Tag Archives: red worms for sale in houston

Help your worms beat the heat.

11 Jul

We have had a high number of 100+ degree days this Summer in Texas.  When temperatures get into the 90s worms get stressed.

One way to avoid overheating and losing worms is to keep them indoors.  Avoid overfeeding and smell will not be an issue.  Overfeeding can also attract fruit flies.  Eliminating fruit flies is as easy as covering your bin with cheese cloth, or other breathable fabric.

Find a full shade location if your worms are outside.  Add ample bedding and keep moist.  80%- 90% moisture is recommended, and in hotter temps lean towards more moisture to keep worms cool.  Keep lids cracked to increase airflow.  A closed bin can bake even in the shade with high temperatures.  Garage kept worms still need to be monitored in the heat.

Another trick I’ve employed is freezing plastic bottles full of water and adding them to bins on hot afternoons.  My worms have been appreciative in these “dog days” of summer.

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


Help. I’m losing my worms.

21 May

Below is a question I received via email, and thought I would share it.

Question from reader:

I have a problem with my worms and was wondering if you can help. I recently purchased a worm composter manufactured by Tumbleweed called Can-O-Worms. It has two working trays that have holes in them to allow worms to migrate upwards and also allows liquid to filter down into a collector tray. I have discovered that a lot of my red worms are dropping down into the collector tray and then dying. I also am finding several worms dying in the working tray (their bodies look as though they have been pinched). Have you ever heard of this? Is this a design flaw of my composter? I am very interested in worm composting and would welcome your advice.

TexasRedWorms.com :

I’m happy to try and help. You only have a problem if you are losing more than a few.  It’s normal to lose a four or five every once in awhile, in the bottom tray. You’ll usually have a few curious worms, and they are highly sensitive to barometric pressure.

The pinching is not something I’m familiar with. The only predators are centipedes and moles. If you do suspect a predator, diatomaceous earth can be added to your bedding. This is safe for you and the worms but will kill insects and Arthropoda. You can find it in most garden sections, be sure and stay away from pool grade. The pool grade is too fine and can be ingested and can be dangerous. If your losses are more than a few, I might need some more info. What, how much, and how often are you feeding? Temp of bin? Is it too wet? What other critters do you see in your bin?

 From reader: Thanks for your rapid response. After reading your email I immediately went out and cleaned the collector tray. I counted about 18 dead worms. Today (two days later) I only found 2 dead and one alive. I was pleasantly surprised with the few numbers. Maybe things are stabilizing. I’ll keep you updated. I can only assume that the pinching I talked about is caused by the worm trying to squeeze through a hole much smaller than it can manage.  I have found worms pinched in half on the surface with guts exposed and bleeding.  At one point I was wondering if maybe I caused these injuries by scratching the surface to see how the worms were doing. Are they so delicate that I should not be probing the bed? Maybe these last couple of days by leaving them alone is the result of the few casualties. But then I wonder how is it possible for your worms to survive the tumbling action of your worm harvester? As for centipedes, I don’t know. I haven’t seen any. I started this worm composter about two weeks ago.  So far I have only fed the worms the original coir bedding, lettuce, banana peels and coffee grounds.   Today at 3:00 PM the temperature of the bed is 70F. The instructions of the bin calls for flushing the bed once a week with a pail of water. Since the water freely drains into the collector tray I didn’t think things could get too wet. What is too wet? Thanks again for all your input,

TexasRedWorms.com :

Good, those numbers are more like it. 2 rather than 18.

The worms should not be pinching themselves trying to squeeze, and are
not going to get killed by you scratching the surface. The only thing
I can think of on the pinching front, is if you might by accident be
clipping them with the tray? They can also be gripping when the tray
is pulled off and be getting pulled apart. I am pretty gentle when
pulling them out of the screen. They wrap up and coil to hang on, I
will have to unwrap them sometimes because they will hold on tight.

The weekly flush I’m not familiar with? Why do they want you to flush
it? The flush could have sent some of the 18 worms to a watery grave.

Holes can get stopped up with castings, real wet bins get real fudgy.
Too wet will clog drainage holes and make harvesting more difficult.

Hang in there, we’ll get you rolling, and it will be a breeze.

Easy DIY In ground Worm Composting Bin

21 May

With a few minutes and fewer tools you can set up your own red worm composting system in any raised bed.

Materials:

Tin snips or box cutter

Plastic planter or bucket

Shovel or other digging tool

Stone or cover for the in ground bed

Worms

Find an old plastic planter and cut the bottom out.

