Worm Farming Aka Vermicomposting!

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LittleDabbie

LittleDabbie

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Just a fun thread for those of us who vermicompost to chat about it, Trials and tribulations if you will! :D

So my fun began about 7 months ago i started picking worms outta my yard and soon realized that was more work then i was willing to put in so i ordered i think a total of 2 pounds and made 3 bins.

Been feeding ALOT all kinds of food they like mostly fruits and peels from those but egg shells crab shells peppers potatos ect ect all goes into a food processor ground up good then stuck inside those small plastic ziplock containers and frozen then thawed when needed for feeding.

Well after about 4 or so months of straight feeding and just adding new bedding on top the bins have become really acidic so today i went down to the hydro store picked up another 5kg of coir (11$) and a bag of garden lime pelletized ( thats all they had ) Now some people will claim pelletized lime will kill your worms, those people are what i like to call, full of shit.

Pelletized lime is just lime thats been rolled in clay, sometimes also fortified with magnesium / mg oxide Which WILL NOT Harm your worms!!! And most cases if you read the package the Mg % is low around 25% where the calcium carbonate is around 75% GOOD for raising PH!

I didn't bother measuring jack shit i took the bag dumped around 400mls worth into a beaker added 400-500ml of water mixed poured off and added more water till i filled up 2 1000ml worth of brown murkey water ( whats left in the beaker now is just sand and clay ) Mixed up the original beaker with more water to get the last little bit of lime and dumped that into a 3rd beaker. Poured approx 1000ml worth of lime water into each bin and about an hour later the worms have stopped trying to escape ( Thank you PH! ) Still smells a little funky but i did just feed them the other day.

The clay and sand mix that was left over was mixed with water and dumped evenly into each bin to give the worms some grit to grind up there food.

I also feed them Lightly composted ( Just air dried the shit till the urine smell was gone ) Horse Poo and spent mushroom substrate mixed together and hydrated, They fuckin LOVE IT Encourages breeding.

So thats my story for now, if anyone has any questions feel free.. Wanna share your story feel free :D

In a cpl weeks i gotta harvest the 3rd bin's castings, picked up a huge 35 gallon Tub today to store them in for winter, along with a few more 30-40 gallon bins i have around the house i can empty and put to use!

Can't wait till spring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
SonOfDaMourning

SonOfDaMourning

Your feeding them too much, cut back as they can live off of straight shredded paper yet be skinny but survive.
i rock 2 bins and barely feed em scraps, i let em process the newspaper yet feed a worm chow made from grinded oats, corn meal, and a lil kelp meal with a smidgen of whey protein sprinkled on top of the beds.

Btw to catch wild worms you wanna bury a pail in ground with holes on the side. Put food in it and worms will find it and fall to the bottom for you to collect the next day or so.
 
LittleDabbie

LittleDabbie

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Not over feeding trust me there eating everything i put in there in no time theres no food left after just a few days, only feed once a week.

Just haven't changed the bedding in 4+ months and never adjusted the PH so all the fruits and such end up lowering the ph, Plus the coir and peat moss both have a low ph. Everythings been 100% till the last week when they started escaping limed the bin today and none are trying to get out now :D
 
LittleDabbie

LittleDabbie

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Anyone every try Purina's Worm Chow? Got a ton of ingredients none of which do my worms get atm was reading about it says its a great way to supplement needed vitamins and minerals and causes them to breed even more! 2lbs is only like 8$ so im gonna give it a go as a supplement, sprinkle in a tablespoon with each feeding and see what happens.
 
LittleDabbie

LittleDabbie

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Well im up to 70 Gallons of worm castings now, Harvested the final bin today... So much work! But worth it.

And now the cycle starts all over again tho this time i think i'll be harvesting every 2 months instead of 4, Since i took the 3 bins i had and turned them into 1 bin should compost alot faster.. That and i got tired of going thru 60+ gallons of castings sifting out worms..
 
