Turning / by Karie Luidens

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The passing of Albuquerque’s final frost risk of the spring this week (fingers crossed) marked a turning point out in the garden: planting season.

It was also a turning point for my pet worms. They’ve been living in a cozy indoor bin of leaves, coffee grounds, and vegetable scraps for a couple months now, and seem quite happy there churning out a rich natural fertilizer. But it’s time for half the herd to brave the great outdoors.

After turning the backyard compost heap to ensure it was properly aerated and evenly damp, I transferred some of my red wigglers into the mix. My hope is they’ll accelerate the ongoing breakdown of yard wastes into usable soil amendment for the coming summer, while freeing up room in the smaller vermiculture bin for the overall worm population to keep growing. (I’m told the population reproduces to fill the space it’s in and stops when it’s at its limit, so ideally both the indoor and outdoor populations will now be free to get busy and make babies.)

Good luck, little guys! And please don’t die off out there under your new and more rugged conditions. I’d feel like a terrible worm mom.