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Coons in my worm bed

19 Dec

For a several days I had noticed my rugs pulled back and could tell some critter was rooting around in my worm beds.  To figure out just what we were dealing with, my daughter and I set up our game cam to catch the rascal in the act.WGI_0061 WGI_0062

It was not a huge surprise after checking the camera, that the culprit was a masked bandit.  Coon proofing can be challenging, and my attempts have failed to keep them out.  Putting some heavier objects over the carpet seemed to work in a few places, but they seem to find a weak spot.

Coon proofing recommendations:

Cover your outdoor beds with plywood or hardware cloth should work.

Keep your dogs out at night.  (Our dogs are sissies and sleep inside.)

We ended up catching the rascal the other night, and for now we are critter free.

Garden Fest this weekend in Boerne, TX

15 Sep

Join TexasRedWorms.com at 10:30am in Boerne, TX to learn more about worms.

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How do I get rid of ants?

5 May

A frequently asked question I get from worm farmers and gardeners is, “How do I get rid of ants”?  Ants can be attracted to the food waste in your compost pile or worm bed.  The good news is that a healthy compost pile or worm bed is going to have a lot of beneficial bacteria and microbial activity that the ants won’t like.  So in most cases they are there for the food scraps, and will move along shortly.  If they don’t move along and decide to set up shop, or you just want them gone, I recommend diatomaceous earth.  Food grade Diatomaceous Earth or (DE)  are  finely ground remains of tiny ocean critters called diatoms.  DE can be sprinkled around any area where you want to get rid of insects or other segmented bodied critters.  The tiny powder kept dry will stick to the ants or other bugs and make tiny cuts that will dry them out and kill them.  Wet DE won’t stick, so keep your powder dry.  Also, be sure to get food grade and not pool grade DE.  Pool grade is super fine and can be dangerous when breathed in.

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DE is natural and won’t harm your worms or you.  Other ant killers that contain chemicals might be harmful to your worms.

 

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Maggots in my worm bin?

30 Apr

Below is a picture from a customer who asked the question, “What are these in my bin and are they harmful to the worms”?  These are probably black soldier fly larvae.  They are a little unsightly, but are good composters in their own right and are not harmful to your worms.  These tend to show up in my manure piles when the weather heats up.  I will remove them most of the time from my worm bin if they show up, but it is not necessary.

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DIY Raised Worm Bed.

28 Apr

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.

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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).

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Worms for the Garden

27 Apr

clayworm2 claywormThis 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.

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Paul’s worm bin in North Carolina

9 Apr

A big thank you to Paul in North Carolina for sending us these pics of his compost tumbler and worm bin.  Great work!

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