Friday, 21 March 2008

Feeding Worms in the Garden...

Having now realised that an integral part of the Wicking Bed set up are the compost worms kept in them, I was very interested in a system I saw at Nirvana farm last weekend.

Deb has a tube-like structure which is buried under the soil into which you you place the worm's food. This is covered with a moistened jute or hessian type fabric (loosely woven natural fibre) and has a well fitting lid on top.

Basically the tube is two large plastic buckets joined together in the middle. The bottom bucket has fairly large holes drilled into it on the sides and bottom.
The sides of the top bucket are left intact but the bottom of the bucket (now at the top) is removed.

The whole unit is buried in the soil with just enough exposed to enable a lid to fit for access and also to keep other critters out! The holes in the sides of the unit allow the worms to visit the feeding unit and them go off into the garden bed to leave their deposits!

The one in these photos from Deb's Garden was made using large plant pots with a lovely, bottomless, earthenware pot on top. This not only looks great but according to Deb helps to keep the worms cool.

This concept seems and ideal way of caring/feeding the worms in the wicking bed system. The size of the unit (the buckets or other containers) could be varied depending on the size of the bed you are using.
Since the wicking beds are self contained the worms won't escape although you would have to watch out that the pesky blackbirds didn't steal them and make sure the chooks don't escape and devour the lot!

I've found that worms enjoy their food after it has been buzzed in a blender. So we picked up an ancient blender at the secondhand shop just for this purpose!

Everything gets blitzed up with water to form a sloppy glug that the worms go crazy over. This makes it easy to pour down the tubes in the wicking boxes too.

Wicking Boxes
Wicking Beds
Watterright site
Nirvana Organic Farm


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