Wormy Wisdom

Organic is all over the news these days, and for good reason! Even gardeners who do not think of themselves as organic gardeners are asking about these strategies and using them now because they are effective, sustainable, and grow better plants of every kind. Soil building is important to everyone, and organic matters like Vermicompost and Vermicompost tea work to improve soil conditions and nurture micro life for healthy roots. You don’t have to take my word for it: check out the photographs and research information at wormwise.com. And watch this space for weekly tips sponsored by WormWise Vermicompost Products for your organic garden to make this year your best gardening season yet!

NOV
Thankful for WormWise, Lettuce, and Fall
For a month now I have been harvesting lettuce leaves twice each week. As soon as I’ve picked enough for 4 salad lovers, I spray the entire bed with WormWise Vermicompost Tea in its handy Blossom Magic spray bottle. At the same time, I brush out the acorns and rearrange the fallen leaves so no place in the 3 x 10 box has more than 1 inch of leaves on top of its soil. The plants I grew from seed and those I bought in cell paks are the same size now and equally tasty. The cool weather really helps lettuce leaves develop the crunch we’re all seeking and each week the taste improves, too. When the night temperatures are predicted to be below 35 degrees, I cover the bed with plastic held over the plants with a flexible fence frame. As soon as the sun gets on the bed, it’s time to uncover and check to see if the plants need water, which they usually do not. I am one happy gardener when a dinner salad is as close as my back door. And thanks to WormWise, I’ll have plenty for the Thanksgiving table.


NOV
Worms and Your Compost
It’s leaf raking time and that means new compost heaps for organic gardeners. Each fall people ask me, “Should I add worms to my compost pile? How many and what kind?” While the sophisticated WormWise Vermicompost process brings worm castings to new levels, having earthworms in the mix adds organic value to home composts of every kind. They eat to increase the compost process, move about to aerate the pile, and leave their castings to enrich it. If you add organic nitrogen such as cottonseed meal or their favorite used coffee grounds, you can attract worms to a compost pile on the ground. But if you compost above ground or just don’t have any worms after a few weeks, add some. Visit a bait shop and get a package of red wigglers. They are the hardest working worms for a backyard compost heap.


NOV
Insect Strategies II
When it comes to insects on shrubs and perennial plants in the organic garden, you are usually advised to prune off what is damaged and grow the plant back to a healthy condition. WormWise Vermicompost Tea can help with that! Weekly sprays after pruning will provide nutrients but also work to make the new growth less attractive to common pests. Many insects can be suppressed in fall and winter by smothering them or their eggs that lurk under branches and in the folds of bark. Use a horticultural oil spray (not dormant oil like your grandfathered used on fruit trees) on dormant perennial clumps, evergreen, and deciduous shrubs. If you have camellias and see webbing under the leaves or yellowing on top of them, use the oil spray on them if (and only if) there is no color showing in the flower buds. The oil will discolor the flowers and no one wants that.


OCT
Insect Control Strategies I
The first step to controlling insects in the organic garden is to keep them away. One great way to do that is with weekly sprays of WormWise Vermicompost Tea. The nutrients and organic matter in WormWise provide just what vegetables need to grow, but the spray also acts as a deterrent to common, soft bodied insects like aphids, mealybugs, and such. Another great way to keep insects out of the vegetable garden is to exclude them with screening or floating row cover. At this time of year, you can use flexible fencing or a simple hooped frame to hold insect barriers or sheet plastic to protect tender leaves from freezing temperatures. These covers can be secured for the season with staples or bricks, or you can install them temporarily. I use clothespins to clip screen and plastic to fencing or industrial clamps on a hoop frame. Another good design makes a hooped frame from pvc pipe slipped into holes drilled into a 2x4 frame. Screening goes over the entire structure, secured with staples underneath so you can lift it on and off of the planting area.


OCT
Leaf Miners and Organic Strategies
Little transplants for broccoli and other vegetables look great when you bring them home from the garden center. But a week after planting, curvy white lines appear on the leaves closest to the ground. Tiny insects are burrowing inside the leaves and as they consume the green chlorophyll, their paths show white to our eyes. Leaf miners are the larvae of a little moth that found the broccoli and laid eggs on it when its leaves were brand new. They hatch and mine into the soft tissue and the good news is that usually they just mess up a few leaves. But if ignored and allowed to take over, leaf miners can dehydrate young plants and stunt them. At the first sign of leaf miners, pluck off the offending leaf and destroy it. Then spray the entire plant with WormWise Vermicompost Tea or Blossom Magic. Spray often to feed the young leaves and protect them from further damage from leaf miners.


