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Alabama Jumper And Soil Questions From A Newbie Gardener

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

We are new to worms and new to gardening.  Can you answer some questions for me?

Do you bury the organic material or can you leave it on the surface?

Organic material is usually best applied as a mulch.  When you bury organic material in your soil it robs nitrogen from your soil in order for the OM to break down.  Applied as a mulch (Always best to mimic nature…Ie leaves fall from trees and rot on top of the soil), your organic material will break down and provide wonderful nutrient rich Humus.  This is like candy for worms.  Additionally, bare soil should always be covered (Think forest floor).

How much do you use in a 200 sq ft garden bed?

If you are asking, how many Jumpers in a 200 sq ft garden?  I would suggest about 2-4 per square foot.  nothing scientific about my answer, but if you were digging around, that would provide worms in every shovelful,  but would be far from crowding them.

Do you put the organics in several places?

You want to put the Organic Material all over, but make sure you do not smother plants, and make sure any starter plants you add to your garden are not planted directly in the OM, but rooted in the soil below (then you can surround them with the organic material.  This will not only reduce your watering needs, but also reduce weeds.

We have a lot of clay, does that make any difference?

Absolutely.  The more clay, the more organic material you need to turn the heavy clay into a more balanced soil.

How often do you have to renew the organics?

Regularly.  If you see “Dirt”, you’ve waited a little too long.  You cannot over apply organic material as long as you are not smothering your plants, you are doing a positive thing for your soil.

How much cold can the Alabama Jumpers take?

They can take an occasional ground freeze to about a foot.





Why The Worm Inn is The Best Composting System!

Friday, March 30th, 2018


Just wanted to say I am really enjoying your product. My worms are thriving and I even harvested little castings from the bottom a few times for some indoor herbs that I have growing in my window. The basil and thyme seemed to skyrocket after I added little castings and watered it in over the week. 

 My worm population looks to have increased drastically since I started. I keep finding little worm eggs when I check on how the food is being devoured or not. I am about halfway full on the bag and pretty impressed overall. I am still curious about the best way to feed them. I have tried multiple things:

 – I moved aside the paper and cardboard and just dropped food in.

– I mixed up chopped food, paper, and cardboard

– I placed food on top and covered it with paper and cardboard.

 The best result seems to come from when I premix all the food paper and cardboard and just dump it on top of the other stuff. Have you found this to be the case? I only feed them once a week so it isn’t a big problem to do this, but I would like to optimize the process as much as I can. I know a lot of people take the laissez-faire approach to doing the worm farming, but I would really like as many castings as fast as I can get them.

I figured you would have the best recommendation for that. I think in a year I might order another worm inn once this one reaches maximum population. 

 Thanks again for the excellent product.


Hi Joseph,

Thanks for your nice note.  I’m happy to hear you are enjoying yourself, and are benefiting from using The Worm Inn, The most breathable worm composting system in the world.

Also glad that you are benefiting from worm castings on your plants.  I was never much of a gardener before I started using vermicompost.  Once I saw the benefit of adding worm castings to my soil, I became such a believer that I started a side business selling small trees and landscape plants!

Regarding your question on feeding worms.  My answer is, stick with whatever is working best for you.  Quite honestly, as long as my worms are alive, the food is broken down quickly, no smells, no bug infestations, I don’t even think twice about the “Best” way to feed.

I’m always looking for ways to avoid issues, and I have had issues when I have left food on top without covering with bedding…..even though The Worm Inn has that beautiful mesh top, bugs can find a way if the food is not covered.  Other than that, I treat my Worm Inn like a garbage can.

Funny story:  Had a customer over the other day purchasing a Worm Inn.  We had just finished freezing half a case of banana’s for smoothies, so we had a LOT of banana peels in My Inn.  When I unzipped the top, moved the bedding, and exposed a FULL bag of banana peels the customers jaw dropped.  The first thing he said was, “There is no way you could eat that many banana’s”.  I told him, “Not at one sitting”. 🙂

The point of all this is, if you are having fun experimenting, keep it up.  Glad to hear your findings.  I’m more of a if it works, don’t break it guy…so I just move back the bedding, dump in all my food scraps, cover the food scraps with the clean bedding, and go ask my wife what she wants me to take care of next. 🙂


Let’s Talk Feeders: Guest Poster – The Critter Depot

Monday, March 26th, 2018

Do you own a reptile?  Confused about it’s nutritional requirements?  Read below:

Bearded dragons are beloved pets.  And caring for them is a daily activity that yields great amusement and joy.  But that yield doesn’t come without its responsibility, as part of the care-taking process is making sure they are well nourished.  And although red worms may seem like a nutritional snack, feeding crickets is typically the better decision.