LittleDabbie

LittleDabbie

Supporter
Case anyone was curious i got my worm chow the other day, THEY LOVE THIS SHIT!!!!!!!!!!! Whats not swarming the food i already put in there is poking its head thru the top soil and eating the bigs of dry meal put down in a matter of HOURS! I can coat the whole top layer in a fine thin film of dry powder and 3-4 hours later no shit its all gone, Now bare in mind theres over 3000 worms in there so.. lol

But anyway Worm chow awesome stuff, Check your local feed supply stores ( NOT TRACTOR SUPPLY!! ) They don't carry it, but other animal feed companys do, you can check purinas website for a dealer near you actually.. a 50lb bag should cost no more then 19.95...

Awesome stuff if you wanna supplement your worms vitamins and minerals :D
 
Bulldog11

Bulldog11

Love worms! They really are the best for organic gardens. I just moved into this property but I have already started a worm pile. This year I just piled up any chicken poop, chicken litter, fruits, veggies and cannabis. The worms just came to the pile, but I just ordered 5000 worms to put into my raised beds in my greenhouse. Hope they survive the winter, even in the greenhouse.

Next spring once the worm pile thaws, I will start adding crushed coral, minerals, kelp and alfalfa. By this time next year I want 50,000 worms cold composting everything on my property with an additional 20,000 worms tilling my raised beds.
 
LittleDabbie

LittleDabbie

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50,000!! Holy shit man you got huge dreams!!! How are you gonna feed that many worms? You got a few horses or something? :D

I got a small grape vine and a Crab apple tree i harvest this year and fed my worms that for the winter ( I keep them indoor in a bin ) for winter to make sure they survive, IF!!!! Your adults die off the cocoons should still survive winter and birth in spring so your population will always survive but may not reach the 50K goal.

Keep an eye on your PH as well keep some garden lime on hand will be your best friend just don't wait till its too late to fix the problem :D ( tho its never really to late ya just make up new bedding.. )

Anyway good luck if theres anything i can help with or ya just wanna chat about worms im always around :D
 
hyzerflip

hyzerflip

I have a very successful indoor worm farm rocking right now, but I'm kind of afraid to use the castings I've made - Is there any chance I could be introducing pests into my soil? I'm not exactly sure why, but I'm less nervous about the commercially produced castings I've been using for years...
 
LittleDabbie

LittleDabbie

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I have a very successful indoor worm farm rocking right now, but I'm kind of afraid to use the castings I've made - Is there any chance I could be introducing pests into my soil? I'm not exactly sure why, but I'm less nervous about the commercially produced castings I've been using for years...
Very good question, YES theres a chance if theres any mites or such bugs in the soil you can transfer those to your cannabis plants, If you want to avoid doing that, i would STRONGLY suggest looking into making casting TEAS!!! :D From my understanding they can be used as a spray or a watering nutrient.

I don't have any recipies for teas to give ya so you'll have to look those up but im pretty sure its very simple :D
 
hyzerflip

hyzerflip

Very good question, YES theres a chance if theres any mites or such bugs in the soil you can transfer those to your cannabis plants, If you want to avoid doing that, i would STRONGLY suggest looking into making casting TEAS!!! :D From my understanding they can be used as a spray or a watering nutrient.

I don't have any recipies for teas to give ya so you'll have to look those up but im pretty sure its very simple :D
Thanks for the feedback! Here's a related question: Am I more or less likely to bring in bugs on commercial worm compost (Wiggle Worm, etc.) than compost I make myself? fwiw my vermicompost is made indoors from kitchen scraps.
 
LittleDabbie

LittleDabbie

Supporter
Thanks for the feedback! Here's a related question: Am I more or less likely to bring in bugs on commercial worm compost (Wiggle Worm, etc.) than compost I make myself? fwiw my vermicompost is made indoors from kitchen scraps.
Not really, bugs tend to be attracted to food sources that are decaying, food scraps, in my case i got a ton of bugs all of my bin of horse shit i feed them, But already composted worm castings don't tend to harbor the bugs as well less food sources i guess, a counter to the bug problems are burrying the food scraps a little into the soil and covering them with bedding to discourage the bugs and also adding garden lime to raise the PH of the bedding helps to prevent bugs from establishing colonys.