OCT
Organic Greens
All sorts of leafy greens, from mustard and turnips to lettuce, chard, and mesclun will thrive with this plan of action. Work up the soil by adding compost like WormWise Vermicompost, ground bark, and/or rotten leaves to create a planting a sunny space about 4 inches deep. In containers, start with a good quality potting mix and add ground bark to improve drainage and WormWise to provide everything else. Especially if you are sowing small seeds like turnip greens, go slowly so the seeds are evenly distributed. When they sprout, thin greens to stand 2 inches apart at first, and thin again when they reach 4 inches tall by removing every other plant. The remaining plants will grow for months! You can pick weekly as long as you don’t remove the central growing point, or you can let a bunch get thick and pick the whole plant at once. Every week, beginning when they sprout, pour on WormWise Vermicompost Tea after watering. While the plants are small, use half a cup per plant and as they grow, increase that to a full cup. Spray Blossom Magic from WormWise regularly to add nutrition and prevent pest problems. Plant weekly and/or plant seeds and small transplants at the same time to extend the harvest.


OCT
Organic Pansies
Everywhere you go this month, you’ll see pansies for sale in garden centers, home stores, and even neighborhood variety stores. Pull out the summer’s zinnias and amend the soil in the bed or container with compost to refresh it. Plant pansies 4 inches apart to fill the space, or a bit further apart to make room for tulip bulbs in November. The most popular flower for fall planting is pansies and growing them organically is as easy as remembering the first day of the month.

SEP
Organic Transplant Smarts
Little cabbages or other small starter plants can go into shock right after transplanting and some never recover. Organic gardeners start with a rich, fertile soil amended with organic matters like WormWise Vermicompost. We water the newbies in with their Tea and spray on Blossom Magic daily for a week. Even with all this good care, the September sun can be brutal and little plants can get scorched. Soft leaves like lettuce and spinach can simply dry up from the combination of heat and direct sun. The answer is not to resort to growing fall vegetables in the shade! Instead, give them some temporary shade for a week or so until their roots can get growing for the long season ahead. I use flexible hogwire fencing in a low arch over my raised beds to keep critters away from the plants. At transplant time, I drape window screen, shade cloth, or an old bed sheet over the fencing on sunny days to protect the tender leaves. You may still have to water lightly each day for the first week, but you can cut transplant losses in the fall garden with a little shade for a short time.


SEP
Organic Fall Vegetables
If you haven’t caught on to the fall vegetable gardening trend, this is your heads-up to get on board. There is plenty of time and lots to grow. If you haven’t got a garden bed, go for containers – 4 that are 10 inches across and about as deep. Fill with an organic potting mix and find a sunny site to grow pots of leaf lettuce, beets and carrots, turnips, mustard greens, Swiss chard, kale, garlic, and onions. The best strategy for successful organic gardening is to keep the plants growing steadily, and you can do that easily with weekly sprays of Blossom Magic, the ready-to-use spray from WormWise Vermicompost Tea. Water the fall garden with soaker hoses to encourage deep rooting during hot weather and keep the plants mulched to make best use of irrigation water and rainfall. Because the weather conditions improve steadily through the fall season, it is actually an easier time for gardening than spring into summer. Grow broccoli in the flowerbed and cabbage in the hedgerow if you must, but grow fall vegetables!


SEP
Organic Soil
Drainage is very important for all gardeners, but nowhere is soil structure any more important than in the organic garden. One guiding principle of organic gardening is to do more on the front end, at the beginning of the season or the landscaping process. This is because healthy plants that grow steadily are less subject to pest issues and so need less intervention from us gardeners. Whether your soil is naturally sandy or heavy with clay, its structure most likely needs improving to grow flowers and vegetables, not to mention landscape plants and lawns. In the changing climate of the Southeast, it is especially important for soil to absorb water but shed any excess quickly. Building your soil with WormWise Vermicompost and other organic matters of different sizes gets all kinds of plants off to the best start possible. After that, each time you spray or drench with WormWise Vermicompost Tea, you add to the essential microlife in the soil and provide additional nutrients to keep plants growing.


