Sunday, December 13, 2009

Redworms for Christmas

Worm Bin/Composters are making a splash this season. Excellent green gift for the garden enthusiast! Snowy Sunday. We will hit the high 30's today, yeah! Hoping to finish off a small compost harvester and start a new worm habitat in our winter worm room (kept at a balmy 40 degrees unless power goes out).

The hoophouses are warming nicely as long as the sun comes out.

Any worm questions?

Debbie (Worm Lady)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hi All,

This is a good day to officially start this blog! We've had about a foot of snow along with temps in the single digits. I still get to play with our indoor worms so, all is good. Yesterday and today is about moving castings for harvest and starting 3 more "bins". The bins are made from 55 gallon drums cut in half long ways. This works really well housing a lot of worms in each.

Our outside worms are spread throughout 3 hoop houses which have become an excellent way to increase our season and insure the worms' safety through the winter.

Two of our hoop houses are quonset style while the third is gothic. If you are considering hoop houses, I recommend the quonset style hoop house as the snow slides off before creating any problems. Our third one has to be manually scraped, (which I spent 3 hours doing yesterday), so the entire structure does not collapse in on itself.

Glad to be here doing the blog thing. I should be able to contribute often. Please send comments and/or questions.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Composting Red Worms

My Worms Are Here. Now What?
The worms will be travel-weary when they arrive and should be put into their bedding right away. Gently pull them apart and put them them into your bin(s) or compost pile. They can't go into a hot compost pile, of course, but will be happy in cooler piles.

I have an inside worm bin. What can I use for bedding?Shredded newspapers, compost, or a synthetic peat moss. Magic Earth is a synthetic peat moss that the worms love. Fill the bin with bedding and water it before adding the worms.

Punch drainage holes in the bottom and water the worms occasionally to make sure the bedding stays moist-about like a wrung-out washcloth. Worms like a dark environment, too, so keep the bin loosely covered or in a dark room.

What do I feed the worms?

Worms will eat almost everything that has lived and died. If the worms are inside, feed them food scraps. They especially love orange vegetables
 (squash, pumpkins), cantaloupe, apples, flour, coffee grounds, and cornmeal. Everything gets eaten.

You can finely chop everything and they'll eat faster and multiply more quickly. However, we at Rising Mist have never bothered with the chopping. We just put the food scraps in the way they are.

If the worms are outside, you can also include straw, grass, leaves, weeds, and animal manure. If the manure includes a lot of urine, however, it may be toxic.

Is there anything I should NOT feed the worms?

These foods can be toxic in large amounts, so avoid them for small inside bins:
  • onions and garlic
  • aromatic herbs
  • citrus fruits
  • tomatoes
  • anything very salty
  • anything very vinegary
Meat and heavy fats must break down a bit first with putrefaction, which causes odors in a house bin and can become an unhealthy environment for a small space. In a compost pile or an outdoor bin that is large, however, you can toss meat and fat scraps in, sparingly. Be aware that animal scraps will attract mice.

Worms can't tolerate food substances that have been treated with chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers, including grass and weeds.