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Let’s Experiment – Worms vs. Lettuce!

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Warning: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME

What do you get when you mix a guy with too many worms, too much lettuce, a bad camera, and too much free time?

Worm Salad – Blue Cheese or Ranch? :)

Actually, you get some interesting worm experiments!

First off, anyone that knows me realizes that I’m a BIG advocate of controlling the amount of produce scraps that you feed your worms at any one time. I’ve helped too many people trying to bounce back from overfeeding their worms, and dealing with the problems associated with overfeeding. Not fun.

I feed my worms lettuce quite often. Many times, before the lettuce even breaks down the worms are already swarming it. So, I thought to myself…….

Lettuce has some qualities that most produce does not, specifically:

It does not contain sugars that attract fruit flies.
It does not break down into a vinegary mess.
It contains and holds water pretty well.

But, could it be used as a bedding by itself?

So….1 pound of worms later, let’s see how the worms do on a straight diet of lettuce, no bedding.

I’ll keep you posted.

Winter Worm Feeding

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Does this look YUMMY?
You bet!
Does it look Yummy to a worm?
Not Yet!

I often talk about Red Wigglers eating less when it is cold than when it is warm. All cold blooded animals slow down when it get’s cold. Even so, Red Wigglers do a pretty good job, even in cool weather.

Often times people feed their worms in winter by just burying chunks of food waste in their bedding. That is perfectly fine, AS LONG as you realize that unlike summer temps when scraps break down quickly, wintertime temps basically preserve your food scraps, much like keeping scraps in a fridge.

Remember, worms are bacteria feeders, and have no teeth. Until the scraps start getting broken down by bacteria, the worms cannot eat them….even a nice, sweet piece of watermelon rind.

How do you get scraps mushy when the temps are cool?

*You can microwave your scraps.
*You can put them in the freezer, and when they finally defrost, the cell structure of the scraps breaks down nicely.
*You can chop them up, increasing the surface area of the scraps, as bacteria processes scraps faster given more surface area.
*You can blend your scraps(Be careful not to overfeed as blended scraps tend to pack a concentrated punch)!
*You can put your scraps in a slop bucket(A lidded bucket with some tiny air holes or a carbon filter).
or……
*You can put some pieces of scraps in your bin knowing that they will take awhile to break down in the cool bedding.

Things are not always as they appear. If your worms seem to be eating REALLY slowly during the winter…it’s probably not the worms!

When it comes to feeding worms, MUSHY IS GOOD!