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Haleta Labuschagne enlightens garden enthusiasts about gardening with worms

Haleta Labuschagne said Red wiggler earthworms, scientifically known as Eisenia fetida, are not your garden variety worms and are vermicomposting champions that multiply quickly.

Sharing knowledge and good humour was the order of the day at Lavender Pots Nursery in Rynfield at this month’s Benoni Gardening Club meeting on May 18.

Haleta Labuschagne from Haleta’s Earthworms was invited to share her insights on creating the perfect worm farm.

According to Labuschagne, earthworms are the unseen heroes of the soil and play a crucial role in maintaining the health of our ecosystems and promoting sustainable agriculture.

“Their contributions extend beyond the confines of the compost bin. Earthworms are ecosystem engineers, aerating the soil with their burrowing activities. They improve drainage and allow plant roots to access water and nutrients more efficiently.

“In agricultural settings, they promote healthier crops and reduce the need for synthetic fertilisers, ultimately benefiting the environment and our food supply.”

Members of the Benoni Gardening Club listen attentively to the speaker.
Members of the Benoni Gardening Club with the invited guests, Leon Kleynhans and Haleta Labuschagne.

The Springs resident said there are mainly three types of earthworms.

The usual earthworms you find in your garden are middle feeders. They aerate the soil about a fork deep in the ground.

“Nightcrawlers are commonly known as snake worms (because of their snake-like behaviour). They are a much longer/larger earthworm that aerates the soil deep down by borrowing tunnels.

”Red wigglers (also called Karibas) are earthworms that are top feeders, specifically above the soil, under shaded trees, and over leaves.

They recycle nutrients back into the soil, enhancing its fertility and structure by tirelessly breaking down organic matter into nutrient-rich castings, called black gold, nature’s fertiliser.”

Labuschagne said Red wigglers, scientifically known as Eisenia fetida, are not your garden variety worm and are vermicomposting champions that multiply quickly.

Haleta Labuschagne shows off some earthworms.

“Red wiggler earthworms are a symbol of resilience and adaptability. They thrive in captivity with their ability to coexist with humans and thrive in the face of environmental challenges. As stewards of the earth, we need to recognise the invaluable role earthworms play in sustaining life on our planet by nurturing and protecting these remarkable creatures.”

She said people must cultivate healthier soils, greener landscapes and a more sustainable future for future generations.

“Let us celebrate these unseen heroes beneath our feet and commit to working hand in hand with nature to create a more harmonious and resilient world,” said Labuschagne.

The Springs resident said her business started as a hobby after buying Red wigglers in 2019.

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