|Worms from my worm farm|
Since building the chook shed and re-locating the kids' slide, there's room to make some new veggie patches and I set to work on these. The chooks have been having a wander over this ground for the past couple of months and I figured eight chicks doing their business on them must be good. But the soil didn't look good. All compacted and hard to dig into. I suspect no-one has dug this ground for years and years actually. But I got out the pick ax (whoo whoo) and worked up a sweat. I do have an ear infection at the moment so every time I stood up I felt a little dizzy and needed a sit down again. No it wasn't Veggiegobbler Wonder Woman. More like Nana Veggiegobbler with a big heavy tool needing constant rests and cups of tea. Anyway, I laid little rows of bricks around the edges and then got the little shovel and sat down to dig it over some more. And do you know how many worms I found?
That's right not one! What's going on there? I've been reading all over the place that all good gardens have lots of worms. I've seen pics of Mark's Veg Plot's compost bin and he has bucket loads of worms in there. So I thought I might have a look in my compost bins. I might just get lucky and find enough compost ready to go on these beds. I got the twisty gadget from the shed to turn it over (something I rarely do I admit - I leave the erky jobs to Monkey Man) and gave the bin that's having a rest a bit of a turn. No worms in there! The second bin that we're currently filling luckily revealed quite a few fat, juicy worms. And just as I was giving it another turn it also revealed a little mouse that I'd managed to freak out. I got over that quickly enough and had a bit more of a turn and then I discovered a whole nest of little mice which freaked me out a tad. And provided the chooks with a bit of entertainment for a few minutes.
So I went back to my soil turning and a nasty little thought popped into my head. A couple of weeks ago I'd given my chicks a worming treatment. Monkey Man teaches saxophone and one of his students happens to be a vet. Always one to take advantage of free professional advice I consulted her about Wonky and her mate who were looking a bit off colour. She noticed the runny chook poo and recommended a worming treatment. In fact she gave me a free syringe full of the stuff which I obediently popped into their water. And which I suspect has rid my chooks of worms (no more runny poo and everybody looking happy) but could it have also rid my new veggie patch of worms too?
I've been having a bit of a google about trying to find out whether this is the case and I can't find anything. But it does ring a bell to me. I seem to remember reading not to put dog poop from dogs that have been recently wormed in your specially designed doggy poo worm composter. So it makes sense that you don't put wormed chook poo on your garden where you want worms. But intestinal worms are different from garden worms aren't they? Well, the damage has been done now. I do know that I ought to put crushed garlic in the chook water every so often as a natural worming treatment and this is what I'll do in the future. Meanwhile, I've put some manure on the new beds and hope to attract some worms there soon. Does anyone know for sure about this? Any advice?