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Favorite Worm Food

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

 

Can your disposal handle all of this?   The worms can not only handle this, they LOVE it.   What an easy way to get rid of all your Halloween Pumpkins! 

As many of you know, worms are  bacteria feeders (ie…mush eaters), so they won’t be able to devour the pumpkins until they’ve had a chance to rot.   The pumpkins will rot quickly though….and soon be turned into vermicompost.   Stay tuned for more pics next week.

Featured Customer Question – Jason H.

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Hi Jerry,

I went through the coir fiber and retrieved a few hundred cocoons to put in my single tray with all of my Euros. If you remember I had some pretty mucky compost ( not all of it but some). I shredded up newspaper for the bottom of the tray under the compost, and shredded newspaper for above the compost in the tray so the worms and compost are surrounded by bedding. There is no manure, just composted leaves and garden plants plus 1 apple, a green pepper , a few rotting pole beans and a banana peel. Anyway, when I added the cocoons I noticed the material was warm! Do the worms generate their own heat? I have composted for 20 years now and I have never seen material like that heat up, it was already pretty well broken down. Maybe the castings from the worms are high in bacterial activity? Is the ink from the newspaper ( Washington Post ) harmful? Someone told me the newspaper ink is made from soybeans, is that true? I see online a lot of people use newspaper for bedding since it is so convenient. Thanks Jerry.

Hi Jason,

The answer is much simpler than what you were thinking.    Worms do not generate their own heat (Cold blooded),  the castings did not create a problem here, and the ink  not a problem as it is soy based.

What you are experiencing is the nitrogen release in your scraps. You may not have noticed it before depending on the amount of food you put in, or the amount of nitrogen in the scraps you put in.   It’s one of the reasons I always recommend pocket feeding only.  If you have food throughout the bin, two catastrophic things can happen:

1.  The bedding may heat up…creating excessive bedding temps for the worms  (This is what you experienced when you put your hand over a hot spot and felt the bedding heating up. 

2. The bedding can sour.  You can create an environment too acidic for your worms. 

Garden plants=High Nitrogen (Probably best composted in an outdoor compost pile).

By themselves, rotting green beans are usually not a problem, but when aded to high nitrogen garden plants, they have the potential to contribute to the heat your are experiencing in your bin.

Basically, even though you may not have a lot of food in your bin (I’m just guessing here), the food you put in your bin is the equivalent of a couple of matches.    Depending on the size of your bin, and whether or not the worms can get far enough away from the hot spots, you may want to remove some of the warm scraps for now.

What are Red Worms FAVORITE food?

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Red Worms (Red Wigglers), have lots of foods that they really like.
Some examples:
Cantaloupe Skin
Watermelon Rind
Avacado Skin
Corn on the cob

See the pattern here….worms have sweet tooths!

Understand, worms will eat LOTS of different types of rotting produce. We are just talking about their absolute favorites.

I’m often asked what worms like BEST! Since I’m yet to hear a worm speak ;) obviously the only way to measure what worms like best is to watch their reactions, and see how they swarm the broken down food.

Based on this…I’m about to share what worms like BEST!

PUMPKIN!!!!!!!!!

Now is the time….If you have worms, ask your neighbors to save their Jack O’ Lanterns for you. The worms don’t care if the pumpkin starts to go moldy, in fact, to a worm, mold just means they will soon have available food!

If you’ve thought about composting with Red Worms, but don’t have worms yet, now is a great time to start.

Don’t Get Tricked!

Thursday, September 10th, 2009
Yes, they really jump!

Yes, they really jump!

 

Hi Everyone,

The large worm in the picture above is an Alabama Jumper.  It’s scientific name is Amynthas gracilus.  It is plain to see that this worm is NOT a Red Worm.  It’s color is grey. 

Who cares?

There is a high volume worm grower on the net selling what HE calls “Super Reds” as Alabama Jumpers.  But…the worm featured in his ads as a “Super Red” is a European Nightcrawler (Eisenia Hortensis)…basically a large Red Worm!   Super Reds, European Nightcrawler, Eisenia Hortensis…all names for the same worm…and yes, they are RED. 

BUT THEY ARE NOT ALABAMA JUMPERS – GREY WORMS KNOWN FOR THEIR ABILITY TO THRIVE IN EVEN HEAVY CLAY SOIL!!!

What’s the bottom line?  Avoid getting Ripped Off!

European Nightcrawlers, Canadian Nightcrawlers, Alabama Jumpers….basically any worm can be “Called” anything.  It’s only the scientific name that cannot be easily changed.

Know the type of worm you are buying.  Make sure your seller knows it’s scientic name!  If a seller tries to get you to buy Red Worms for your garden, run, don’t walk.  Red Worms are NOT dirt Worms.

Interesting Poll Results

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

As more people take the worm poll, the results have definitely surprised me. 67% of the people that took the poll claimed they were successful raising their worms on the first attempt. Judging from the various Vermiculture websites on the net, I would have thought the success rate would have been closer to 30%!

How can I explain this disconnect?

My GUESS is that most people that bought worms and killed them (Because were not offered good information) are not the people taking “Worm Polls” on Vermiculture websites. ;)

My HOPE is that the high percentage of people that claimed they WERE successful with raising worms are the customers that have sent me emails, or visited with me for tips on raising their worms!