02 November 2014


It was with satisfaction I spread vermicompost on my boyfriend's hosta bed a few days ago. Felt like real gardening again! Over the past few weeks whenever leacheate started dripping into the tray, I lifted the new bin off the old, turned over all the material with my hands to loosen it up, especially where it was compacted like mud on the bottom. In the process picked out worms. The first time, there were so many still in the old bin my back got tired of bending over before I even sorted through it all. The second time, there were half or less the amount of worms, and I picked through all the soil, dropping them by handfuls at a time into the new bin. They squirm tickling on the skin, then dissappear quickly into the bedding. They appear more robust and lively than before.
This time, I intended to empty the old bin completely. As turned over material, sifted out the worms by hand, dumped compost into a bucket, worms into new bin. Not nearly so many. I filled two five-gallon buckets with vermicompost, and still had enough left over to mostly fill another bucket. It was pretty damp so I mixed in some old soil from my now-empty planter boxes, worked it through until all nice and crumbly. Put these two buckets' worth on the hostas, and the remainder went into a nearly-empty potting soil bag. I folded the top down loosely, punched holes in the side (with a carving fork) and stashed under the kitchen dresser. Supposed to keep working, keep the microorganisms alive, if it stays moist and aerated during storage. I bet I missed a few worms, or some will hatch from eggs left in, so they'll continue working it and when I pull it out in spring to repot my plants, it will be in even better condition to use.

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