I had been thinking of building a feed trough style worm bed for some time. I found some plastic 55 gallon drums on Craigslist. My dad had some pine 2X4s cut from his saw mill, and we were in business. We began by cutting the 55 gallon plastic drums in half w/ a skill saw.
Materials: (2X4s, plastic 55 gallon drums, 3 inch wood screws, roofing screws, Thompson’s water seal)
Next we cut the 2X4s to border the open 1/2 end of the drum. We used 3″ screws to piece the wood together, and galvanized roofing screws to secure the barrel to frame. The height off the ground, we sized to about waist high for ease of use and for clearance underneath.
We had enough time and materials to build 3 bins. When finished, I sprayed some wood preservative on the untreated pine, then I added compost and worms. These bins are kept in a shaded area, and covered with plastic lids. I set up a bin for each species we raise (Alabama Jumpers, Red Worms, European Nightcrawlers)
Thanks to my dad (pictured) for the pine, and skilled labor.
I have been experimenting for a little over a year with the Alabama Jumper, sometimes referred to as the Georgia Jumper, or in this case Texas Jumper. The scientific name of which being Amynthas agrestis. Now that that’s out of the way, this Jumper isn’t even originally from Alabama? As a matter of fact, it is believed to hail from Asia. How about that? This aggressive and super strong worm can and will jump right out of your hand. This super strength makes it a powerful tunneler, and allows it to burrow through some of the hardest packed clay soil. This worm is a hot item, and is in high demand by gardeners everywhere for these reasons. European nightcrawlers, African nightcrawlers, and Red Worms, are all great, but the Alabama Jumper can go to work in clay and sand unlike the other varieties. I have experienced it’s power first hand, and been amazed at it’s strength and ability to work through some hard soil. In San Antonio, we’ve got some pretty tough clay, and I have seen these Jumpers perform mightily in it. I too have read all the hype about this worm, and it is the real deal. The Alabama Jumper is great for people that want a worm to go to work in their soil, garden, or flowerbeds. For composting, producing castings, or fishing I would recommend the others.
I have been trying various methods of raising the Alabama Jumper for over a year, and have had success with raising them in bins, as well as, worm beds or pits. They are reproducing in both environments, and I have a limited amount available for sale. Call for availability.