Red Worms

Red worms are great for composting..  They breakdown decomposing material, and in return, provide nutritional castings that offers fertile soil for robust vegetation.

Red worms don’t offer the same nutritional value as other feeders.  They do have a respectable amount of protein, but it’s not nearly as much as crickets.  And their calcium levels are low. Additionally, adding red worms to a bearded dragon habitat is very difficult, because red worms don’t like light, and will try to bury in the sand, which also doesn’t do well for them.


Crickets are the most common feeders.  And that’s mostly due to their nutritional content.  The average house cricket contains about 20% of protein.  This is an excellent amount, whether the bearded dragons are still growing, or are maintaining strength.

Additionally, crickets offer an adequate amount of calcium.  One of the biggest threats is metabolic bone disease. This is when the dragons experience a reduction in bone density, which can cause a reduced life span.  So between the protein and calcium, it’s obvious why crickets should be a staple in any dragon’s diet.


Superworms are another acceptable source of food for bearded dragons.  However, instead of being considered a daily staple, they should be offered as a treat.  The fat content in superworms is too much for daily ingestion. And these pets are enclosed enough as it is.  The only time it would be appropriate to increase the superworms intake is if you’re dealing with a pregnant dragon, or one that needs to put on weight due to being sick.  Otherwise, buying superworms should be limited to a weekly, or monthly activity.


Mealworms are almost as popular as crickets.  Nearly every pet store offers them, and veterinarians have been known to mistakenly recommend them.  But the problem with mealworms is that they offer very little nutritional value. Instead, what they do offer is a lot of chitin.  Chitin is very difficult to digest, which can cause impaction in the bearded dragon’s intestinal track, which can be fatal.

Overall, housing a bearded dragon, or any other type of reptile pet can be a wonderful experience.  However, our beloved pets do need special treatment to ensure their health. And offering the proper nutrition from the proper feeders is going to be a step in the right direction.

The Worm Inn – The Original High Quality Breathable Worm Composting System. Made in the USA.

Monday, March 12th, 2018

What should you expect from a high quality worm composter?

When you purchase a high quality worm composter, you want to make sure it’s material will hold up over time.

You want to make sure that the assembly is high quality, and not shoddy, foreign assembled junk.

The Worm Inn is made of high quality Cordura Denier (The same material used in high end backpacks).  Cordura Deneir is known around the world for it’s durability.

Accept no cheap foreign knock offs.

Buy quality, buy American Made.

Buy the original and best selling breathable bag system.

Buy The Worm Inn.


This guy created a food forest in the middle of the desert

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Learn about how this Master Gardener created a food forest in the Phoenix, Arizona suburbs.

His secret.  LOTS of organic material and he added worms to help the process along.

If you have a nicer garden than this, please share pics.

The entire Watermelon is GONE. I can’t believe my worms ate the whole thing!

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

If you caught the humor in my headline, you’re old like me.  LOL.

Seriously though…I normally would not have an entire watermelon to feed my worms, but I purchased several, we went on vacation, this melon developed a soft spot on the bottom of it…so it needed to be “Recycled”.’

As per my previous post, I simply put the entire Watermelon in my Inn, and today I decided to see what was left.

Nothing was left.

Pound for pound, the worms eat MUCH more than any person.




How to process an ENTIRE WATERMELON in The Worm Inn – Six easy steps

Friday, June 30th, 2017

We spent a few days of our vacation at a cabin in the woods.  During the time we were away, we had an entire (almost 8 pound) watermelon start to rot.

Rather than put the watermelon in the garbage, we fed it to our worms using our, The Worm Inn.

The process was simple…..


Place rotting watermelon in a huge bowl to carry it to The Worm Inn, (Inside my garage).

Step 2

Weigh the watermelon.  This step is totally unnecessary, but makes for a good story. Yup, almost 8 pounds.

Step 3

Unzip The Worm Inn and make room for the Watermelon.  If you look closely, you will see the remains of a bunch of watermelon rinds, along and some home grown tomato’s (slug damaged) that we had put in the Inn before we left on vacation.