SEP
Organic Traditions
Long before the current popularity of organic gardening, your great grandparents used many of these same strategies. That is because they gardened and farmed before the laboratory development of chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides. The products they used and that we use today are derived from natural sources. Ours are more sophisticated sometimes. For example, they probably had a worm bed and dug fishing worms out, then used the worm castings in the vegetable garden. Maybe it got flooded and they scooped out the liquid, which we know today as Vermicompost tea. But no one knew or cared exactly what was in the worm castings they used and the plants either grew or they didn’t, much like the fish were either biting or not. Advancements in technology have enabled WormWise to produce a consistent, top quality worm casting product, to create a refined tea so it can be used in sprayers, and to measure the nutritional content of both. This week I’m spraying WormWise Blossom Magic on lettuce seedlings that will grow outside and then in my hoop house. It’s my fall tradition and the babies have never looked better. Now that’s progress!


AUG
Organic Matter

Why do we need more organic matter in our soils? Because they improve soil structure no matter what kind of dirt you have on a site. When you use WormWise Vermicompost as a source of organic matter, you also gain important nutrition to nurture the soil macro- and microorganisms. Sandy soils can drain too fast and have too few minerals to sustain plant growth. Clay soils hold too much water and are difficult to rewet after a drought. Conditions that are more moderate work much better to grow vegetables and landscape plants, even natives. A good rule of thumb is to use 3 different organic matters in any soil improving effort because each builds soil structure in its own way. For example, compost is smaller in size than ground bark, which is bulkier than leaf mold raked from that pile behind your garage. Together they open clay soil to allow water to pass through more regularly yet they also bind to sandy soils and hold water in the root zone more effectively.



AUG
Organic Cabbages
Every so often, a plant dies regardless of what we do or don’t do for it. The good news is that most of these losses can be composted and turned into nutrition for the garden. Preventing the biggest problems starts with observing them so you can get the situation righted before it can become impossible. That is why you must walk the garden every day and see what is going right and wrong. This practice is the first step in gardening organically and is good for you and the plants. You will not miss the first flower or the first hole in a cabbage leaf. You can smile at the one and get busy looking for the cabbageworms that no doubt caused the other. Indeed, these pests are so predictable that anyone who grows cabbage or its relatives needs to have a supply of Bt on hand, the organic control product for these buggers. We live where the ground never freezes and bugs don’t die and that is why our organic gardening challenges are different from those faced elsewhere.


AUG
Organic – Not Just Vegetables
Those potted plants on your porch or in the indoor garden deserve to be grown organically as sure as those tomatoes and lettuce. Whether it is trailing ivy, piggy back plants, peace lilies, or orchids, organic gardening extends to every kind of plant. And when you grow them with WormWise Vermicompost Tea and Blossom Magic, you don’t have to worry about adding strong smells or volatile chemicals to your personal environment. Add Tea to the water once monthly and spray the leaves weekly to keep the plants growing steadily and pest free. Get the light level to suit the plants in your collection and flowering plants will bloom, clumps will be thick, and vines will be covered in leaves. Try it yourself – stop using conventional fertilizers and pesticides now, put your potted plants on a regular course of water and WormWise. And if a few plants are straggly or bloomed out, do some grooming and get ‘em growing!


AUG
Organic Gardens are Safe
For every creature from birds and frogs to children and family pets, there is no better place to be than in a nice organic garden. Here’s why: Wherever you shop and in every piece of literature distributed about fresh vegetables, you get detailed instructions to wash the produce thoroughly or peel it before use. Believe me, peeling and washing produce with soap or other concoctions is not done to get the dirt off! You are cautioned because pesticide residues are likely to be present that you do not want to consume. Conventional agriculture grows big swaths of one vegetable, creating a buffet for insects. To keep these inevitable invaders at bay, repeated sprayings of toxic pesticides are used to get the crop to harvest undamaged. Organic vegetables picked from your own diversely arranged garden should be washed to get the dust off, of course. But you can feel free to graze in the organic garden. It’s a ritual for me – the first bean or tomato never makes it into the house!


AUG
Making Compost II
Now that you can appreciate how easy it is to make compost, you’ll want to know some of its finer points. Barrels and boxes made for composting are good if you only have a little material to work on – one big tree and a small lawn can keep them full. Wire enclosures slightly larger than the 3 square foot pile work for me. I use 3 of them and turn the compost from one into the next and back again. One pile is always newly made, the second is actively composting, and the third is at least at the leaf mold stage. The act of turning compost aids its efficient rot. If you do not plan to turn the pile, speed it up with layers. Alternate green and brown materials and sprinkle half a cup of WormWise Vermicompost over each brown layer as you build the pile.

