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Yes, it is what it looks like.

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

50

About 6 months ago, I got into a discussion with a Master Gardener that had come over to purchase some worms.  I showed her the pineapple plants that I had successfully overwintered (The tops came off of store bought pineapples).  She said, “You can grow the plants here (Northern California), but you cannot get them to fruit”.

I thought differently.  Most plants, as long as they are thriving, will eventually produce fruit.  Look at how cute my little pineapple fruit is!

How do I keep my plants thriving?  Worm Castings!

Now, worm castings alone will not keep a pineapple plant alive through the winter.  What I did was put the container next to my house all winter.  The heat from the house radiated just enough to help this pineapple plant survive the cold.  We have moderate temps in San Jose, but they are nothing like Hawaii, the home of the pineapple.

Everyone that sees the stuff that I grow says, “You have a green thumb”.  They should say, “You have a black thumb”….the color of my Worm Castings!

 

 

How To Grow GIANT Plants…

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Whenever people ask me what they can do to improve their soil, I always tell them, ADD TONS OF ORGANIC MATTER.  If you add leaves in the winter (Several feet is good) they will break down from the winter rains, and you will have the most beautiful Humus you’ve ever seen, plus create a worm friendly environment.  Humus is so valuable, I’ve never seen it sold by ANYONE.

Watch this video.  Go to the 1:42 mark and listen to what this fellow says about adding leaves to your soil.

Do Worm Castings REALLY Work?

Monday, February 28th, 2011

People that have never tried using worm castings always ask this question, “Do Worm Castings REALLY Work”? Few people are interested in hearing about the science behind worm castings, so the best way I can think of to answer that question is by SHOWING people the results.

The video’s above were taken a week ago, and the tree in the back still looks like a stick, and the tree in the front is even more blossomed!

Castings are not magic, but they sure seem like it!

SIP’s are COOL!

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

 

You are about to see the COOLEST EXPERIMENT I’ve ever done. If you like growing things, watching things grow, enjoy gardening, know someone that works with children (Teacher, Counselor, Home Schooling)..or even if you simply enjoy eating the freshest vegetables possible…this is a fantastic experiment.

What you are looking at is Sub Irrigation Planting, or SIP’s for short.   In sub irrigation planting, plants get watered from the bottom up by drawing water from a reservoir. 

How does Sub Irrigation Planting Work?  Instead of the traditional method of watering from the top down,  Sub Irrigation Planting uses a water filled reservoir along with a medium density media (“Soil”) to “Wick” the water upwards.  As the media becomes saturated, any excess goes back into the reservoir.  This constant movement of water keeps the growing area hydrated at all times, but because the media never gets overly saturated, the roots of the plants are not sitting in an anaerobic environment.

Why use Sub Irrigation Planting?  The plants get the EXACT amount of water they need,  the “Soil” (More on this later), stays damp but not wet around the roots,  but only damp to dry on top,  No wasting water due to evaporation, no fungus gnats,  AND…. the plants grow faster and larger because they are in the PERFECT growing environment.

As you can see, I spent BIG MONEY to do this experiment.  😉   $1.50 for a 2 Litre soda bottle, plus a couple of dollars in peat and vermiculite and of course, some worm castings.

After securing my 2 litre bottle, I had to figure out a way to safely cut it.  After trying many things, what I’ve found works best is using a  Ginsu knife!    These are the knives advertised as being able to cut cans, and just about anything else.   Everyone should have one of these.   The Ginsu knife goes cuts through plastic quickly, easily, and safely.

 

 

 

After cutting the bottle, you invert the bottom and use it as your reservoir. 

Fill the reservoir with water.

The top part of the bottle is used to hold your “Soil” and seeds.  I uses parenthesis around the word “soil” because with Sub Irrigation Planting, regular soil is not used.  If you go into your yard and dig out some dirt, that dirt does not draw water properly.  Clay soil will tend to stay too wet and harden into a clump.  Sandy soil will not hold water well.  What you want is a media that is fast draining, yet retains water so that it stays moist, not wet.  What I have found is that peat moss, mixed with some compost, a handful of castings, and a little vermiculite is a perfect media for a SIP.  I use 2 parts peat, 1 part compost, 1/4 part vermiculite, and 1/4 part castings.  You can vary this depending on the height of your SIP.  A taller unit will work better with some additional vermiculite.

 

 

Now comes the FUN!  Invert the top of the bottle so that what was once the narrow top of the bottle now sits upside down in the reservoir.  If you want to keep the reservoir clean, keep the screw lid on the bottle, and just drill a 1/4 inch hole so it can “SIP” from the reservoir.  If you don’t care if the reservoir gets a little dirty, simply disgard the bottle cap altogether.  A bit of the “Soil” will fall into the water, but it will soon form a plug in the neck of the bottle.

 

Your plants will sprout quickly in this environment, and once they take off…well…check this out!

