Here’s another example of a raised bed for worms. It’s next to the house and gets full shade. It’s next to a spicket for easy access to water and/or drip irrigation. I used some landscaping blocks to construct the borders and filled it with compost. After adding a Tx Jumper Starter, I cut a piece of old carpet to cover. The cover acts as a permanent mulch blanket to keep in moisture and protects the worms. I like carpet or an old rug because they last a long time, and I believe the weight gives the worms a sense of security that promotes surfacing and feeding.
Within a few months of setting this up, the worms started to really take off. I continue to keep moist, and fed with compost. The worms do the rest. It’s always fun to pull back the carpet and see a bunch of happy worms (Texas Jumpers).
This is what I like to see. Pictured above are some chunks of clay with some of my Texas Jumpers working through them with no problem. The ability of these native Texan worms to work in clay is what makes them suitable for adding directly to your garden or raised bed. They are a hearty worm that grows to 6 inches or more in a few months time. The strength that they have at a few weeks old and small size is what separates them from European Nightcrawlers or Red Worms (eisenia foteda). This strength makes them great aerators and tunnelers for your soil. They can dive and tunnel several feet and can survive through our extreme temps. Pick a spot that has good shade for these worms, keep it composted, covered (old carpet or something similar), and watered for best results. Once your population is established in several weeks, you’ll be ready to start moving them around a couple of handfuls at a time. With a little patience and persistence, you’ll have worms all over.
I broke open a clay clod and found this young worm working through. If these worms can handle this South Texas clay and caliche soil chances are they can benefit yours.
I am looking to have a storage building built on my property and called a local builder that I came across at http://www.bbarns.com. After talking a few minutes, we realized we had met earlier. Turns out a year or more ago, Robert got a pound of European Nightcrawlers from me. In addition to talking storage building construction, Robert talked all about how well his worm bed was doing and sent me this great pic. Not only does he have a great looking worm bed, but his vegetable garden is the envy of the neighborhood. Thanks for sharing, Robert.
TexasRedWorms will be in Boerne, TX this Saturday the 19th at 33 Herff Road, Boerne, TX. We will be there to talk about composting with worms, setting up, and other how to information.
We’ll be there from 10am-11am Saturday morning.
Vermiculture/Worm Composting Presentation is scheduled from 3-4PM on Wed 12 June 2013 at the San Antonio Botanical Garden (Education Bldg or Auld House depending on room availability-TBD)
Kyle Harrell from TexasRedWorms.com will be presenting from 3-4PM focusing on setting up a simple worm bin, along with the benefits/challenges of vermicomposting in Texas.
From Mike in San Antonio:
“Bro thanks a million!!! Very excited about my worms. Almost turned around and bought more! LOL. Here are some pix.
Very excited about my Garden.”
Thanks for sharing!
Early this week we welcomed 2.5 inches of rain providing some badly needed moisture to my compost piles and inground worm beds. The micro organisms that break down organic waste in compost piles need food, air, and water. In South Texas the missing component of that equation is usually H2O, and with a steady shower over the last couple of days we are back in business. I get asked often “why is my compost not breaking down?” and the answer is usually a lack of water. Keep your piles mixed to increase Oxygen, keep them watered if lacking in rain, and add Nitrogen bearing organic matter like grass clippings and manure to reactivate a pile. Use these winter months to get ready for spring planting and keep those compost piles fed, turned, and moist.
My Jumpers love this time of year and can be at their peak performance. Cooler temperatures and added moisture stimulate hatching of eggs and adults feeding and breeding in top layers of compost that at other times of the year maybe too hot or dry.
I have tried several models of flow through systems and continue to tinker to get the results I’m looking for. The idea is for the finished castings to fall through the grate at the bottom of the bin and the worms to work towards the top of the bin.
Materials: square metal tubing, plywood, braided cable, 1.5″ self tapping metal screws, small I beam we found for the base bar to mount winches, and 2 winches (one we salvaged and another from Tractor Supply @$20) for pulling each direction.
We welded a bar to slide along the bottom of the bin to agitate the castings through the grate. I have tried other versions without the cutting bar, and castings tend to get clumpy and stuck. Stay tuned for the big reveal when we add worms and a few finishing touches.