JUL
Making Compost I
One of the first steps to an organic landscape must be to start some compost. It is not hard to do, although if you read up on the subject you may decide it is just too much trouble. Compost is not a problem! It is an organic solution to at least 2 garden dilemmas: how to get healthy soil that will grow almost anything and what to do with green and brown debris like spent annuals, lawn clippings, and kitchen waste. The simplest way to make compost is to pile up the ingredients and let Nature do the rest. Indeed, that pile of last year’s leaves out behind the hedge will be compost in less than a year all by itself. You can increase its speed and quality in 3 ways. Limit each pile to the size of a 3 foot cube. Mix 1 part green (like grass clippings) with 2 parts brown (those leaves) and work in 1 cup of WormWise Vermicompost. Do no more and the compost will be ready in six months and contain more nitrogen than leaves alone. Turn the pile monthly and you speed the process even more. It is possible to make great compost in 3 months with this method. Start today and by late fall you will have the best soil amendment money can’t buy.


JUL
Great Organic Examples
Three garden challenges are happening this week, and WormWise Vermicompost Tea suits all 3 to, well, a T. A neighbor found 4 crowded pots of asters on the verge of collapse and planted them, determined to rehabilitate them for fall bloom. Cut off the old flowers, I told him, pinch the tip of each stem, and spray with Blossom Magic, the new WWV Tea product that’s ready to use. After 2 weeks, the sad specimens have turned around, are standing up with new leaves ready to pop open.

JUL
Get More Flowers Organically

By July, many of our annual flowers have been in beds and pots for months and they look a bit worse for it. You can give them up to the compost pile, but why not rejuvenate them organically for months of more blooms? Plants like petunia, blackeyed Susan vine, impatiens, and many more can benefit from midsummer pruning and primping. If insects or leaf diseases have been a problem, if flowers have dried up, this simple rejuvenation can jumpstart their regrowth. Cut back the annuals by half their current size and water each plant with one cup of

WormWise Vermicompost Tea

.


JUL
Fall Garden? Now?
I like to remember important events in the year’s garden timeline by associating them with holidays: prune roses at Presidents’ Day, pinch the Clara Curtis mums for the final time by Flag Day, and get ready for the fall garden by Independence Day. This last can be a challenge, since it’s hot and humid now. But if the spring garden has gone to weeds or blight, take heart.

JUN
Garden Questions – Organic Answers
My email box overflows this week! Learn how these dilemmas can be addressed by organic gardeners. Q1. How can I get more flowers on my hibiscus? The blooms were lovely, but there are no new buds. Q2. The tiny aphids are all over my pepper plants. Can I treat them organically? How? Q3. Why do my tomatoes have white spots under the skin? They are red but the spots are not.

JUN
Organic Tea Report
WormWise Vermicompost Tea helps keep the organic garden going! I’ve been spraying twice a month all spring and the difference is quite tasty. Eggplants are one of my favorite vegetables as long as it is succulent, almost sweet, with nice white flesh and only a few, very young seeds. The problem is that by the time they are big enough to eat they can also be rather old, which means seedy and not so pretty inside, and sometimes bitter. The secret is our friend, thrifty growth, the goal of gardeners.

JUN
Organic Houseplants

Too many people think organic gardening doesn’t apply to houseplants. I’m talking about those potted tropical plants that we usually grow for their leaves – ivies, pothos, corn plant, peace lily, dumb cane, weeping fig and the like. Your home doesn’t have to smell like a barnyard to be organic!

WormWise Vermicompost Tea

works with you to grow healthy foliage plants.


JUN
Tea, Please!

Using

WormWise Vermicompost Tea

can take the stress out of gardening in the confusing month of June. In the last five years, the weeks before the summer solstice have seen drought and deluge, cool nights and temperatures too warm to set tomatoes. It’s a mixed bag to say the least and WWV Tea can be quite a comfort to the gardener as well as the plants it works so well on. A spray or drench of tea provides nutrition and beneficial organisms while it wards off pests. It’s a good treatment to use on just about everything at any time, but here’s how I’m using WWV Tea this week:


MAY
Organic Blueberries

The best years in my garden yield flowers, vegetables, and fruit. This year, the wet spring gave my blueberries all they needed to reward me with 2 pints and more every other day. Yippee – yummy, healthy, and abundant! Ask anyone who grows blueberries in the home garden and they will sing praises about its fruit, good looks, and easy care. But organic blueberry gardeners have it even better – yes, organic fruit tastes better and these bushes are truly built for organic gardening. It’s all about the soil prep: for each blueberry bush, mark off an area 2-3 feet square, dig a shovel’s depth of your soil and add an inch of WormWise Vermicompost to it along with 2 inches of ground bark or leaf mold.


