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CC Audio - Dynamic Gardening - Part 1 - Vermicomposting
Outline of the audio:
If there was one simple idea which would reduce the challenges and complexity of gardening to a single act, this is it:
Feed your worms and let the worms do the rest!
The activity of feeding the worms does more good to a garden than any other activity that I know of, and its implications affect every single level of soil and plant health from the most microscopic bacteria essential to plant life, to the size, the quantity, and even the nutrient content of the produce itself.
Vermicomposting is the art of cultivating worms for the benefit of your garden.
Centering all you do in the garden on feeding your worms and keeping your worms safe will affect:
1) what you put in the soil (and what you don't),
2) what you put on your plants,
3) the way you dig, plant and plow (or not),
4) where you put the leftovers from your garden,
5) the health of your plants,
6) the survivability of your plants under stress,
7) the nutrient value and taste of your produce,
8) the ease and enjoyment of the gardening
This is gardening made simple - feed your worms and let the worms do the rest!
Worms create benefits to your garden according to an ancient wisdom that modern science is just beginning to understand.
Here are 10 things that worms accomplish for the soil, for your plants, and for your health:
1) Worms convert compost to biologically active, nutrient-dense soil in less than 3 months (compared to 2 years for the standard compost heap method).
2) Worms break up hard clay soils and convert them into soft, workable soil which will naturally retain water better.
3) Worms open pathways in the soil that bring in oxygen and help roots to follow down to the deeper reaches of the soil where more nutrients can be found.
4) Worms aerate your soil over an area of several feet around, and in some cases, up to 12 feet deep, redistributing nutrients as they go.
5) As the worms burrow their way through the soil, they leave nutrients behind which become nourishment for your plants.
6) The digestive process of the worm, accomplished mostly through bacteria, converts soil components into bioavailable nutrients which are easy for plants to uptake.
7) Worms also cultivate rich biological activity in the soil essential to a balanced soil environment. The point here is - you don't have to think about it, the worms do it for you!
8) Worms are able to detect the unique nutritional needs and pH requirements of each individual plant - and create the most suitable environment for ideal plant health.
9) Compared to soil that has not been through a worm, vermicastings (worm poop) are far more abundant in nutrients:
a) 7 times richer in phosphate,
b) 10 times richer in potash,
c) 5 times richer in nitrogen,
d) 3 times richer in usable magnesium,
e) 1.5 times richer in calcium.
10) For every 100 square feet of well-tended, organic garden space, worms are able to deposit an astounding 50-75 lbs. of nutrient dense worm castings per year into your garden.
Here are 2 things you DON'T want to do in a garden because they destroy the worms and the natural habitat the worms create for your plants:
1) Don't rototill your garden. It destroys the worm pathways and kills a vast number of the worms. It also disturbs the pockets of unique biological environments that the worms labored so hard to create.
2) Don't use chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. It is like pouring salt and chemicals on the sensitive skin of the worms.
Chemicals kill the biological environments that the worms labor to create, and subsequently weaken your soils.
Chemicals make it harder for your plants to get the bioavailable nutrients they need due to a diminished biological population, resulting in an increased proneness to disease and lower yields.
Where is the best place to build a worm bin?
1) In your garden. With piles of leaves, yard trimmings, and kitchen scraps stacked over the area you will be building a garden bed at in a few months from now, the worms will prepare the soil leaving behind a rich beginning for the new bed.
Keep your compost moist but not soggy. Move any remaining amounts of compost to the next bed.
2) Bury kitchen scraps in the isle ways next to your growing garden beds.
What do worms love to eat?
1) Vegetable kitchen scraps (don't put meat, fats, or cheese in your garden compost), fruits, squashes, pumpkins, watermelon, other fruits – even citrus, leaves, grass clippings (grown organically), and both coffee and SumaRaj Tea grounds (they love SumaRaj - makes them reproduce prolifically).
How to layer your vermicompost:
1) Layer every 4-6 inches of compost with an inch or more of existing soil, and be sure to cover the top of your compost with soil followed by a protective layer of leaves or straw. This will help to retain moisture and inoculate your compost with existing soil bacteria which speeds the further break down of materials.
2) Sprinkle Silica Rich over each layer and spray (or pour) a dilution of Liquid Gold on each layer. This will improve biological activity in the compost pile, help break down any toxins or chemical residuals and increase the vitality of your worms.
The worms will then do the rest!
Enjoy the simple gifts from Nature!
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