Find a well drained spot that is protected from afternoon direct sun.  Dig a small hole big enough to bury the upside down container.  Add some shredded paper products and some compost.  Moisten your mix and add worms.  Cover w/ a paver or stone to keep out critters, and protect from elements.

Depending on the amount of worms, a handful of kitchen scraps every week or so will be plenty to start.  As your worms grow and reproduce they will require more frequent feedings.  Do not over feed.  Be patient and when the food is processed by the worms, add a few more kitchen scraps.  Keep an eye on moisture.  If kept out of direct sunlight, the food scraps will usually provide enough moisture for your worms.  Worms like it wet because they breathe through their skin, but will drown in standing water.

Red Worms vs. Nightcrawlers for Composting. What’s the Difference?

15 May

Red Worms (Eisenia fetida)European Nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis), and African Nightcrawlers (Eudrillus eugeniae), are all excellent composters.  These worms vary in size, w/ Red Worms being the smallest and possibly the least picky.  Red Worms ease of care and ability to handle a wide range of temperatures make them a popular composting worm.

European and African Nightcrawlers are larger worms.  European Nightcrawlers are popular w/ fisherman, due to size.  You’ll find their larger cousin (Canadian Nightcrawler) in bait shops, as well.  European Nightcrawlers can be used for composting, but thought to be less efficient than Red Wigglers or African Nightcrawlers.

African Nightcrawlers are a tropical worm that thrive in warmer climates, need to be kept in temperatures above 70F and will start to die off at 60F.  They are the choice for many commercial worm casting producers that have access to climate controlled facilities.  All three species or varieties can be prolific in the right conditions, and make excellent composting worms.

DIY Worm Trough

28 Apr

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.

Add Alabama Jumpers, Red Worms to your soil or raised bed.

19 Apr

When your worm order arrives here is one way to add them to your garden, raised bed, soil.  Your TexasRedWorms.com farm is a great place to raise your worms, but soon you will need to harvest the worms in order to make room for more.  You can use all or a portion of your worms.  In this example I am adding a box of Alabama Jumpers or as I like to refer to them “Texas Jumpers” to a raised bed I have prepared.

1. Choose a location preferably a shady spot that you can keep somewhat moist.  If you are adding to a full sun area be sure to cover with a few inches of mulching material to protect from the sun and to retain moisture. Leaves, newspaper, straw will work fine.  Morning or evening are the best time to add your worms.

2. Pre-wet the area you have chosen to prepare a nice moist environment for your worms to settle in.

3. You will need to dig a small hole about the size and depth of the box or container of your worms and contents.

4. Empty contents worms and compost into the hole.

5.  Cover with a section of wet newspaper.  This will keep the worms cool and protected from drying out giving them an opportunity to settle in to their new home. The Alabama Jumpers will eventually spread out on their own.  Red Worms and European Nightcrawlers will stay were they are fed and are not going to spread like the tunneling Jumpers. In the event you are adding Red Worms or European Nightcrawlers you will add a handful of kitchen scraps to the same location you placed your worms every few days.  As your worm population grows you will learn how often to feed based on how fast they work through the organic material.  The Alabama Jumpers are great for aerating and fertilizing the soil.  Red Worms and European Nightcrawlers are better composting worms.

For added protection I covered the newspaper with some leaves.  This method is one I have used with success, I have included some other similar worm bed set up links I have used.  Have fun and send us ideas.  Let us know if you have any questions.

Worm Tubes, Worm Pit, Outdoor Worm Bed, Flow Through Worm Bin.

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.

Worm Composting Bins and Garden Worm Tubes

31 Mar

Brian in San Antonio was kind enough to share some pictures of his worm tubes that he placed under the eves of his home and buried about 18″.  He drilled several holes in the  bottom 18″ buried portion of the pipe for drainage.

I just wanted to thank you for your help and encouragement starting worm composting. I went ahead and mixed 50-50 cow manure and peat moss in my tube and added a hand full of your red worms, and built a two bin system for the rest of the worms. two worm I added to my potted pineapple plant as an experiment. I figured I’d let the worms settle in for 3-7 days before adding vegetable mater. take a look at my pictures   and let me know what you think. thanks again brother. BRIAN

Here are some more pics of his two bin system.

Above: drainage bin to catch excess moisture from worm composting bin.

Thanks to Brian in San Antonio for sharing your pics and ideas.

Let us know if you have any questions about composting w/ worms.  Red Worms, European Nightcrawlers, and Alabama Jumpers available at TexasRedWorms.com for composting, gardening, and fishing. For more tips on what to do when you receive your worms check out our Care of Worms section.