Northern & Central Midwest

November, 2012
Regional Report

Books

Vermicomposting
If you're interested in worm composting, The Worm Book: The Complete Guide to Gardening and Composting with Worms by Loren Nancarrow and Janet Hogan Taylor (Ten Speed Press, 1998) is the perfect reference to get you started. The authors give clear information about exactly what you need to start from scratch, inexpensively, and there is a good bit of information on the science behind vermicomposting as well. It's full of humor, which one must definitely have when working with worms.

Clever Gardening Technique

Worm Compost Tea
Once you have a thriving worm bin and bounteous worm castings, you can certainly use them on your plants as a topdressing. But another secret garden remedy is to make worm tea. Simply put a cupful of worm castings in a cheesecloth bag, steep in warm water for a few hours, strain, dilute and put in a household sprayer. Use the tea to spray foliage of plants that are prone to fungal diseases. Worm tea is a natural fungicide that will help prevent problems such as black spot and powdery mildew.

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