Thursday, April 18th, 2013
I constantly get requests from all over the country for worms that help break up clay soil. My answer is always the same, Get some Alabama Jumpers, along with adding a lot of organic material and some moisture….a natural solution! To this day, I smile when I see Jumpers in every shovelful of soil in my yard.
But, what about raised beds? Because raised beds are built to not be walked on, aeration should not be a major concern. Additionally, raised beds are typically filled with LOTS of organic material…The smart gardener would never add only garden soil to a raised bed. Sooo…you’ve got a raised bed filled with organic material, and (Hopefully) lots of plants. But you want WORMS,…..LOTS AND LOTS OF WORMS eating the organic material, and…ahem…processing it.
This is where African Nightcrawlers come into play. African Nightcrawlers are relatively large, active composting worms that would love to “Process” all over your raised beds. Don’t worry about them eating your live plants, that’s not what composting worms do. Soon your raised beds will be full of beneficial bacteria, and you’ll have a smile on your face from seeing worms every time you garden in your beds.
Monday, April 8th, 2013
What did the ancient Amazonian people know that we did not? They realized that when they extinguished their cooking fires, over time, the remaining charred matter became an incredible growing medium. This black earth is known as Terra Preta soil, and to this day, Terra Preta is revered as a growing medium. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_preta
Carbon is essential to all plants in order for them to perform photosynthesis. Biochar actually sequesters carbon in your soil, making your tired lawn or garden fertile again.
Did you know that plants depend on soil bacteria in order to break down fertilizers into a form that roots can absorb. Without an encouraging environment, bacteria and other microorganisms exist, but do not thrive.
Biochar acts as a repository and delivery system for beneficial soil bacteria. These soil microorganisms are necessary for plants to benefit from available nutrients in the soil. Plants and Worms LOVE nutrient rich soils!
A one time Biochar application absorbs moisture, fertilizers, nitrogen, and releases them to your plants and grasses over time. Think of Biochar as a NUTRIENT REEF for your soil.
BIOCHAR – BECAUSE GREAT SOIL DOES NOT HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT!
Fine grain Biochar is made from pure hardwood feedstock. We purposely do not use wood chips from diseased trees in our Biochar.
Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
If you’ve ever considered starting a colony of Black Soldier Fly Larve, now is the perfect time to prepare. Much of the country is starting to warm up a bit (BSFL LOVE warmth), and coincidentally, I’ve got LOTS of Black Soldier Flies!
You can now buy Black Soldier Fly Larve in quantities as low as 500, and as high as 10,000 (or more).
Black Soldier Fly Larve have proven to be incredibly efficient composters.
Got a LOT of waste? BSFL colonies eat like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Available here: http://www.thewormdude.com/products-page/the-bio-pod-plus-and-black-soldier-fly-larve
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
Here is a great question from Betty in Palm Desert:
How often do I put the worm castings around the plants? I am having so much fun in the garden and as always thanks so much for your expertise and your help.
Glad to hear you are having so much fun. Vermicompost makes plants do well, and healthy, happy plants makes gardening fun.
I need to give you my standard answer, “It depends”. Let me explain.
Rule of thumb: Give your plants some castings and/or brewed worm tea whenever they need a pickup. You cannot burn your plants with vermicompost or brewed worm tea, so you need not worry about that. If I’m growing veggies, I will usually treat the plants when they first start sprouting, and again right before producing.
I treat fruit trees as soon as they start showing their spring growth. IMO, it’s a waste of time to give them castings during the winter when most fruit trees (Non citrus), have lost their leaves and are basically hibernating.
Ornamentals get a treatment right after last frost.
Basically, my thoughts are, treat the plants when they are ready to start turning green. Treating them in the winter when most plants are doing nothing is a waste of time and resources.
Of course, living in Palm Desert, you can probably grow tomato’s in the middle of winter so YMMV. 🙂
Thursday, December 20th, 2012
Read all about how the Charlotte, NC airport is using worms to process their waste.
This was a huge commercial project in which I provided the worms.
1,440 pounds of worms were used on this project! That’s a bunch.
Thursday, December 13th, 2012
Check it out….I’ve got a banana plant that produces edible bananas….not cooking bananas…REAL eating bananas. And it is cold hearty, So I don’t even need to bring it in during the winter. The plant is a dwarf, reaching only 8-9 feet tall. The cool thing is, I can just raise it in a pot. I’ve put wheels under the pot so I can move the banana plant around easily whenever and wherever I want some shade.
And now I have my first banana’s coming. Have counted 40 bananas so far. Yum!
Monday, November 19th, 2012
These pics are from a week ago, but they show what’s going on in my Worm Inn system. Last weeks scraps are breaking down well, and it’s time for the scraps produced this week. As you can see, we produce quite a lot of scraps. As long as I still have plenty of bedding material for the worms, the scraps are being processed nicely.
Again, this is far from raising worms in any plastic bin. If you doubt this, get a bucket, drill some air holes in the bucket, and add a bunch of fruit and veggie scraps. Let me know how good that smells in a week…YUCK.
Monday, November 12th, 2012
I’m constantly asked, “Just how much can The Worm Inn Process”? The answer is, it depends. If you fill it with damp, fluffed bedding….I’m talking starting out with 20 or 30 newspapers, it can process A LOT!
Check out the pics below. Last week I stuffed an already full Worm Inn with more banana peels, lettuce, pineapple, even a WHOLE PUMPKIN. Don’t try this with any type of plastic bin, because all you will do is kill your worms. Plastic does not breathe, so excess scraps become anaerobic and acidic. The Worm Inn is different. Way different.
See for yourself.
Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
Hi there – just got a worm bin – it’s a “worm factory” – anyways…I just love the ding dong things and I can’t help but feed them daily and then turn their “soil”. When I do this, am I stressing them out? I want them to reproduce for sure – so I can compost more but I don’t want to stress them so they don’t…can you tell me if “playing” with them and their soil is going to prevent them from reproducing?
Na, it’s not going to stop them from reproducing, but you will likely end up with a bug swarm because when you turn over their bedding, you are likely bringing up some of the rotting vegetation to the top.
Additionally, people often realize that their bedding looks best when they come back from a short vacation (A few days away). Worms are just doing their thing and have turned the bedding into rich Vermicompost. But, if you are careful and make sure your scraps are well covered every time you get done playing, you should be fine.
Sunday, November 4th, 2012
Gardening can be simple….Unfortunately, many of the products sold to “Help” you grow plants are actually detrimental to long term soil health.
Healthy soil grows healthy plants. Healthy plants need very little babysitting, whereas unhealthy plants, grown in unhealthy soil, require a constant regimen of “Treatments” just to stay alive. It’s a cycle of neglect and treat.
Here is an example of how we tend to do the EXACT opposite of what we should be doing:
In the fall, most of us sweep up fallen leaves and send them away with the trash. What we should be doing is taking all of these leaves and placing them on top of the soil where we grow our favorite plants. This is amending your soil at it’s most basic level, and it is the VERY best thing we can do to make healthy soil.
The winter rains will break down the leaves, leaving gorgeous, healthy soil in the spring.
So…why do we bring leaves to the curb?