 

 

This is even more gorgeous and larger in person than you can tell in the picture.  I simply cut it off at the top, and it provided an entire bowl of salad.  In a week or two, it should come back to produce another salad.   Imagine how much fun your students can have with this!

What’s the Buzz???

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

If you think Worms are cool, chances are good you also enjoy gardening. Gardening offers the opportunity to connect to nature, and even better, it offers the opportunity to eat GREAT TASTING fruits and vegetables.

Have you ever thought about the roles Bees play in your garden? Let me fill you in on a special type of bee that you probably have in your neighborhood already, and I GUARANTEE you that you’ll wish you had MORE!

Mason Bees are different than the traditional honey bee, in that they are very docile unless provoked. Their whole purpose in life is pollination!

Mason bees are solitary bees, and therefore, do not swarm or live in a hive. Given the opportunity…they could live in your own cute little Bee Box.

Here are some quick details about Mason Bees:

Mason bees are native to almost the entire continental USA and Southern Canada. Very efficient pollinators, Mason bees work directly upon the reproductive structures of the blossoms, collecting nectar and pollen simultaneously. It takes about 75 flower visits to gather a full load, and an average of 25 loads for an average pollen wad. The female Mason bee visits about 1875 blossoms a DAY!!!!

Orchard Mason Bees do not make wax or honey. Instead, they spend their active life reproducing; gathering pollen, and laying eggs.

Why are bees so important? Bees are the earth’s number one pollinator! Bees pollinate over 1/3 of the food crops we eat, as well as numerous other plants that play a vital role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

We tend to imagine insects that produce honey, live in hives, and have a nasty sting.  But, only the honey bee fits this description. There are actually 20,000 to 30,000 different kinds of bees in the world.  Bees can be divided into two groups…social bees and solitary bees.  Honey bees and bumble bees are considered social bees because they live in colonies that are called hives.  Each hive consists of a queen bee, a few male drones, and several female worker bees.  However,  Mason bees are actually solitary, which means they tend to live and nest alone.  Unlike the honey bee, solitary bees are non aggressive insects who only sting when being squeezed or attacked.  Even then, this sting feels more like a mosquito bite than a wasp sting.

Now that you know the types of bees that you want to attract, WWW.TheWormDude.Com is proud to offer custom Mason Bee Boxes.  These Bee boxes not only look great, but they are fully functional.  If you can hammer a nail, you can mount a home for these incredibly valuable hard working bees.  These make the best gift in the world for a serious gardener!  The bee boxes are made by a talented High School Student.  Order early, as supplies are limited.

Visit http://www.thewormdude.com/shop-categories/ for details.

What do you use to make your garden grow?

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

LOTS of people are growing their own produce these days.  It just makes sense.  When you grow your own fruits and vegetables, you have the opportunity to eat produce the way it is supposed to be enjoyed….FRESH AND NATURAL!

Some people plant their garden, and then add Synthetic Fertilizers to stimulate growth.  WHY would you want to add a poisonous substance to something that you, your family, your friends and neighbors will be eating???

Instead, try ALL NATURAL worm castings!  If you really want to have some fun and kick up the bacteria levels in your castings, I can send you the recipe for THE WORM DUDE’S AMAZING TEA!  This is real worm tea, not the runoff that comes out of a worm bed spout.

After brewing a batch himself, here is a quote from my friend, Bill S., “I’ve never seen anything like it.  That tea is so good, you can almost watch plants grow right before your eyes”!

You can make your own tea quickly, easily, and inexpensively. 

Even better, you’ll never use synthetic fertilizer again!

Email me for details!

Plan NOW for Spring Gardening!

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Summer’s over. You can feel it in the air. Shorter days, cooler afternoons.

How many of you were able to produce enough worm castings to create a bountiful harvest this past year?

Bet you wish someone had given you a reminder to start composting with worms last fall, so you could have plenty of worm casts in the spring!

Here is your reminder to take action. Fall is the PERFECT time to begin composting! Granted, the worms slow down some, but they DEFINITELY continue to eat. Anything that eats, POOPS!

If you want to experience the benefits of worm castings on your 09 garden, make a plan to start NOW! You’ll thank me in the spring!

JOHN…THE INCREDIBLE 94 YEARS YOUNG GARDENER

Friday, July 25th, 2008

In keeping with the story of what worm castings can do for you, I wanted to introduce my friend John. John is 94 years YOUNG, but acts like he is 49! I first met John when he called me wanting to order a batch of worms. You see, John has been gardening for many, many, many, many, years…and he knows the value of compost and castings. I thought it was cool that a 94 year young man wants to play with worms, so I took a trip to Johns house.

I now consider John and his wife of 70 years, Mary, friends of mine. I just wanted to take pictures of Johns yard, but John is so proud of his garden (Rightfully so!), that I had to fight him off. Every time I turned around, John wanted to give me produce from his garden. What a great couple! Here are some Pics of John, Mary, and their HEALTHY garden

I almost forgot. At 94 Years Young, John just learned how to surf the net! Pretty Cool huh!