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1,000 worms on their way....

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1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 2/20/2012, 11:34 am

Made a first time order for brand new worm kids this morning. Now I must quickly find a good source of newspapers besides my own. Never before would I have believed there would be a little wormery in my life. And one thousand of them will each be this cute right? BB\'s happy face Actually I have a big box of disposable gloves... Not sure how squirmish I will be but I just committed myself to get over it fast. I'll name my bin after The Man that convinced me I can do this. The Joshua Inn, kind of classy huh? Wink

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  elliephant on 2/20/2012, 11:59 am

I've been reading the worm threads this weekend and am SOOOOO tempted! Not that I really need one more thing to keep track of...but we do have a freebie newspaper that I collect (old ones people don't pick up) while walking my oldest to school anyway (for the coupons), so that part would be easy for me.

What kind of setup are you going with?

I think I'd have to keep mine indoors due to our heat.

SOOOOOO tempted!

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  gwennifer on 2/20/2012, 12:08 pm

The Joshua Inn... Very classy indeed! A thousand worms huh? I'm tempted to do worms too after reading about it so much, but I don't like the idea of them multiplying (no chickens to feed the extra to, EatYourVeggies Razz). I know my girls would like it at first; they're having fun feeding our new compost pile our food scrap smoothies. But I'm sure the novelty would wear off quickly and the worms would be my resposibility. Also no newspaper or coffee grounds for them... See? Easy to talk myself out of.

Also I haven't come to an understanding of the non-native species thing yet... Are red wigglers what you're getting? And are those native to everywhere?

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 2/20/2012, 12:18 pm

I am simply starting out with single worm bin that Josh described. I have a 20 gallon plastic rectangle bin. I also have been reading websites like crazy on their care. I know a worm book will be in my future too. And when my human kids grew up and moved out it left me with a spare bathroom that I'll keep the bin in for now. It may end up in the basement we'll see. I'll screen over or stretch old pantyhose over the ventilation holes. Looks like it is easy to overfeed so I'll be careful about that too. Anyway I'm really looking forward to this little adventure.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 2/20/2012, 2:12 pm

About your other question, yes I ordered the red wigglers, E. Festidia or whatever. I don't know where they are native to, but I recall they eat like pigs and produce a lot of casts. And if they breed the way its reported? Have to see what happens. For now its one step at a time. Like you, I would not go near this project if I still had kids at home. All about priorities.
At this point I can truly devote my time to Rick, the business, the llamas, and playtime in the garden.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  1airdoc on 2/20/2012, 2:21 pm

Just curious, what are the relative benefits of vermiculture vs composting? Do you do both? If so, what is the difference in how you use the products? What do you decide to feed to your worms as opposed to your compost pile?

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 2/20/2012, 2:34 pm

The casts are excellent fertilizer and give disease fighting abilities to plants. It only took a couple of brief articles to get my attention to the benefits. If you go to the white search box above you can read a lot in this forum too. The casts count as one type of compost even though they eat a variety of bacteria and protozoa from the decaying food, as I understand. I don't think the worms will eat me out of house and home. I understand they can survive just fine for many weeks on newspapers alone. I'm reading where people constantly make the huge mistake in feeding them too much. What I plan to do is mix a small amount of casts in with each trowel full of my own back yard compost. This is added while pulling out spent plants in each square. Small amounts of worm casts are used because the stuff is potent. Crazy expensive to buy in the stores and the quality goes down the longer it sits in a bag. Especially if it doesn't have air holes. I wonder if they put an expiration date on it?

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  quiltbea on 2/20/2012, 5:34 pm

You don't have to worry about getting too many worms. They are self-regulating. If the food and space is sparse, they don't reproduce until there's more of it available or older worms dying off.

I always think worms first and have a Cool Whip container on the counter for their foodstuff and my used teabags. The rest of it goes into the compost pail. They don't care for root crops anyway and lettuce is fed very sparingly so its easy to separate the composting needs. Also larger and thicker stalks go to the compost.