Step 4

Place entire rotting watermelon in The Worm Inn.  Make sure I have PLENTY of bedding in the unit to avoid creating a sewer as this melon breaks down over the next few days.

Step 5

Move bedding back on top of the rotting watermelon.

Step 6

Zip bag back up.


If you think worms are pretty cool…you now realize just how SIMPLE, The Worm Inn is to use.

When I tell people I treat my The Worm Inn like a garbage can (for my produce scraps), I mean it.

The BIOgrub Trap In Action

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017


I recently received an email from my friend Rich, where he showed me his BIOpod+ with the BIOgrub trap on top.  He’s excited, because after trying other methods, that were not successful, he is now finding eggs all over the inside of his BIOpod+.

If you’re going to invest the time and money in raising BSFL, you should do it right the first time.  The BIOgrub trap fits over your BIOpod+ like a sock, keeping the Black Soldier Flies contained.  This way, you KNOW they are not going to fly away and not come back!  Look closely and you can see all the BSF’s!

Congrats Rich!  Looking forward to pics showing thousands of small grubs!



Everyone LOVES our African Nightcrawlers

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Hi Jerry, 

The ANC’s arrived today. Thank you.. The box was so heavy.  Initially, I thought I got someone else’s order by mistake, but after opening, I’m assuming, its a pound of ANC’s and a few pounds of castings. Haven’t taken the worm out yet, I’ll do that in a couple of hours after my son gets home so he can watch them disappear.

I also wanted to thank you for the tip in your blog about soaking your bedding for at least 24 hours. Mine soaked between 48 and 72 and I’m pretty sure they like it. I haven’t had 1 try to run and they seem to be evenly dispersed through out the bedding. Great thing about soaking is, I haven’t had to mist since I put the bedding in, and it still feels evenly moist throughout.



Understanding Worms – How To Keep Them In Captivity And Why Worms Die?

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

I received an interesting question that I would like to share…

My name is (removed), I was wondering if you have ever seen anything like this before. There are several hours between pictures.  

This picture was taken a few hours after I dug up these night crawlers. The crawler at the bottom of the photo was freshly dug up for comparison.

This is a few hours later. They are starting to get skinny in their lower 2/3 rds and swelling in their upper 1/3rd.

This is the last picture. You can see, if you zoom in, that they are splitting and their guts are spilling out.

This is not the first time I have seen this as evidenced by the fact I knew to take the pictures. I knew what was going to happen.

 Here are some facts concerning them:

 I collect these crawlers from roadways when it rainsI  have tried to keep them in a cooler, in bedding, feeding them worm food, but they always get skinny and die.Now I just put them in one spot in my yard and hope they stay put by feeding them well.I feed them cardboard, breadcrumbs mostly, and in the fall I put A LOT of apples in with them.I dump a lot of crumbs and chunks of bread on top of the soil every few weeks. It gets mixed in to the soil whenever I dig some crawlers up for fishing. I have since figured out that is a no no.I am not trying to raise the crawlers for profit, I just want them for fishing.I don’t know what kind of nightcrawlers these are, I live in Colorado, and from my experience these things are huge. I have caught many of them 14″ long (measured. I’m not guessing at length). The soil ph is 7. That’s about all the pertinent info I can think of, if you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate the help. They are some high quality nightcrawlers and don’t deserve to die this way. Thank you for your help.


You are describing a non composting worm such as a Canadian Nightcrawler (Common Nightcrawlers that are dug from farms and fields In the Northern US and Canada) that you are digging up, and trying to raise like a composting worm.

Canadian nightcrawlers live in dirt, are not extremely voracious, and are not nearly as active as a composting worm (such as a red wiggler).

What you are describing is protein poisoning. The worm starts to look like a string of pearls before it dies.

Wrong environment/Wrong Feed.

Bait shops keep these crawlers in refrigeration (slows down their metabolism), inside a peat/coir based bedding that has some leaf litter in it.

The worms are like big slugs, they are not very active, and do not require much feed. They can be kept for weeks like this.

Obviously, if you put them in a habitat that is COMPLETELY different than their normal environment with COMPLETELY Different feed, you will have a problem.

There is a reason why Canadian Nightcrawlers are dug and not cultured.

The better you can recreate an animals natural environment (any animal), the more successful you will be in keeping it alive.