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Happy Worms are our friends.

Every active or potential organic gardener needs to know this one important fact; If you want a successful organic gardening experience, you gotta' have worms.

Worms are an incredibly essential part of the health of organic gardens and plants because worms do what modern agriculture accomplishes by utilizing chemical saturation tactics. Worms help deliver food to your plant's root system. Worms snack on that cow manure you spread on your garden. They greedily eat the stuff and then redistribute the nutrients throughout your garden in a form which is highly usable for your plants. Additionally, the burrows which worms create when moving under the soil in your garden, make invaluable deep irrigation channels.

If you garden organically, give your garden the worm test. Take three shovels of dirt out of your garden and look for worms. If you cannot find a worm within a three shovel sample, you ain't got enough worms. If you can find three to five worms in that sample, you have plenty -o- worms. If you find more than five, you have a tremendous amount of worm food in your garden!

It is very easy to make your garden an inviting place for the worms. We know that worms like manure, moisture and loamy soil, so all we have to do is give those things to them. Following these directions to create worm beds will almost guarantee you a garden full of happy worms:

  1. Dig a hole about 2 feet square and about 12 inches deep. Put the soil in a wheel barrow or in a small pile and remove as many of the stones as is practical.
  2. Mix the dirt from the hole with a high grade potting soil such as Hyponex. Make the blend about half potting soil and half original soil.
  3. Line the bottom of the hole with about 6 thicknesses of newspaper and then refill the hole with your soil mixture. Wet the soil mixture lightly as you put it back in the hole.
  4. Put about 3 inches of organic composted cow manure over the soil mixture, wet it down and place a cover over the worm bed, such as a piece of plywood weighted with a rock.
  5. Wait to hear worm party noises.
Keep the worm bed moist by lightly watering as needed. You don't need to remove the cover, just water real good around the edges. Loosen up the worm bed soil about once a week and replenish the manure as needed. I recommend 1 worm bed for every 10' x 20' section of garden unless you have sufficient worm populations already. If you are more interested in building a worm condominium, you can also find plans for worm bins. If you want to speed the growth of your worm community, try buying a couple dozen night crawler worms at your local bait shop and show them what you made! You can even buy worms on the Internet!
Making a worm bed

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