Insect frass

Exciting, New Super Worm Poop Product!

At least I think that our new Super Worm Poop Product is exciting.  We are having our vinyl stickers for the shaker bottles made now.  Imagine the thrill of being able to shake Super Worm Poop over your garden soil and turn it into lush green plants, vegetables and fruit.  Are you imagining it?  Ahh!

Check it out!

Super Worm Poop

Insect Frass makes great fertilizer.

Our company produces Superworms, mealworms on 100% Human grade table grains and vegetables from our farm.  We grow potatoes, carrots, cucumbers and zucchini just for our worms.  We do not use chemicals, pesticides or hormones for our Superworms or Mealworms, so you can be positive that the worm poop that goes into your garden is only 100% nutrient rich worm poop.

Benefits:

Not only is our Super Worm Poop loaded with nitrogen    Super Worm poop enriches your garden soil and hydroponic systems with micro-organisms which will improve root structure and give your plants the push they need to be greener and healthier than ever. 

Super Worm Poop  is a natural source of chitin. Chitin is in the exoskeleton of our Superworms and Mealworms.  As the worms grow, they shed and those skins also grind into the worm poop.  The addition of chitin to hydroponic systems and garden soil can produce phenomenal results.   Chitin works by encouraging the growth of chitin eating bacteria. This bacteria attacks many forms of harmful plant fungus and nematodes. Chitin can help flowering plants produce flowers and fruits, and can also help plants produce natural oils and resins.  Think aromatic botanical and medicinal plants here.  

The Science:

On anti-pathogenic effects:

“A Review of the Applications of Chitin and Its Derivatives in Agriculture to Modify Plant-Microbial Interactions and Improve Crop Yields”

Russell G. Sharp 2013

“Chitin and its derivatives have been repeatedly shown to protect crops from pests, pathogens and physiological disorders. A number of modes of action have been identified for the beneficial effects of chitin-based treatment on crops, including direct antibiosis and the induction of plant defences. However, their action in stimulating beneficial microbes has proved particularly impressive, with chitin/chitosan amplifying the effect of beneficial microbes in controlling pathogens, promoting plant growth and remediating soil pollutants. Combined, these effects of chitin addition and the subsequent responses of plants and microbes have led to improvements in disease control, plant growth, and ultimately improved crop yield and quality. The effectiveness of chitin-based treatments has been found to be comparable to those achieved with current synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. This effectiveness combined with the low cost, low concentration required, ample supply (recycled waste) and health/environmental safety lead to a forecast that a range of chitin-based/augmented products will become a more common feature in agriculture in the near future.”

 

How to use:

As a Hydroponic additive:

Mix 1-2 tbsp. of Super Worm Poop per gallon of nutrient solution. Keep well aerated.

For Indoor Plants:

Super Worm Poop can be mixed directly into the soil. Sprinkle the poop lightly on top of the soil on indoor plants. The Super Worm Poop nutrients will soak down thru the soil each time the soil is watered.

To Start Seeds:

The size and growth rate of seedlings and transplants will be remarkably improved when mixing 1 cup of Super Worm Poop to 1 cubic foot of seed starting mix.

In Your garden:

Super Worm Poop should be mixed directly into the soil. Simply lightly sprinkle Super Worm Poop around your plants right onto the soil using the shaker bottle your Super Worm Poop is delivered in.  The wonderful nutrients will soak down thru the soil each time the soil is watered.

On Your Roses and Perennials:

Top dress roses and perennials with Super Worm Poop or mix into the soil above the roots.

Right on Your Established lawn:

Broadcast Super Worm Poop at a rate of 5 lbs of insect frass per 100 Sq. feet of lawn.

For New lawns:

Apply 5 Lbs. of Super Worm Poop per 100 sq. ft. of lawn. Work the Super Worm Poop into the top 2″ of the soil. Apply grass seed and water well.

Planting trees and shrubs:

Dig your planting hole. Apply 1/4″ of Super Worm Poop to the center of the hole and spread the plants roots over the insect frass. Insert your plant and fill the rest of the hole with fertile soil.

Super Worm Poop Tea:

We do not recommend drinking Super Worm Poop, but if you are  fan of red worm compost tea, then you will love Super Worm Poop Tea.  The tea can be used to fertilize house and garden plants while watering. You can also be spray the tea on plant  leaves as a foliar fertilizer.

How to Make Super Worm Poop Tea:

Method 1: Soak 1 tbsp. of Super Worm Poop in one gallon of water for 24 hours. Strain the tea solution and dilute with water as necessary before use.

