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1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 Toplef101,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 I22gcj101,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 14dhcg10

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1,000 worms on their way....

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Post  bnoles 5/8/2013, 7:03 pm

Okay llama momma, my red wigglers arrived today, all 1000 or more of them and are they ever lively. Got them all bedded down in their new tote with a light burning above for 48 hours to keep them from trying to escape while they chill out and get used to their new home. I guess this officially makes me a "worm daddy" now. Very Happy I plan on brewing some good compost tea with these castings.

The meal worms also arrived today and I have them set up in their new condo as well. The chickens are already getting excited 1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 53366

I sure hope this will be as fun and beneficial as it appeared.
All I can say is........ LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE GOTTEN ME INTO 1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 889526
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Post  GWN 5/8/2013, 7:31 pm

WELCOME to the club...... and what a club to belong to... WORM farmers.. cheers
GWN
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Post  Kelejan 5/8/2013, 11:53 pm

Another welcome to you, Bob, from another worm-mommie.
It was LLM who really encouraged me to start so she has a lot to answer for. Very Happy
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Post  llama momma 5/9/2013, 4:52 am

Congratulations Bob, Worm Daddy!! When you get into your own pattern of caring for them I think you'll find it's so easy with very little of your time invested. They just want to be left alone in the dark to do their good work. I was thinking how neat it is to see how you've jumped into everything seemingly in no time flat between sf gardening, composting, chickens, worms. I need some chickens to keep up with you!
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Post  plantoid 5/9/2013, 9:24 am

@Boz wrote:Thank you camprn and Kelejan - the point i wanted to make is we must provide enough mass to keep the worms from freezing. I have given worms to people that ignored that fact and have come back in the Spring looking for more worms.

BOZ.
I'm reasonably certain that all my composting Daleks were all frozen solid right through over winter to at least a foot from the ground . I saw frozen worms in the top of the one I put the fork into .

My MM beds were showing MM & ice to over 9 inches deep right into the middles .

It's not a sudden drop like when you drop things in the freezer it's a much slower temp fall & I think it triggers the worms to make antifreeze or freeze what they ( a bit like cyrogenics ) have without cell rupture .

All my composters are on four inches of smooth concrete .
Same with the defrost it is a long slow defrost so all sorts of changes happen without the worms body cells showing rupture .
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Post  llama momma 5/9/2013, 1:45 pm

@Kelejan wrote:It was LLM who really encouraged me to start so she has a lot to answer for. Very Happy

What a Face What a Face What a Face What a Face What a Face What a Face What a Face What a Face What a Face
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Post  Triciasgarden 5/9/2013, 4:58 pm

@bnoles wrote:
The meal worms also arrived today and I have them set up in their new condo as well. The chickens are already getting excited 1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 53366

I sure hope this will be as fun and beneficial as it appeared.
All I can say is........ LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE GOTTEN ME INTO 1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 889526

I like the idea of meal worms for chickens but have you seen what they grow into, lol!? It's better you than me with those because I think I would have a brain fart for a day or two and they would end up everywhere!

Reading this I realized I have a half and avocado and some mushrooms molding in the fridge. Did I let them go bad on purpose? Maybe it's my subconscious mind telling me my worms need a good meal or my compost pile(s) need some additions! Twisted Evil
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Post  bnoles 5/9/2013, 7:15 pm

@Triciasgarden wrote:
@bnoles wrote:
The meal worms also arrived today and I have them set up in their new condo as well. The chickens are already getting excited 1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 53366

I sure hope this will be as fun and beneficial as it appeared.
All I can say is........ LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE GOTTEN ME INTO 1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 889526

I like the idea of meal worms for chickens but have you seen what they grow into, lol!? It's better you than me with those because I think I would have a brain fart for a day or two and they would end up everywhere!

Reading this I realized I have a half and avocado and some mushrooms molding in the fridge. Did I let them go bad on purpose? Maybe it's my subconscious mind telling me my worms need a good meal or my compost pile(s) need some additions! Twisted Evil

They turn into harmless beetles so they can make more baby meal worms. They never leave there environment so there should be no problem with an infestation anywhere but in the condo. Yeah, not looking too forward to the first time having to pick them up to move them, but I see all these girls and ladies on youtube do it so surely I can What a Face They appear to be self sustaining to a point so they will not require much attention and hopefully neither will the red wigglers.... I hope... I hope.... I hope 1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 889526

I am becoming a little concerned about availability of my kitchen scraps with everything I have going on and may have to try to import some Shocked
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Post  GWN 5/9/2013, 9:01 pm

You know Trich.....
Those avocodos last forever in the worm bin. I guess because the fat content is so high.