MAY
Organic Insect Control II
As promised last week, here is more on organic insect control, this time those with mouthparts big enough to bite off and chew into leaves, stems, and flowers. They, too, are deterred by regular sprays of WormWise Vermicompost Tea, but sometimes they damage plants anyway simply because their numbers and our conditions are so great. Organic gardeners routinely decide what we can live with and when we must exert control, and sometimes the decisions are not easy.

MAY
Organic Insect Control I
WormWise

Vermicompost Tea has many uses and at this time of year it is a wise idea to spray your plants with Tea regularly for two reasons: nourishment and insect deterrence. Even if you do, some bugs may test you, but you can gain the upper hand organically. The first step is always the daily walk around the garden to notice changes both beautiful and troubling. When you notice a web, egg clusters, or damaged plants, take action. If entire plants are chewed up, you’ll find more information in next week’s tip. But more often you will find sticky or spitty messes, discreet holes poked into plants or see aphids dotting growing points and flower buds.


MAY
Organic Greens
Whether you grow traditional Southern greens like mustards and collards, or you are enchanted by Swiss chard and the best 2 for summer, malabar and New Zealand spinach, you want succulent, flavorful, healthy greens. Organic soil and fertilizers are the best way to get the greens you want, and weekly sprays of WormWise Vermicompost Tea will keep the new leaves coming for weeks. Here’s how to get started:

MAY
Time to Repot!
When a pot tips over constantly, when water rushes out the drain hole as soon as you apply it, when roots grow on the soil surface or out the drain hole, or if it has been more than 2 years since those roots have seen the light, it is time to repot. Too many people fear they’ll damage roots, and that does happen so you do need to give the roots a boost with WormWise Vermicompost Tea. Mix ½ cup in a gallon of water when you water in new pots for the first time.

APR
Lovelier Lawns Organically
That turf grass in your yard really has a tough life! No other part of the garden suffers our blades and trimmers so often or puts up with irregular irrigation, foot traffic, and visits from dogs with such good nature. Your lawn can be healthier and better able to stand the stresses of life if you will start right now to maintain it organically. Once the grass is greened up, mow it at the highest setting your mower offers. Collect the clippings and toss them into the compost heap. Dig out any weeds that are present and discard them. Fill a pump up sprayer with WormWise Vermicompost Tea and apply it to the entire lawn.

APR
Organics and Extreme Weather
Organic gardeners tout the quality of the soil made by amending with Vermicompost, ground barks, and other organic matters, and I am a lifetime eyewitness! I clearly remember standing in the garden with my grandfather one rainy spring day. He in galoshes, me in rain boots, we stood on the muddy space between high rows of cabbages and dug around in the beds. I noticed even then that there was a difference between where we stood and where we dug. That rich, organic soil in my hand was full of worms and nowhere near as wet as the sticky mess under our feet, yet the rain fell just the same on both.

APR
Organically Grown Roses
My roses are showing off this week and for good reason. They are shrub roses and climbers, some as old as 19th century introductions and others released very recently. I grow all of them organically, in fertile soil rich with organic matter. I prepare the beds by adding compost, manure, ground bark, and WormWise Vermicompost to the native soil – about 4 inches of amendments to a shovel’s depth of existing ‘dirt’. Here's what else I do:

APR
Organic Herb Gardening
The tastiest, most aromatic herbs are grown ‘lean’ so that their essential oils can build up in the leaves you will harvest. In the garden or potted up, herbs need just enough water and fertilizer to keep them growing. More will bring on excess leafy growth that can be tasteless. This advice is particularly essential to growing the tastiest basil your pesto ever had and enough spunk for a homemade mozzarella and fresh tomato salad. So, what’s enough? Prepare a healthy, organic soil for herbs that drains well and is rich in a variety of organic matters, including 1 cup of WormWise Earthworm Castings mixed into the soil in each hole at transplanting time.

MAR
Start Veggies Now

On your mark, get set, plant and be smart about it! In some places, we’re setting out lettuces while in others, it’s tomato transplanting time. You may read about watering new plants in with a solution that stimulates new root growth, but seldom does the advice include what to use and why. You want to be sure the roots are well watered and that when the roots try to grow, they can. To prevent transplant shock and provide plenty of nutrition and microorganisms for those baby roots, WormWise Vermicompost Tea is unsurpassed in the quality of its formula and its ease of use. Here’s what I do:


MAR
Organic Strategies: Insect Control

Like most everything about organic gardening, insect control is a strategy that starts early. My friends at WormWise want you to know more. By walking the garden each day and simply looking at your plants, you gain an edge when you see the first bugs or the first signs of damage. At this point in the season, aphids and other soft bodied creeps begin to eat and soon reproduce in great numbers.


