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close this bookSoil Conservation Techniques for Hillside Farms (Peace Corps, 1986, 96 p.)
close this folderSoil fertility and its maintenance
close this folderOrganic fertilizers
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentManures and crop residues
View the documentGreen manure crops
View the documentComposting
View the documentComposting with earthworms

Composting with earthworms

Another method of improving soil chemical and physical properties is the raising of earthworms and the subsequent incorporation of both the worms and the rich soil they are raised in. Earthworms can be raised in a mixture of the same materials used in composting, but in this case they are not compacted. They are also often enclosed in a box or tub to prevent their escaping. If a variety such as "Red Wiggler" (Coqueta Roja) is available, it may be much more active and reproduce much faster than other native types of earthworms. m e earthworms ingest organic matter, digest it, and leave behind a mineral rich feces which provides nutrients for plant growth. Also by physically passing through the soil, earthworms increase soil aeration and drainage.

For a more thorough discussion of composting and of composting with earthworms, see The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening (Rodale, 1971).