My worm condo is kept in my bathroom. There's no odor. In the late spring I move it out under the trees where its shaded until Sept. They don't like temps over 90* so in the south, its probably best to keep them inisde in summer and only put them out a few weeks in the spring and then again in the fall.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 2/20/2012, 8:57 pm

Quiltbea,
Thanks for your info.
The worms will arrive in a couple days. I've got damp shredded newspapers in the bin so things will be at room temperature when they arrive. There is suppose to be more directions enclosed with the worms. But in case there isn't - can you tell me if I should feed them right away or let them settle in for a day or two, then feed? Maybe I'm being over concerned......

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  quiltbea on 2/21/2012, 8:42 am

momma....I fed mine right away. Had some coffed grounds saved and a few pieces of veggie but then, I was an anxious new mom.

I keep a cheap hand rake on the top of my bin and the handle always points to the 'time on the clock' where I last tucked in their food, like what would be at the 2 o'clock space on a clock face. That way next time I know I can place the food a couple of numbers along, like 4 or 5 o'clock, the next time. I use the rake to lift the newspaper bedding and put the scraps beneath. You want to add your next scraps close by but not on top of your last serving. That way the worms don't have to go far to hunt for food.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 2/21/2012, 9:09 am

QuiltB
That is such a good practical tip. Thanks a bunch!

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  elliephant on 2/21/2012, 9:37 am

@quiltbea wrote:momma....I fed mine right away. Had some coffed grounds saved and a few pieces of veggie but then, I was an anxious new mom.

I keep a cheap hand rake on the top of my bin and the handle always points to the 'time on the clock' where I last tucked in their food, like what would be at the 2 o'clock space on a clock face. That way next time I know I can place the food a couple of numbers along, like 4 or 5 o'clock, the next time. I use the rake to lift the newspaper bedding and put the scraps beneath. You want to add your next scraps close by but not on top of your last serving. That way the worms don't have to go far to hunt for food.

How often do you feed them?

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Composting with worms

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/21/2012, 10:25 am

My worm bin arrived yesterday. I am going to go this route because my compost area is ineffective and lacks the sunlight and temperatures required by the microorganisms. I plan on keeping my bin in the basement potting area because the temperature is real steady year-round. I will have compost tea for my garden and a fresh consistent source of quality castings. This just seems like a more efficient route that is symbiotic Shocked for those involved.

I need to order my red wigglers, I am going t check out http://www.findworms.com/ to do so.
Any advice or experience would be appreciated. study

Think spring!

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  quiltbea on 2/21/2012, 11:11 am

I save up 2 or 3 days worth of scraps for them and feed them all at once. There's always damp newspaper on the top in case they need more food.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  walshevak on 2/21/2012, 1:09 pm

Gardeners Supply Company has 2 lbs of worms for $39.95. Free shipping on all catalog purchases until March 31 using code YPA2602M. Problem, they can't ship worms until April.

Kay

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 2/23/2012, 8:15 am

[quote="elliephant.[/quote] How often do you feed them?[/quote]

What I'm going to say is based on reading - and someone please correct me if I'm wrong: Very roughly, a pound of healthy red wigglers under the best conditions could eat up to 8 oz. /day . They could be fed about once a week. But it also sounds like the better practical way is to let the little guys tell you by observing how much food disappears. And if the worms are really skinny fatten them up with a better diet. Who Knows for sure? Not me. I'm just reading and winging it as it happens.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  gwennifer on 2/23/2012, 12:32 pm

By the way, thank you quiiltbea for the reply about worms self-regulating their populations. Good to know.

And llamamomma, I can see from this thread why in the other thread you said you weren't willing to garden without the worms! I knew they made excellent compost, and kept the soil friable, but since adding we add compost after harvest and have loose friable soil already, I didn't see worms as a necessity. I didn't know about them eating the bacteria and all that. Very cool!

cheers

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 2/23/2012, 1:23 pm

I am learning too! I thought they acually eat the veggies and stuff, but they eat the bacteria and protozoans who actually consume the veggies. What then comes out of the worms is the high quality fertilizer goodies and plant disease fighting stuff. It's kinda magical Laughing The only thing I'm a tad sorry about is the company just informed me today that they send out worm orders on Mondays. I have to wait till possibly next Thursday to get them. In the meantime there is moist shredded newspapers and a little food in the bin to mix around each day. The food should hopefully break down a little by the time they arrive (?).
And supper will be ready if they arrive good and hungry. Very Happy

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 2/23/2012, 1:50 pm

@1airdoc wrote:Just curious, what are the relative benefits of vermiculture vs composting? Do you do both? If so, what is the difference in how you use the products? What do you decide to feed to your worms as opposed to your compost pile?

