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Grow bigger healthier vegetables w/ worm castings

11 May

Last Spring was the first time my parents used worm castings exclusively to fertilize their garden.  My mom and dad claimed their best tomato crop they can remember. We used a handful of castings with each tomato seedling, and the results were terrific.  Even in one of the driest and hottest years on record, the taste, yield, and size of the tomatoes were outstanding.

Worm castings or earthworm manure is the best all natural fertilizer you can get.  Beyond Potassium and Nitrogen, worm castings are alive with beneficial microbes.  Beneficial bacteria, nematodes, and other tiny beneficials that will add life to plants and soil.  You can maximize your castings harvest by brewing compost tea.   You will need an aquarium pump, water, castings, and some unsulfured molasses to amplify the effects.  Worm castings are the only manure that can be directly absorbed by plants roots.  They are perfectly pH balanced and won’t burn up plants like other high in Nitrogen manures.

Francisco’s Worm Farm

5 Aug

Francisco was kind enough to share these pics of his double tub worm bin.  Francisco got started a few months ago and is doing great.  His double bin construction technique allows for excess moisture to drain into the bottom catch tub (worm leachate).   His bedding base is comprised of finely shredded newspaper mixed w/ food waste.  As a mulch layer, he keeps a few sheets of wet newspaper on top of the bin.  Francisco also shared some of his homemade worm chow that my worms loved.  It was gone the next morning.

Thanks for sharing your ideas and pictures.

Worm farming. Fun for the whole family.

27 May
 Thanks to Bryan in San Antonio for keeping us posted with all the cool worm composting projects he and his family have going.  
From Bryan:
     I wanted to up date you on how things are going with my worms. The worm tube in my planter seems to be functioning although managing the moisture level needs a bit more attention then I had expected. The high watering needs of the plants dictates that no extra moisture can be added to the tube, at lest for now. Like you said, you have to experiment. As you can see in the picture I had sent you earlier, I had placed a piece of panty hose over the top to keep out flies and other insects. A small number of gnats and ants have managed to get in. The worms in the tube are thriving and multiplying so that’s a good sign. Taking your advice of dividing the worms has helped to continue their rate of reproduction so much in that we have started our third bin two days ago, and probably have enough to start two more. We are all having a fun time of it.
    Soon after starting the first bin I decided to place two worms in a potted pineapple head that I had started. The soil in the pot had become hard and I wanted to see if adding some worms would help, and also if the worms would survive. After a little over a month, the soil is soft and the plants growth has accelerated and the new leafs look great. As of yesterday, we have started brewing worm tea in the typical fashion, 5 gal bucket, aquarium pump and aeration stones and molasses.
  The collecting of coffee grounds from Starbucks has begun, so far I have filled a new 30 gal trash can that I purchased at Wal Mart for around $10.00  about half way. We are also saving our egg shells as well as collecting them from a local bakery.  We use a blender, small food processor, and a mortar to grind them to a fine powder allowing for almost instant availability to the worms. I guess I’ve crossed over the sanity line somewhere.   I do have one question you might be able to answer?  Question* If compost worms i.e. red wigglers were thriving in a plant, flower or vegetable bed would they at some point start eating the roots of the plants?
     Looking forward to hearing from you soon your friend.
                                                                                           BRIAN
Wow.  You are a worm farming machine.  That is outstanding work.
 
I have some worms in some potted plants, as well.  There is a chance they could eat some of the roots.  Just keep adding organic matter so the worms will have plenty to eat.  Keep an eye on the plants health, and thin out the worms from time to time.  I think that kept in check the plants will benefit more from the worm castings than harm can be done.
Thanks for the update,
Kyle

Worms doing well in Houston heat

24 May

From Mark

My worms seem to be thriving now. Have dozens of them in every handful of compost. How quickly will they reproduce? How long before my population outgrows my 20 gallon plastic container? They are in my garage and it is getting a little warm, so I put a frozen gallon of water in it every day to keep temp in high 60s. They seem to like it. I keep one jug in freezer and one in bin and rotate every day. I am ready to harvest my first batch of compost in a few weeks. Mark.

Great to hear.  Excellent idea with the frozen water bottle.

Your worms should double in # in @ 90 days.  You can start a new bin at any time.  While harvesting castings is a good time to take inventory, see how they are doing, and start a new bin.  You can get another 20 gallon container or multiple 5-10 gallon ones.  Now the fun begins, watching your worms multiply and produce castings. 

Thanks for the update. 

Kyle
http://www.TexasRedWorms.com


Red Worm Composting at Historic Preservation Site in San Antonio, TX

11 Apr

Orlando Cortinas, Landscape Maintenance Technician for Villa Finale in the historic King William district in San Antonio, TX is doing some tremendous work on the museum grounds.  He is bringing this historic property back to life, and working on some exciting organic methods to gardening and landscaping.  Orlando has built a beautiful worm composting pit, and another composting bin for leaves, yard clippings, and food waste.

On my tour of the grounds, Orlando showed me his plans for a greenhouse, and compost tea brewer.  Thanks Orlando, and the National Trust For Historic Preservation for your purchase with TexasRedWorms.com and the tour of your impressive property.

The first National Trust Historic site in Texas, this former home of preservationist and civic leader Walter Mathis was purchased in 1967.  This home originally built in 1876 is now a museum, and a nearly 2 acre showcase along the San Antonio River on former Alamo farm lands.