Tag Archives: red worms

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.

clayandcaliche

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Weekend Worm Workshop Saturday 10/19 @ 33 Herff Road, Boerne, TX

17 Oct

Fall Garden Fest

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.

redwormsOCT

Worms do their part to create lush lawns and landscapes

19 Sep

Check out this recent MySa.com article on the wonderful work going on in the King William historic district along the San Antonio Riverwalk at Villa Finale historic site and museum by head groundskeeper Orlando Cortinas.  Worms do their part to keep Villa Finale lawns lush by Rose Mary Brudge.

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.

DIY Worm Chow

12 Oct

Worms will eat just about anything they can fit into their tiny mouth, and are the ultimate composter, humus maker, and soil conditioner.  The primary feedstock I feed my worms is composted horse and cow manure, yard clippings-leaves, and table scraps (minus dairy and grease).  Between feedings I sprinkle my own version of Worm Chow over the top of the bin.  This simple recipe is great for fattening up your worms for a fishing trip or just adding some diversity to their diet and your castings.  Use for your Alabama Jumpers, Red Worms, European Nightcrawlers, or African Nightcrawlers.

TexasRedWorms.com Worm Chow is:

1 part corn meal

1 part ground up oatmeal

add crushed egg shells for minerals and flavor

Worms and Environmental Science

7 Oct

Yesterday TexasRedWorms made a visit to Mrs. Mein-Johnson’s Environmental Science class at MacArthur High School in San Antonio.  We introduced European Nightcrawlers and Red Worms into a couple of raised beds. Mrs. Mein- Johnson’s class has recently been studying soil samples in their soil lab.  Students have also been tending their Fall gardens in planter boxes behind the baseball field.  True to San Antonio the pepper crop is yielding some nice results.

They will be monitoring the benefits of introducing worms to their gardens and I look forward to seeing their results.

Nightcrawlers vs. Red Worms: Summer Performance

12 Aug

I have spent the last couple of weekends harvesting castings from my red worm bins and european nightcrawler bins.  I had tried to hold out until after Labor Day, when it’s only 95 outside.  The heat can add stress to harvesting castings for you and the worms.  Exposed worms can dry out and die quickly.

Loaded down with finished worm castings I was left with little choice.  The girls pitched in and really helped speed things.  My harvester that was built last winter, really came in handy.  We were able to crank through 100+ pounds in no time.  The girls picked worms stuck in the harvester screen. On a side note: Use cooking spray on the wire mesh to help keep the worms from sticking.

In picking egg capsules and smaller worms from two separate harvest runs (red worms/ european nightcrawlers),  I was surprised at the performance of the nightcrawlers.  The cocoon or egg capsule production has definitely slowed down for the red worms compared to other times of the year.  Compared to the red worms, the nightcrawlers had about triple the amount of eggs.  That’s right, from what I have seen this Summer, the European Nightcrawlers have outperformed red wigglers in reproduction.

This past Winter and Summer have been the most extreme temperatures I have seen since beginning worm farming.  The good news is that with a little planning and preparation worms can flourish in just about any part of the country.