Airdoc
I apologize somehow your post got completely past me. Vermiculture if I remember what I read, is breeding the worms for future sale of them. Vermicomposting is feeding them for the worm castings, or poo to add to your garden. The benefits are great fertilizer and plant disease fighting capabilities from the castings.
The worms will receive kitchen scraps, more newspaper strips and torn cardboard, then excess kitchen scraps will go out to the compost pile out back. I've been advised to feed the worms first!

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 3/1/2012, 2:53 pm

Just received the worms from Uncle Jim's Worm farm in Philadelphia. They gave me a tracking number which was really helpful. Gave me time to ask the mailman to watch for the box and deliver to the front door. So now if all goes well, in a bout 3-4 months or less there should be a nice pile of castings to add to each trowel of backyard compost.

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/1/2012, 3:28 pm

cheers Great News!
And supper will be ready if they arrive good and hungry. Very Happy
lol!

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 3/1/2012, 4:14 pm

Thanks FbMom
I keep wanting to lift the lid and check on the little ones.
Those old maternal instincts you know... Towards worms?
Good grief. Happy to have residents at the Joshua Inn. rofl

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Sounds like fun!

Post  lonewolfrissy on 3/1/2012, 9:29 pm

Only, I'm a little worried I'll accidently kill the poor things... Or worse, they get loose and the chickens eat them... or the heat out here cooks them....Not many places to keep them at this time. But it's always good to do research. Smile

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  Ha-v-v on 3/2/2012, 8:33 am

I plan on using the worms I order to use for the chickens and vermicompost. It will be a part of their protein they need to lay eggs. I have a few worms in a tub like Josh put up and shorter plastic one on the bottom. I have not had any escape yet. I do know they dont want to be too wet and not too much protein. They even make worm chow, is that unbelievable or what, cracks me up "worm chow" LOL. Our goal is to not buy any feed for our animals as much as possible. I won't set up another worm bin until I get past some potato plantings and seeds started and their beds made. I will be ordering African night crawlers for our other worm beds.

Keep sharing about your wormies. It helps us that are trying too Smile
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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

Post  llama momma on 3/2/2012, 2:53 pm

End Of Day One: Within 12 hours of arriving in dry peat moss the 2 balls of worms unraveled and spread out all over the bedding. Gave them some help with the end of a pen cap to gently pry them apart and sprayed a little water on them and little extra on the bedding to help them quickly rehydrate. So initially I suppose they look happy but skinny. Instructions said they can lose up to 75% of their size from lack of food and water in transit. It also says over the next 24 hours with moisture and food they should bounce back 100%. Only had 4 up on the walls when the lid was removed this morning, so no crazy mass escapes going on as sometimes happens with new bins. Wet newspaper is the only odor. First day added a little decaying food scraps from the kitchen compost container. Keep tabs on how long they take to finish it.

Cost so far: $6.99 for 20 gal. container. Around $3.50 for pantyhose, cut and stretched over ventilation holes. And a few strips of duct tape. The worms were priced as a winter special, a thousand for $18.95. Priority shipping $10.95. Total $40.39
If all goes as expected the gallons of fresh castings will be worth it.

Note on ventilation holes, I used a hammer and a screwdriver, or could have used a nail. Very low tech. Screwdriver banged out larger holes than nails. For me it was less work and quicker than fussing around with a bunch of little holes. The pantyhose was cut and stretched over the holes and secured with duct tape.
Hope they prefer breathing well over home decor.



Last edited by llama momma on 3/2/2012, 3:04 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammar)

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Re: 1,000 worms on their way....

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