I feel kind of badly because after reading here about Bokashi, composting I have gotten started at that, as a way to "ignite" my main outside compost pile.
So my poor worms have not been fed much lately. It is all good likely because I was feeding them way to much for quite awhile, but perhaps now that compost is hot, I can go back to feeding my worms
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Post  llama momma 5/18/2013, 4:11 pm

I have a heavy bucket filled w/vermicompost in storage and kept it moist by spraying the top intermittently. This morning I went hunting through it for hatched out babies(75) and found the bottom of it had gotten very muddy and sloppy. Surprised to find mature adults living in the bottom of what I'd call substandard conditions. Also surprised to find for the first time it smelled like manure- but only at the very bottom.
The point is I'm not sure if the brief stink that is quickly disappearing means it went partially anaerobic? So I'm continuing to dry it out a little more and hope I didn't ruin the bottom of the batch. And maybe some of my worm friends out there may want to check their storage of castings and aerate them. I'm not sure what to make of the stink and if it should be a concern. Anyone?
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Post  bnoles 5/18/2013, 6:11 pm

Hi LM...

Sounds like keeping it moist, less is better. I got my worms from Big Tex Worms and she said we don't even need holes or drainage of any kind in the bottom of our bins (tubs) if we do things right, there should be no excess liquid in other words. I am still a little uneasy for not drilling bottom holes or putting a drain valve in after everything I have seen and read on the subject. I promised myself to follow her instructions to the 'T" in making this commitment and so far it seems to be working good.

Still not sure this worm composting is for me, but I will give it an honest effort and keeping in mind that my reason for it is "COMPOST TEA". Being a big time fisherman in the past, I still think worms are best left for bait. 1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 889526
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Post  llama momma 5/18/2013, 7:31 pm

Hi there Bn,
Ok Fisherman Bob, red worms, if that's what you have, won't get very big, 2-3" tops, but I've read fishermen like them because their underwater wiggle lasts longer than other worms. So if your chickens don't get your extras as treats then off you go for a day of fishing. Lucky you, your worms can have multiple uses besides castings/tea for the garden while feasting on your kitchen waste.

This will be my first season using castings, I'm very curious to see what differences occur in plant performance.

I agree with the lady re: drainage holes. I don't have any drainage in all three bins. Feed lightly, mist lightly, thick dry bedding to the top of the bin. Good number of aeration holes. It seems over feeding is the biggest problem from the food as it breaks down and turns liquidy.

My storage bucket of castings was getting sprayed a little and I could see the top was evaporating slowly not realizing over time enough water made its way to the bottom and made sludge castings.
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Post  Lemonie 5/18/2013, 7:39 pm

@bnoles wrote:Hi LM...

Sounds like keeping it moist, less is better. I got my worms from Big Tex Worms and she said we don't even need holes or drainage of any kind in the bottom of our bins (tubs) if we do things right, there should be no excess liquid in other words. I am still a little uneasy for not drilling bottom holes or putting a drain valve in after everything I have seen and read on the subject. I promised myself to follow her instructions to the 'T" in making this commitment and so far it seems to be working good.

I have a a very small scale setup, but have tried both w/o bottom holes and with. The container w/o bottom holes got really soggy in the bottom and that was w/o watering and with feeding lightly. This caused an awful stench when I mixed it up. My newer setup has holes in the bottom and "drip pan" that has always stayed dry. Everything seems to smell more like dirt and I think the bottom holes help not just with drainage, but also with ventilation and circulation.
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Post  llama momma 5/18/2013, 7:56 pm

See that? Lots of factors come into play. The bin odor I can detect is damp newspaper. I'll use Bentley Cristy's answer from redwormcomposting.com for your results and mine. It just "depends"!! Amount of moisture in the bin depends on many factors like number of worms, how thick is the bedding, how much food, how much added water, water content of food, temperature and more. But in the end it's whatever works for you and your comfort level. I have a problem with not wanting to deal with liquid and hauling it upstairs from the basement knowing at some point I'll probably drop the stuff!
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Post  bnoles 5/18/2013, 10:10 pm

Thanks for the link to redwormcomposting.com LM! Looks like some great rainy day reading and I'm sure much for me to learn even more from.

hmmmmm.... I think I'll toss a couple reds into the coop tomorrow and see how the chickens like them, I know they sure like night crawlers even if they are as big as the chicks. 1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 889526
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Post  yolos 6/1/2013, 11:29 pm

This is a picture of my grandson (Tucker, age 4) showing off the sign we made for his area of the garden that we have titled "Tucker's Worm Farm". He loves to hunt and find worms. Then he puts them in cups or something small and of course they die. I couldn't get him to put them into my garden. So I decided to make a small area 4' x 2' in my garden that is only his where he can put the worms he finds. This will give me the chance to teach him about worms, what they eat, and in what kind of habitat they will florish. Hopefully he will catch them and put them in his Worm Farm rather than catching the worms and eventually killing them.

