my worm farms, and knowing that there was all that goodness just sitting there, not benefiting the garden, I got to thinking about a lazy man’s option…being a lazy man and all. I have been trialing two of these in ground worm farms for a while now, with the oldest one having been in production for about 5 months.
Pretty basic technology, I cut the bottom of an 18 litre, food grade bucket, buried it most of the way into existing garden beds. Added some food scraps and straw and added some composting worms from the existing worm farms. I did however come up with quite an advanced method to prevent rodents from entering the bucket. The intention was to pull the buckets up eventually, leaving behind a good dose of composted material, but I am thinking I should have drilled holes in the side of the bucket to allow nutrients to leach out during the composting process.
The results so far are inconclusive. There is certainly decomposition going down, but I am unsure how much the worms are contributing to the cause, with a bunch of other critters having been sighted in the buckets, and noticeable lack of worms in one of the buckets, the other, after digging around a bit, showing a few, fat adults. Maybe they moved out, but, why would they leave a home of food to face the big wide dirt world? They might also just be hanging in the depths where I can’t rifle through? (That is how I spend my days) Time will tell.
I think though, there will be benefits in the long term from adding well composted organic material directly to garden beds in a sustained manner such as this. I do currently bury food scraps into newly dug over beds, but it is a generally once off for the season, before planting a crop. With this method added to that existing practice, it should result in being able to introduce more organic material into beds over the season, resulting in better, more nutrient rich soil. I will keep you updated.