102: Earthworm’s Bizarre Favorite: Cardboard Boxes
If you are into organic gardening and frequent online shopper from Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc., then you are going to make the best bang for your buck after reading this article!
Everyone gets excited and eagerly wait for the mailman to drop off that package in front of your doorsteps. Do you know there is also one more creature eagerly waiting for the package to deliver? YES, the “Earthworms”!
Most of the times, people just toss off the cardboard box in garbage without knowing its actual benefits. Let’s dive deeper into this discussion:
Let’s take a classic scenario:
You order something online – package gets delivered - open the box - take you’re goodie - toss the cardboard box in garbage.
What happens next?
Cardboard box ends up in landfill or in recycling plant! You end up buying compost from the store.
For a moment let’s stick with this cardboard box: It is brown, corrugated and glued on the sides. Glues are usually made from cornstarch and you can feel it slimy when it gets wet. This glue can be a good supplement for worms.
Perhaps, you can shred the cardboard box and add it to your garden bed (like a mulch with natural look) or to compost pile so that you can turn your organic waste into a beautiful high quality compost for your gardens (At FREE cost + you know what it is Vs buying from store). Shredding boxes to smaller size helps to break down faster, thus speeding up the composting process. “Brown” is one of the key catalyst in the formation of humus from the organic matter during composting process.
How does brown cardboard box help Earthworms? Why they go crazy for it?
Brown corrugated cardboards maintains even moisture, temperature, serves as a perfect bedding and finally it is a readily available food stock. Such a great nesting medium that we can offer to our little wigglers. Note, cardboard box is not a sole food source for worms and for successful worm farm you need to pay attention to the amount of brown boxes to use in relation to other organic materials (Carbon to Nitrogen ratio).
Cardboard material provides better aeration when it soaks up and also helps keep the Carbon to Nitrogen ratio balanced when large amounts of Nitrogen rich materials are being added (that causes foul smell during decomposition). Yes, brown cardboards are high in carbon ratio that 1: suppresses foul smell of decomposing nitrogen rich organic materials and provide optimal degradation of microbes. 2: It creates a thriving microbial population that the worms are actually feeding on.
So whenever you have some old cardboard feed it to your worms instead of throwing it into the trash!