1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 Tucker11

I don't know if this will work because the worms are not going to stay in this little area, especially when the temperatures here get up into the 90's. I may have to order some compost worms and make a small bin for him. But then what is he going to do with the worms he catches. I think I will make him a shoebox corral to catch even more worms. Maybe some worms will stick around.
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Post  llama momma 6/2/2013, 8:03 am

Yolos
Your grandson Tucker is a real cutie-pie.
There is something about kids and worms. I like the shoe box corral. At his age it might be very exciting to see the food dwindling and the number of worms increasing. There are many wonderful teaching moments here! Health - talk about the fruits and veggies that are good for us and the worms, Math- counting worms he has collected and maybe make simple charts, Science and Reading- there's got to be appropriate age books at the library about worms, does he know worms have no teeth and have 8 hearts and breathe through their skin?

I home schooled my kids years ago, it was so much fun watching them take off and fly with different topics, sometimes never expected topics! Have fun creating memories with him. I miss those days.

If you are interested, here is a little worm program for 9-12 year olds but you can make it age appropriate to Tucker's level. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/forestry/projects/worms.pdf
Enjoy your special time with him Very Happy

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Post  mschaef 6/2/2013, 6:49 pm

@yolos wrote:This is a picture of my grandson (Tucker, age 4) showing off the sign we made for his area of the garden that we have titled "Tucker's Worm Farm". He loves to hunt and find worms. Then he puts them in cups or something small and of course they die. I couldn't get him to put them into my garden. So I decided to make a small area 4' x 2' in my garden that is only his where he can put the worms he finds. This will give me the chance to teach him about worms, what they eat, and in what kind of habitat they will florish. Hopefully he will catch them and put them in his Worm Farm rather than catching the worms and eventually killing them.

1,000 worms on their way.... - Page 18 Tucker11

I don't know if this will work because the worms are not going to stay in this little area, especially when the temperatures here get up into the 90's. I may have to order some compost worms and make a small bin for him. But then what is he going to do with the worms he catches. I think I will make him a shoebox corral to catch even more worms. Maybe some worms will stick around.

To go with teaching him about worms check out Dairy of a Worm. It is a kids book that my 2 and 6 year old love to read. It talks about life as a worm and is very kid friendly.
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Post  grownsunshine 6/11/2013, 6:13 pm

I just found this. The Los Angeles County DWP put on free gardening and compost classes.

http://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/sg/gen_info.cfm

"Beginning workshops provide hands-on instruction on composting, worm composting, grasscycling, and water-wise and fire-wise gardening. Residents can purchase a backyard or worm composting bin at a discount at workshops."

"Advanced workshops introduce landscape design, landscaping with native friendly plants, installing a water-efficient irrigation system, organic gardening, the art and science of good soil, integrated pest management (environmental ways to control pests), conserving water around the garden, and using drought-tolerant plants. Residents can purchase a backyard or worm composting bin at a discount."
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Post  llama momma 6/11/2013, 6:53 pm

Fantastic array of topics. Wow.
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Post  Triciasgarden 6/11/2013, 11:38 pm

Grownsunshine you might want to get a topic started saying the L.A. DWP is having those classes. We have plenty of people on this forum from the L.A. area that would probably be interested.
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Post  Triciasgarden 6/11/2013, 11:39 pm

Yolos, cute little grandson! That sounds like a great idea to have an area with a sign that he can "plant" his wormies!
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Post  yolos 6/12/2013, 9:09 am

@Triciasgarden wrote:Yolos, cute little grandson!  That sounds like a great idea to have an area with a sign that he can "plant" his wormies!

 
 
Thanks, but I still can't get him to put the worms he catches in his worm farm.  The last one he found he put in his dump truck and then drove it around and eventually (after much scolding from me) put it in his farm.  I am not sure that worm will survive.  I am going to buy that book LM suggested so maybe he will see them as a living thing instead of his newest toy.
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Post  grownsunshine 7/16/2013, 12:14 pm

Quick comment - I've had my worm compost bin for 3 weeks now. I just can believe how fast the worms devour pretty much everything including watermelon rinds. I thought it'd take them forever to eat the rinds, but they chow so fast!!! Fortunately, since it's summer time, I've got a lot of rinds right now. They are a bit slower eating kale...I guess it's an acquired taste.

How does it take to develop a decent amount of castings? How long should I wait before harvesting the castings?
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Post  CaptainKidney 7/16/2013, 12:35 pm

Looks like we both got our worms started about the same time. I asked for a Worm Factory as a Father's Day present (insert surprised faces from my wife, 3 daughters and 4 granddaughters HERE affraid affraid affraid affraid affraid affraid affraid affraid ). They said if that's really what you want, but they stay in the garage. From what I have read, it will be about 3 months from setting one up before we  are harvesting worm castings for the first time. Then about monthly after that. 

I put some melon rinds in a few weeks ago and the worm bin started to smell a few days later. Found a lot of fluid in the bottom compartment. It was not very dark, so I didn't use it for the plants, must have been from the melon rinds since the smell went away after I cleaned out the compartment. I will try again after my Worm Factory is better established.

Mike
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