Method 2: Fill a 5 gallon bucket 1″ full of Super Worm Poop and then fill the bucket with water. Use a small aquarium pump with a bubbler to add oxygen to the solution. The tea should be allowed to steep with the oxygen bubbles for at least a few hours. Strain the tea solution and dilute with water as necessary before use.

For a microbial kick to your Worm Poop Tea, add 1/4 cup of molasses when brewing.

 

Live Roaches

Turkestan Roaches Egg Cases. Breeding Live Feeder Red Runner Roaches

The Turkestan Roach, also known as the Red Runner, Rusty Red and Blatta Bug, is a mid-sized, shiny, warm weather roach that is native to Asia.  (Here is an interesting article from Wikipedia)

The Turkestan Roach is fast moving, which helps stimulate reptiles who are attracted to moving prey.  Red Runner Roaches cannot climb which makes them ideal if you to not want to use Bug Boundary in liquid or Grease form (Sorry for the shameless plug).

Turkestan Roaches are a beautiful roach that is fun to watch.  Red runners do not give live birth.  They lay egg cases which hatch out under the right conditions of heat and humidity.  They prefer a warm home so be sure to keep them by your furnace or above your refrigerator in winter, or in a heated enclosure where you can keep the temperature above 80 degrees.  They will breed like crazy at around 85 degrees.

They are easy to feed with carrots, lettuce, vegetables, fruits and whole grains.  Be sure to remove any food before it molds.

This is an easy to breed roach if you are looking for feeders that only grow to about a 1.5 inches.

I was able to get our Red Runner Roaches on video depositing egg cases a couple of years ago.  Check it out and please let me know your thoughts on these great roaches.

Are there pitfalls, watch outs or tricks that you know of?  Let’s hear them.
Thank you!

Ken Chiarella

Composting Stuff

Update to $4.46 Red Worm Composter

I wanted to share quick update on our compost bin creation using a $4.46 Wal-Mart tub.  To refresh your memory, we found a bin at Wal-Mart that is being sold by a worm farm on the internet for about $100.  We wanted to show you that you could duplicate that bin for about $5.  Here is that video. 

We are 3 weeks in and the worms are breeding and eating the newspapers and cardboard bedding.  They are depositing capsules all over the place and those will hatch in a couple of weeks.  I will continue to do updates until all of the paper and cardboard is gone.  I will not add any additional food to the bin until after we see the project through.  The Red Worms will be fine because of the amount of paper and rabbit poop I used when making the bin.

In the real world, I would advise taking those breeders out of there as soon as babies are seen in the red worm composting bin.  The reason is that removing them will allow the babies to have plenty of food before you need a bedding change.

Of course, moving the breeders to a new bin will also allow them to continue to breed strongly, especially if your goal is to increase your worm supply.

For our cheap worm bin project, we will keep the breeders in the bin to concentrate the number of worms we have on creating worm castings for our garden.

Three weeks later and I would call our $4.46 worm composting bin a success.

African Nightcrawlers

African Nightcrawlers Getting Ready to Become Breeders

It is that time of the year here at Wormman.com.  It is mid-June and it is getting hot.  The African Nightcrawlers are starting to stir and they are growing quickly now that the natural heat is kicking in.  This is a short video of some juvenile African nightcrawlers that will be breeders in another two weeks or so.  They are beautiful worms.  They also happen to be the best casting makers because of their huge appetites which are only matched by their large size.

Composting Stuff

Food Scraps Make Power

Interesting article about how they are turning food waste into methane and how the methane is being used to create electricity.

You can also do this at home with digesters you can buy on eBay and Amazon. Just do a search for “digesters” on those sites.

Now worm farms will have to compete with power companies for food and manure scraps.  That is a great position to be in because we generate too much waste that could be put to good use.

Here is the article.

Red Worms

Worm Composter for Under $5!

Vermicomposting (worm composting) for Less Than $5!

I happened to be looking at some of the worm bins for sale on the internet, when I found one on a website that really looked familiar.  They were selling the worm farm for $99.  Granted, the worm composter also came with worms, bedding and food.

From the looks of the bedding, it is peat moss.  More on that later.

Anyway, I finally remembered where I saw that same bin…Wal-Mart.  I threw the kids in the car and went to Wal-Mart.  Low and behold, the very same bin was there for $4.46!  That is quite a markup.

I decided to make a video to show you how to make a worm composter using that bin.

The video of the newly minted worm composting unit is below.

