How and Why to Use Worm Castings

In this video I wanted to cover some of the questions I get on how to use Worm Castings, and why should we use Worm Castings. It turned being a harder video than I thought because there was so much that I wanted to say about our product! I tried to keep it specific to a couple of main topics and groups of gardeners, while still addressing questions about directional usage.

Shifting what you know about chemical fertilizers to an organic process could have been a YouTube video all to itself. The main difference I have found between using chemical fertilizer and organic fertilizer can be likened to eating. Would you rather have 1 meal to last you a week? Or would you rather have several meals during the week? Often times the results I get from chemical fertilizers seem like the plant uses the nutrients then acts like its starving a week or two later. Once I began experimenting with organic fertilizer/Worm Castings, I started realizing that the plant can feed on this for a much longer period. Not only can it sustain itself longer but the overall benefit from adding Worm Castings to my soil helps build up the soil!

 

For those of you that are container growers, spin farmers, square foot gardeners, and raised bed growers, consider this video being for you. Hopefully you will find this helpful and informative. Feel free to ask any questions by using the Contact Us tab provided.


Chickens Eat Snakes?!?

You know being from the town referred to as the “poultry capital of the world,” I should know this. But nevertheless, I did not know. My backyard chickens are a key part in my composting. Even though chicken manure is considered a “hot” manure and hot manures are not great for Red Wigglers. It is great to use for heating up the my outdoor vessel composter. I do NOT recommend putting chicken litter straight on to Red Wigglers though. If you are using layer hens and feeding them layer type feed or mash its likely that the chicken litter will be too high in ammonia for direct application to a worm bin. Red Wigglers or Nightcrawlers. That’s just my take.

But, if you are making compost outside like I am and using that compost (once it is complete) as a bedding and light food supply for the Red Wigglers then it seems to work great.

As side from that, I think you will enjoy this quick clip, especially if you have backyard chickens and do not like snakes.

 


Worm Factory 360 Review and Tips

I wanted to share a review on the popular Worm Factory 360 from Natures Footprint. This is a great worm bin and composter for anyone. Since it uses the migratory tray method to expand, one can add food/waste on a “as needed” basis.

Hopefully, soon I will be able to offer these for sale here and provide support, and answer any questions you may have. In the review, I provide the current price on Amazon for these.

From my 2+yrs of using the Worm Factory 360, I have learned a lot about the bin management of Red Wigglers in this type of composter. There are a few things to lookout for when using the bin.

1. Airflow. You really want to be cognizant of getting enough airflow to and around this composter.

2. Use Red Wigglers. None of the data about the Worm Factory 360 supports the use of European Nightcrawler’s or African Nightcrawler’s, it is all based on using Red Wigglers (The Cadillac of Worms)

3. Stick to the informational packet you receive. Nature’s Footprint did an excellent job compiling a “Complete Guide to Vermicomposting” which you receive when you purchase this composter.

4. Have fun with it! If your not having fun, consider yourself as watching YOUR Red Wigglers produce the world’s best fertilizer right before your eyes! Or, think about how you are doing your part to reduce the amount of waste going to US landfills AND creating a healthier planet by producing organic fertilizer.

Happy Composting!


Red Wigglers

1000 Red Wiglers

The Cadillac of Worms

Red Wigglers (Eisenia fetida) have a ton of names. Everything from Georgia Reds to Tiger Worm but regardless as to what you call them, they are heavy eaters and make the best organic fertilizer. These guys can easily consume their weight in food everyday, if the Worm Bin conditions are correctly managed.

Some of the conditions most beneficial for raising Red Wigglers are temperature control and pH, moisture control, feeding regimen, and adequate space or room to grow.

The temperature that is most suitable for the Red Wigglers seem to be in the range of 50 degrees to 80 degrees. Much outside of this range and you may start running into issues. On that note, the pH should be kept between 6.5-7.5. As neutral as possible. This will do a lot for the bin’s health. Not only will the Red Wigglers feel healthy enough to reproduce but likely, there will be less odor from the bin because of the neutral pH level.

Moisture control is very important when raising Red Wigglers. It seems simple in concept but controlling it can be more challenging than you think. Depending on what you are using for bedding and feed, controlling the moisture may end up being a daily human input. Example: say you are raising Red Wigglers and have decided to use shredded cardboard and newspaper as a bedding. Then you decide to feed them something like corn meal or a dusty type feed. Its likely that you will be having to water them more often than if you were to use more moist food like vegetable scraps. You may even start seeing your worms shrivel up or they will be leaving the bin looking for water. If the bin becomes too wet, depending on what you have been feeding them, the worm bin could become acidic. So now you have multiple problems and this is tough to correct.

A helpful tool in determining when to water your Red Wigglers.

A helpful tool in determining when to water your Red Wigglers.

Speaking of food, the feeding regimen and feedstock in general is pretty complex. Its been said that every living thing on this planet will eventually go through a worm belly. Thats probably correct but nevertheless, Red Wigglers eat. A lot. And they are somewhat picky in what the want. Its not enough to just throw something that was once alive into the worm bin and call it done. If it was once alive, it needs to be in the point of decomposition (or quickly getting there) before the Red Wigglers will feed on it. Some things decompose quicker than others. Vegetable scraps work well, spent coffee grounds, and cold manures to name a few. Stay away from any meat products and dairy here. You will also want to limit the citrus due to throwing off the pH of the bin.

Red Wiggler worm bins can be everything from Rubbermaid totes to expensive industrial size flow through composters. Some are great and some are labor intensive for the farmer. But one thing I’ve noticed in raising Red Wigglers is once they reach a certain level of population for a whatever container/bin you are using the reproduction will slow. So keep this in mind if you are container farming Red Wigglers. When you harvest your Worm Castings, you want to see a presence of Worm Eggs in the harvest. When this stops and you see plenty of Red Wigglers in your bin still, it may be time to split the herd and start a new worm bin.


Spring Gardens

Now is the time to think about your garden. We will be tilling our garden here in St. Louis pretty soon. One sure way to make sure you obtain the results you are looking for this year is to include our Worm Castings into your soil amendments. Call us or Order Online today. Free Shipping!