Category: worm composting

African Nightcrawlers

How Many Worms Do You Need for You Worm Composting Bin?

One of the main questions that we get all year long is "How many worms do I need for my vermicomposting bin?".  Many people start their Red Worm composting bins using bins that they have in the house, or something that they bought inexpensively and they have no idea how many worms it takes to get their worm composter going.  I have probably answered that question a thousand times over the years.

Now the work is done for us thanks to a site called http://www.howmanywormsdoineed.com  .

The site allows you to choose 3 different types of worms and then input your worm bin demensions by inches.  The site then provides how many worms you will need for your worm bin or worm bed.

The cool thing is that it is simple and easy and accurate.  Check it out and let us know your thoughts.  We will be linking to it on our site too.  We have been give permission to link to the calculator below.  Try it out and then squirm on over and get some worms from Wormman.com.  🙂

 







Result

African Nightcrawlers

Making Peat Moss Free Red Composting Worms Breeder Bedding

I get at least an email per week asking me how to make bedding for breeding worms.  Then I get more about how to make bedding without peat moss.  We do not use peat moss because it is nonrenewable, so we opt for creating our own "Worm-Safe" bedding, which can be used for breeding Red Worms, African Night Crawlers and European Nightcrawlers, also known as "Euro Worms".  All red composting worms can use our Worm-Safe worm bedding recipe.

I have made a long video explaining the process.  I apologize for the length of the video but I wanted to get all of the information in.  You can also see a cameo of my son's pig, Spamela.

Making the worm breeder bedding is a two part process.  The first part is mixing about 40% fresh horse, rabbit or cow manure, or aged fowl manure, with 60% straw or other brown material like dried grass clippings.  That mixture is moistened and allowed to heat for a couple of weeks.

Then, once past the compost heating stage, we mix that with 50/50 with shredded cardboard and newspaper that has been wet down, mixed and also allowed to age about a week or so.

We mix those two parts together, 50-50 and let it age again for week to ensure that it will not heat again.  We take daily temperature readings with a composting thermometer.

Then we add the bedding to our composting or bait worm breeder bins.  We only use about 3 inches of that mixture and we put in our breeders.  They stay in that worm bin for 21 days at around 75 degrees and then they are moved to fresh bins.  The egg capsules and babies, which are now in the bin with our original mixture, are placed in an incubator, bin and all, and hatch out.  We keep them in that bin until we can see them easily.  At that point we put them into a growout worm bed and feed them to get them to mature size as quickly as possible.

I will be posting some diagrams and pictures of our system soon.  Please ask your questions below or in our forum.

Thank you.

Ken
Worm Man's Worm Farm.  Wormman.com

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.

 

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.

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.