Sunday, October 11, 2009

Putting in a worm feeder

Since I was tiny, I've always had a bit of a fascination with worms - and while you might be thinking every youngster has a fascination with worms (because they're on the kid's menu) - no, I've never eaten one. They were the first pets I ever kept as a child, and one of the first purchases on the plot was a good sturdy worm farm. The worms & me... well, we go way back.

But worms are awesome because they've got this uncanny ability to turn crap into gold, so I'm somewhat keen to put this to practice outside the worm farm.

As I might have mentioned in the past, that loose approximation of soil that my fruit trees now call home is less than appetising. It tends to get sandy and dry on the surface; and down towards the base of the wall it transforms to this sticky grey goo that traps a lot more moisture that I'd like. There's nowhere in my garden that there's more in need of a little worm magic.

So, on hearing about the idea from various people and sources, I've decided to give some worm feeders a go. After failing miserably to find a source of second hand pipe from freecycle, I settled on picking up some four-inch PVC pipe from the local hardware monopoly for relatively cheap. I took off a 70cm length and riddled it with 8mm holes.

Digging through the myriad of pots I've collected, I found a nice size pot base that fit snugly over the end of the pipe to prevent undesirables (you know... vermin, birds... small children) from also frequenting the feeder. I strongly suggest fashioning your own lid; because I found that these days they suck you in with the price of cheap pipe, only to smack you down with the exorbitant cost of pipe caps. Bastards!

Now the idea is that I drop this into the ground and over time fill it with compostable material, and draw worms into the garden. With any lucky they'll enter and exit the feeder often; drawing all that goodness out of the feeder and through the soil. And of course, this is where my work ends. Hopefully with a few of these around; the worms will unobtrusively fertilise and improve the soil while I stretch out in the hammock and read my book. But I'll let you know how that goes, of course...