Now back to the peat moss thing.  We do not use peat moss.  I am not saying that to be some edgy environmentalist wackadoodle, although I am a green kind of guy.  Peat moss is a non-renewable resource.  Once those peat bogs are gone, they are gone forever.  Those peat bogs host all sorts of amazing creatures, many of which have not yet been discovered.  My feeling is that if we can make due without peat moss in our worm bedding then we should do that.

We use shredded newspaper, straw, and cardboard, mixed with manure for our beds.  When you buy our worm bedding, it will be the items mentioned above mixed together and aged a bit.

We are also using coir bedding now and that is made from coconut.  That is very renewable and is a great product, but it is a little costly when we can get straw, paper, manure and cardboard for next to nothing.

Anyway, please watch the video if you want to see how we set up this worm composting bin, and how you can too, for under five dollars.

Cool Stuff

Redworms Caught on Video Breeding!!

Two Redworms caught breeding in the bed on the Memorial Day!  Party animals…or invertebrates!  Why do I feel like the guy from TMZ who does the breaking celebrity news?

Anyway, I thought that it was cool. I was feeding a breeding bed when I caught these two going at it so I turned on my camera phone and they got shy, broke apart and slithered into the night.

Share your pictures of your breeding worms caught in the act here with us.

Red Worms

20,000 Red Worms Eating Breakfast

Have you ever wondered what 20,000 redworms look like eating breakfast?  Of course, you have.  Well, I took a quick video of the 20,000 worms that I had breakfast with this morning.

Just a warning, do not watch this video while eating spaghetti or chopped mean.  🙂

We feed our worms by putting strips of food down the middle of the beds.  The reason that we do this is so that we do not sour the bedding by covering the bedding with the grain based food that we use.  If that happens the worms can develop “Sour Crop”.  When that happens the worms writhe around in pain, become stringy and emaciated and die.  We feed down the middle to control souring the bedding and to stop any heating that could be sparked by decomposition of the food.

We always use “Worm-Safe” bedding which is our trademark bedding that we sell.  We call it “worm-safe” because we make it, mix all of the ingredients and allow it to sit and heat, and then cool, before using it or shipping it for sale.

I tell you this so that you know that there should be very little chance that our beds could heat because of feeding, but we never take chances.

I will be telling you the ingredients of our worm food soon.  It will be part of our new eBook coming out shortly.  You will love the recipe and the easy to find, inexpensive ingredients.  If you are interested in my book, The Worm Manual, please sign up and you will be notified when it is released shortly.  Click here to sign up for my new book, The Worm Manual.  Profitable Worm Farming.

Anyway, enjoy breakfast…

Mealworms

Beetle Baskets for Your Mealworms and Superworms

If you want to save a ton of time then invest the time in making some mealworm and superworm baskets for your worm breeding operation.  We used to take hours to move beetles and mealworms one at a time until we made these beetle baskets.  Now, what used to take us all day, takes us about 15 minutes to physically move all of our baskets to new trays of bedding.

I made a video showing you how to do it and I will also give you step by step instructions below.

You will need:

  1.  Dish Pans, which can be purchased for 5o cents to a dollar at most dollar stores.

    Bins for holding mealworms and superworm breeding beetles

  2.  A roll of hardware cloth with small enough holes so that the beetles cannot get through but the bedding and eggs will still be able to be sifted out.
  3.  I plastic welder.  I bought a bunch of the ones in the picture for about $13. 
  4. A glue gun that handles large glue stick.
  5. Glue sticks.

Step 1:  Cut out the bottom of the bins using the plastic welder.

Step 2:  Use the bottom section that you cut out as a template and cut the hardware cloth about 1 inch larger than the section you removed so that the hardware cloth overlaps with the plastic on the bin.  Step 3:  Using the hot glue gun, glue the hardware cloth to the bottom of the bin.

Step 4:  Watch the video and see our mealworm and Superworm beetle baskets in action.

 

Gardening

Tuber Talk. How to Grow Potatoes

We have a few staples here on the farm.  Those items are things that we cannot live without because we need them for business or family.  One of the few items that are needed for business and family are potatoes.  We use potatoes for our Superworms, mealworms, and for slices for crickets, mini-mealworms and Peanut Beetles.  Our snails and our roaches also enjoy an occasional potato slice.  My children love potatoes in all of their many forms.  They love French fries, baked potatoes, potato skins, potato chips and mashed potatoes.    So, when I saw this great article on potatoes I figured that I had to share it with you so that you could also enjoy potatoes like we do.  There is so much potato information in here that I think we will all be experts after reading it.

What kind of potatoes do you grow?  How and where do you grow them?  I am trying purple potatoes this year.  They are purple right down to the flesh.  I hope they taste as good as they look.

Here the article about how to grow potatoes.