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Old 01-09-2011, 07:56 PM
 
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Does anyone keep a worm farm and use the worm castings for their garden? I've heard that "tea" made from these castings makes a great plant food.

Please post your experiences. Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:20 PM
 
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Last spring, the ol' lady and I attended the MO master gardener courses offered by our county. One of the classes was on vermicomposting. The instructor was kind enough to provide us with a half dozen of her red wiggler "babies" (her words, not mine!) and I hooked them up with a 20ish gallon tote complete with airholes. They've been chilling in the kitchen ever since. Like a garbage disposal that doesn't run on electricity, and produces potting soil. Started out with 6 worms, a half inch layer of shredded newspaper from the mailbox advertisements, and fruit/veggie scraps.... 8 months later, I'm looking to get started early on my garden beds, simply because the worms are almost out of space! Nearly 20 gallons of dark, rich, "good for what ails yer dirt" castings. I'll do it all over again this year, I might even double up!

Low maintenance doesn't even cover it, we checked them daily when we first got them, like baby chicks or something... Now we open that thing like twice a week, toss in the scrap bag contents, cover with shredded paper, call it a day. They do all the work! When your tote smells (other than earthy) add some carbon. When your worms are up around your lid, picketing their living conditions, they need some scraps. No meat. Avoid acidic fruits, like lemon and orange peels. Other than that, well "if you can grow it, they can eat it." They will neglect all to destroy watermelon rinds. Love them. Mine also seem to have an ongoing cherry embargo. Not sure if that's just them being picky, or something I haven't seen in a book/article yet.

Couple things... Watch your tub, some things in there may go to seedling... Just pull it and bury it, they'll recycle it for you. If you let it get too wet and stay that way, you'll develop a gnat population in your kitchen, which, while amusing for the cat, is kind of annoying. Add carbon. Cover your scraps well. They'll go away.

Never messed with the "tea" thing, though I have read about it, and based on how swampy they can get it in there if you let them, definitely doable. I understand from various sources that it doesn't burn your plants, makes an outstanding spray on fertilizer?

If you're inclined to read, and haven't already, I recommend "Worms Eat My Garbage." Good luck!
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:53 PM
 
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
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Thanks for the info Sapperdoc. We were thinking of getting worms for the garden.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:05 PM
 
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Great info. Sapperdoc, thank you!

Do I understand correctly that the vermicomposting course you took was through your county extension office in Missouri?

I'd better pull up a schedule and start marking my calender!
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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Yes ma'am, Pulaski County offered it in the Waynesville courthouse, where they seem to every spring. Multiple gardening classes, beekeeping, vermicomposting, something like 6-8 hours worth? I think it is done on a volunteer basis, so it probably varies by county, and by year for that matter. I think we spent like $20 for both of us to register for all classes? Something like that. I know folks seeking master gardener certification have to do some volunteer time to complete their training, probably where a good bit of the instruction comes from. Guessing your extension office would have way better information than I do... Enjoy the classes!
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Destrehan, Louisiana
2,192 posts, read 6,034,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
Does anyone keep a worm farm and use the worm castings for their garden? I've heard that "tea" made from these castings makes a great plant food.

Please post your experiences. Thanks!


Donald who runs the site below has a few videos on worm tea and composting.

Never use cow waste as a starter or filler because most cows are de-wormed and it will kill your worms.

How to Grow a Vegetable Garden by The Bayou Gardener


busta
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Bowie but New Orleans born and bred
667 posts, read 713,866 times
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Does anyone else keep a worm farm and have any lessons learned? I was thinking of getting a Worm Factory 360 and farming some worms for castings in order to cut costs on fertilizer for my small garden. Thanks
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:57 PM
 
Location: I am right here.
4,859 posts, read 3,713,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoDatInMD View Post
Does anyone else keep a worm farm and have any lessons learned? I was thinking of getting a Worm Factory 360 and farming some worms for castings in order to cut costs on fertilizer for my small garden. Thanks
I had a worm bin in my basement. It was a styrofoam kit I had purchased at a local farm/garden store. So I got it all set up, add wigglers, fed them garden scraps, and all was well. I had the moisture just right, added lettuce and greens and cores a couple of times a week. Then.....one of my cats went in the basement without me being aware (snuck down when one of the kids got something from the basement). The cat let me know a few hours later that she was locked down there, so I opened the door. Did not think much of it. Until....I went down about 4 days later to feed the wigglers and saw the styrofoam cover was destroyed - apparently sat on and scratched on and basically dug up and chewed on by the cat...which in turn allowed the "stuff" to spill out and the bin to dry out (it was winter, so the house was very dry). No more wigglers....

So the lesson is two-fold:

1. Do not use a styrofoam container.
2. Do not allow an unsupervised cat around the wigglers.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Bowie but New Orleans born and bred
667 posts, read 713,866 times
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^ definitely good advice!
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:39 PM
 
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hey just wondering is there an ideal temperature range for the worms??? i mean will they freeze at a certain point? what can they tolerate??
tyvm
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