Tag Archives: vermicompost

Soil remediation with Earthworms

25 Jun

Groups collaborate in India to clean up toxic land with earthworms.

4 acres of contaminated soil in India where 300K earthworms were added.  After one year there was a 60% reduction in heavy metals.

 

Link to Vermi-Remediation of Heavy Metal -Contaminated Soil

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Bring your soil back to life with worm castings

15 Mar

Spring is here and it is time to plant in Texas.  Worm castings are rich in P,N,K but the most valuable component are the beneficial microbes that will add life to soil and plants. We have a ton of worm castings at our two Texas farms.  You can pick up a 10 lb bag for $20.  Add a handful of castings to seedlings or brew up your own compost tea to really get the most out of  just a few lbs of worm castings.  You will be surprised just how far a small amount worm castings can go.

Here’s a video from a few years back where we brewed up 500 gallons with a combination of worm castings and compost.

Join us for worm composting and compost tea talk at the Alamo Heights Community Garden

16 Apr

Today Tuesday, April 16th, from 6-8pm at the Alamo Heights Community Garden Texas Red Worms will be with Green Spaces Alliance at 403 Ogden St.  Join us for instruction and discussion on worms, composting, and compost tea.

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What type of worm is right for you?

10 Oct

Earthworms have a couple of jobs, and depending on your goals you will need to decide what worm is best for you.  Earthworms feed on decaying organic matter and produce castings.  Worm castings (worm poop) is nitrogen rich, pH balanced, humous that is ready to be absorbed by plants roots immediately.  Earthworms are the intestines of the soil and are top soil producers.  Beyond soil production, their other job is to tunnel through the ground aerating and mixing the soil as they work.  Earthworms are also the “plow of the soil”  mixing layers of earth while they eat, tunnel, and deposit their castings. These tunnels allow oxygen and water to reach roots of plants and break up compacted soil for greater root penetration and growth.

Red Worms (eisenia foteida) If your goal is composting and worm casting production, this prolific producer is your worm.  Well suited for bin raising, not a candidate for adding directly to soil.

European Nightcrawler (eisenia hortensis)  Larger worm that is an excellent for composting and fishing. Well suited for bin raising, not a candidate for adding directly to soil.

Alabama Jumper (amynthas gracilis)  Large worm that is a powerful aerator.  Strong worm that is ideal for adding to garden or soil and can burrow deep in hard packed soil.  These worms are deep divers and do a great job of mixing layers of the soil, can be bin raised but are better suited for the soil.

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.

Flow Through Worm Bin part 1

22 Mar

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.

Bexar County Master Gardener event Feb. 16th 1pm-3pm

9 Feb
Master Gardeners spring gardening is almost here.  The stir of vegetable gardening and landscape rejuvenation is upon us.  Adding compost will be a big part of our chores.  Kyle Harrell will speak at our February meeting about enhancing your composting operation with a vigorous population of earth worms.  He will teach and show how increasing your worms improve your composting operation.  Our door prizes will include worm castings and tools to spread compost in your garden.  Mr. Harrell is seasoned speaker and worm farmer.  His presentations are tops on organics and composting.

The meeting is at the AgriLife Meeting room, 3355 Cherry ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio, TX 78230.  This is a 1:00pm to 3:00pm afternoon meeting.  A continuing education credit is earned for all Master Gardeners.  All gardeners and the public are invited.