Tag Archives: worm bin composting

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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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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Robert’s European Nightcrawler Bed

20 Dec

I am looking to have a storage building built on my property and called a local builder that I came across at http://www.bbarns.com.  After talking a few minutes, we realized we had met earlier.  Turns out a year or more ago, Robert got a pound of European Nightcrawlers from me.  In addition to talking storage building construction, Robert talked all about how well his worm bed was doing and sent me this great pic.  Not only does he have a great looking worm bed, but his vegetable garden is the envy of the neighborhood.  Thanks for sharing, Robert.

Robert's ENC Bed

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.

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Flow Through Worm Bin 2

27 Feb

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In production since last week this TexasRedWorm Flow Through 2 has been a work in progress for several years.  I have been looking at examples of flow through bins homemade and commercially available for some time.  This latest design is the latest version predated by several prototypes.   This latest evolution has been a success thus far.   I ended up purchasing the metal racks from Costco for about $137.  Easy to assemble and very sturdy, these were a great buy at a good price.  I spent about $70 on hardware (nuts, bolts, screws, washers, 20′ of .25″ cable, and cable clamps).  Key to a long lasting box built around the metal rack, were cypress 2×6’s from TexasDozer.com cut from my dad’s saw mill.  Cypress will not rot and in it’s natural state (no chemicals used to preserve the wood)  and will not leach out anything harmful to the worms or castings.

photo 5The cutting diamond bar was fabricated out of scrap and square tubing for the guides.  This will be pulled with winches mounted to both sides of the rack to cut and harvest castings from the bin.

photo 1Two mason tubs purchased at Lowe’s for around $13 each rest on the bottom rack just below the flow through bin to catch castings.  The bottom of the bin was lined with newspaper and worms and compost were added.  We will let the worms go to work for several weeks feeding compost as needed.  Over the next few weeks the newspaper will break down and the bin will be ready to harvest.  For the initial harvest, remove by hand the newspaper from under the screen.  Use the winch from one side to move the cutting bar across the bottom of the bin one time.

State Master Gardener Composter-Specialist Training June 13 at the San Antonio Botanical Garden

13 Jun

Worms are for more than just fishing.  I’ll be at The San Antonio Botanical Garden tomorrow to discuss composting with worms.  We’ll be talking about how worms can take kitchen waste from the trash can to the garden and add life to your soil and plants.  Soon you’ll be backing up your pickup to scavenge manure piles and livestock stalls to feed your own brood of humus producers, and you’ll be producing some of the finest vegetables and plants around.

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.

Join Dr. Jerry Parsons, TexasRedWorms, and the Garden Volunteers of South Texas Jan. 23.

23 Jan

The Garden Volunteers of South Texas will be hosting their monthly “Essentials of Gardening”  from 12:15 – 3 PM tomorrow at the San Antonio Garden Center (3310 N. New Braunfels at Funston, next to the Botanical Garden.)  Dr. Jerry Parsons will be speaking first on year round garden planning.  I will follow him w/ a worm composting presentation.  Admission is free but a $5 donation is encouraged.  Come join us!

Worm your way out of an ugly yard.

5 Jan

Thanks to Roy Bragg at the San Antonio Express News for his story on Texas Red Worms.