Earthworms are great helpers for gardens, even raised beds.They not only aerate the soil, they also make channels for water to percolate through. In addition, their poop (castings) is in a form that the soil's microbes rapidly turn into plant food for your garden. So everytime I build a new garden bed I toss in any earthworm I come across while doing yard work. The "lasagna" layered beds provide lots of organic material to keep them happy and hopefully breeding to make more earthworm buddies.
Recently my better half Ron saw me collecting earthworms and tossing them into the new beds. He asked me how I planned on keeping them from just crawling out and leaving the worm haven I thought I was putting them in. Huh? I hadn't really thought they would even want to leave their new home with so much yummy worm stuff buried below the surface. That had my brain smoking for a few minutes while I tried to think like an earthworm and come up with something clever that would make them less likely to crawl away.
Then I thought about all the worms I find in the compost pile and vaguely remembered reading something about simply burying kitchen scraps in the garden to compost there. LIGHT BULB moment! Why not recycle a plant pot into an in-ground compost pot? Think about it, the pot already has large drain holes on the bottom sides, perfect for worms to crawl in and out of. So I found a perfect pot, about a 2 quart size, buried it to the rim and dumped in some kitchen scraps along with some plant debris I had cleaned up. Then added a clay saucer to cover the top in order to keep out unwanted pests, like my dog and cat and any other wildlife that might find to goodies inside enticing.
So now when I come across earthworms, I just plop them into the compost bucket in the bed. They quickly wiggle into the scraps in there and eventually out into the bed through the holes.
Does it keep them from crawling away still? Ultimately no, but I'd like to think that between the fresh organic worm food in the pot and all the organic matter in the bed itself, they will be content enough to stay put and multiply!
Happy Earthworms in Raised Garden Beds
Worm Compost bin in the bed to keep earthworms happy.
Pot buried to rim.
Add a lid to keep unwanted pests out!
Toss in kitchen scraps and earthworms and VOILA, earthworm haven!
Published June 11th, 2015 6:44 PM
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