MAR
Organic Matters
Everybody has heard of loamy soil, but few have seen it in our part of the world. Loam has a near ideal balance of the clay, silt, and sand that comprise soil, providing a fine place for roots to grow. Soil that is primarily clay feels sticky to the touch. It’s heavy and doesn’t leak, which is good to a point, but can challenge the gardener.

MAR
Heirloom or Hybrid?
Seems like gardeners are dividing themselves into two camps – heirloom and hybrid tomatoes. Organic gardeners grow more heirlooms, but you can grow both, for different but equally tasty reasons. Either kind will taste better when grown organically and that will be the topic of several tips as the spring comes on. Right now, consider which you’ll be growing and prepare the soil by adding WormWise right away. Here are some facts to consider as you choose tomato varieties...

FEB
Organic Smart Starts
Garden planning can be hard to do, but take the time to plan your plantings. No matter what kind of plant you grow, organic gardening teaches us to take advantage of the forces of Nature in several ways. For example, lay out beds, pots, and rows so that when the sun travels over them, there are no tall plants to shade and so hold back the shorter ones, unless they are shade lovers. Next, read up on your plants to know how big they will grow to be and plant for good air circulation around each one. Crowding slows growth and can make plants vulnerable to pest attacks. Make a planting design that is diverse, even in vegetable patches to prevent fungus and insect pests from working their way straight through. Alternate tomato plants with pepper and eggplant plants, for instance, or interplant the tomatoes with equally aromatic basil plants. Plan to use mulches on every surface that has no plants for weed control, but keep it to 1-2 inches so it doesn’t interfere with watering or reduce the air circulation around your well-placed plants.


FEB
Get Ready for Great Soil
The winter has been wet in many areas but soon as it dries out, test your soil for tilth, which you can think of as its ‘growability’. With good tilth, the soil crumbles, does not form clods or crush into dust in your hand. When you add organic matters to heavy native soil, you provide larger particles for that dense soil to adhere to and open spaces for water and roots to push through. The organisms in the soil, both those you can see and those you cannot, work hard to further improve the soil structure and increase its fertility. A combination of organic matters works better than any one type alone, but how much to use of each one? Wormwise Vermicompost can play a huge role in creating organic soil with a small amount of product – just 2-4 cups per square foot worked into the top 1-2 inches of soil. Check out other modest additions with big impact in bands for traditional row crops, starting transplants, and improving the soil health of container plants, trees, lawns, and more: http://www.wormwise.com/instructions/


FEB
Using Vermicompost
Worm castings work in soil to organically kick start both micro and macro life in the plant’s root zone. By providing a ready source of nutrient and organic matter, vermicompost feeds the tiniest critters at the same time that it enhances soil structure. The result is a healthier, happier soil food web – that’s the dynamic that happens when roots meet soil and both are changed. Roots in soil begin to create exudates that nourish the bacteria, fungi, and other micro organisms in the environment. They, in turn, complete their life and decompose to provide needed nutrients to the roots. It’s a perfect circle of life that you should nourish regularly and vermicompost is a time honored, effective way to do it. Look for more wormy wisdom at wormwise.com.


FEB
Hard-working Worms

What are worm castings and what difference can they make in my garden? Simply put, castings are worm poop and they are full of top quality fertilizer elements that all plants need. As earthworms move through soil and improve its tilth, they eat, digest, and excrete. This natural process results in poop long heralded as a garden amendment, most notably by the venerable Robert Rodale who wrote about its fine humus qualities. So, the noble earthworms constantly till your soil to loosen it and increase its water management abilities. In the process, they leave poop for your plants that is nutritious and full of microlife. Diligent worm farmers harvest the poop and package it so you can easily add it to soil for garden beds, lawns, and containers. Look for more wormy facts at wormwise.com.



JAN
Wormy Wisdom

Organic is all over the news these days, and for good reason! Even gardeners who do not think of themselves as organic gardeners are asking about these strategies and using them now because they are effective, sustainable, and grow better plants of every kind. Soil building is important to everyone, and organic matters like Vermicompost and Vermicompost tea work to improve soil conditions and nurture micro life for healthy roots. You don’t have to take my word for it: check out the photographs and research information at wormwise.com. And watch this space for weekly tips for organic gardening, sponsored by WormWise.