From Gardeners of Southwest Florida
by Steve Cole

The benefits of using worms for composting and organic gardening

Fig. 1

Concerned Florida gardeners can use the Earth's natural methods to create beautiful lawns, flowers, shrubs, fruits and vegetables by avoiding commercial chemicals that can damage our planet's endangered environment. Ordinary worms have proved to be very useful in converting kitchen scraps, grass clippings and other organic materials into rich chemical-free garden loam.

Using worms in the landscape
Fig. 2

Garden group member Steve Cole will teach us (in the group leaders' garden patio in Naples) the many benefits of using worms in our landscapes and compost bins, as well as for fishing, or feeding pets and livestock. Worm castings (their droppings) can be used as a natural fertilizer to enrich Florida's nutrient-poor sandy soil.

Fig. 3

Steve has studied vermiculture (worm-farming) for years at various companies, and has found simpler methods to efficiently breed and harvest these beneficial helpers for gardeners and farmers. Now he's the owner of his own firm, Vitalis Industries, providing various species of worms and castings by mail from his breeding facility in Fort Myers.

Compost bin
Fig. 4

At this free class, we'll learn how to construct our own compost bins in which worms can breed and multiply while devouring material that would normally be thrown out as landfill. Dead leaves and other garden trash, coffee grounds, tea bags, potato peelings, old vegetables, shredded paper and cardboard, horse manure and other waste (but no meat, fish, onions or grease) can all be converted to soil ideal for organic gardening.

Fig. 5

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Cole, Steve. "Vermiculture: The benefits of using worms for composting and organic gardening." Web. 14 Dec. 2015.

Published 15 Dec. 2015 LR
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