Thursday, 30 May 2013

Evidence of Worms!!

by MC Lynda Smith

I started as a volunteer with Leonard Cheshire in Banbury five years ago, helping to run a gardening club for disabled people - all wheelchair users. We call ourselves the Green Wheelies.

The first challenge was that the purpose-built residential home had patio gardens - no raised beds! The unseen challenge was that it had been built on a disused car park!

As we tried digging into the soil on the patio gardens, we discovered there was only the soil laid down by the contractors - it was one of the Green Wheelies who had to point out to me during our second year that there were no worms in the soil. So we persuaded the home manager to allow us to have two compost bins placed outside the kitchens, so we could encourage staff to recycle and build up stores of useful compost.

Last week, while digging over the patio gardens, we were delighted to find worms - not sure what one resident has been adding to his patio garden but his worms were extra large (when using the Compost Game quiz, I do remember him taking an interest in the idea of urine for the compost heap!!)

We now have raised beds, thanks to Barclays who sponsored a staff gardening day for us, and we have filled the raised beds with compost from a Cherwell District Council Compost Giveaway event.

There were problems in the first year with foxes coming in and digging up the raised beds. Garden Organic were contacted and suggested they were after the worms and, rather than remove the worms, we could try obtaining lions’ poo which would frighten them off, or try leaving human hair around. Human hair inside socks were left in a corner of each raised bed and it seemed to work.

The things we do to encourage the worms! 

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