Most of the commerical castings you can buy have prolly been sitting in a bag for god knows how long and lost alot of the microbial activity which is where the real gold of the castings are.
 
Bulldog11

Bulldog11

Plant sap sucking mites stick to plants. They don't mess with compost bins, in my experience. The best defense against bugs is preventive sprays and healthy plants. Lots of people blame the dirt they get as to where they got bugs from, but most of those cases are just speculation.

On my property I raise chickens, and have a vineyard, orchard and veggie garden. One of my nieghbors has horses.....funny story here. The horses like to poop right on the fence line of our properties even though they have acreage to run around on. One day I hopped the fence and started to shovel the poop into the back of my truck. My nieghbors apprently were video taping me laughing their asses off. I am sure I am on youtube somewhere with a title "somebody stealing my horse shit", lol. Anyways, I compost the horse shit first because of de-worming meds they give the horses. Another neighbor has goats and everybody has chickens. If you offer to clean other peoples chicken bins, funny thing, nobody seems to turn down the offer, lol. I have also in the past picked up yards of garden compost from the dumps, but I try to stay clear of that these days.

Thanks for letting me share in your thread.
 
LittleDabbie

LittleDabbie

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Yeah VERY careful with the source of the horse shit forget to mention that de-worming meds will kill your colony :(

Thats awesome you got a free source like that tho, I need to meet up with a rancher around here and see if i can score some free.. I purchased about 50lbs a few months ago thats lasted quite awhile mixing it with other stuff and just recently getting the worm chow fuck there going nuts for that stuff..

Was thinking of checking local organic shops see if i could score some of there throw away produce and such..

Anyway yeah always a pleasure to have ya Bulldog :D

Whats everyones plans for there castings?

This spring i wanna start a vegetable garden, my 2 dogs like fresh green peppers and the rest of the family eats various fruits and veggies, prolly some strawberrys... Not really sure gotta wait till spring gets here and see what all the nursery has for sale. Till then im stock piling worm shit like its going outta season! lol
 
Bulldog11

Bulldog11

I recycle my soil, and I will have 80 yards of soil that will need re-amending at the end of next season. Most of my castings go to building the biology in the soil I recycle. I also use a yard or two a season on compost teas. EWC slurry's are great for plant deficiencies. Any left over castings will make tea's from and start changing the native soil into black gold.

Can't forget my wife who is involved in teaching children always does a worm farm for her classroom. Gotta teach them kids also.
 
Oom pah pah

Oom pah pah

Loompa Farms
I got a couple of small contributions to this thread. I did not feel like ordering live worms off the intertronz so I just threw a couple handfulls of wormcastings in the compost bin, wait a month and voila its now a worm bin. I also add some benificial bacteria to the mix as I too was worried about the wee beasties
 
LittleDabbie

LittleDabbie

Supporter
Update on the Feed store, They Don't Stock it per say, Purina actually makes the worm chow TO ORDER... So You'll have to find a purina feed dealer in your area and ask them when they order there shipments to include a bag of Worm chow for ya, depending on how often they order could take a week up to 3 weeks to get it in, but worth the wait considering the price online for a 50LB bag is close to 80$... What you don't think you'll need just re-sell the extra on ebay!

The rest can be stored in the freezer in locking containers or Vac sealed and stored for later..

My 3000+ worms will eat an intire sprinkle on the top bedding in less then 6 hours, ( its Kinda fun to shine a green or red light *Those spectrums don't bother the worms * And watch them just go APE SHIT for Dry food!!!

And the amount of castings there releasing all over is just WOW! At this rate i'll be swapping bedding alot more often, Might have to cut back the dry food a little just to get thru all the frozen crap i still have Just hope there not preferring the dry to the fruits and crap, Think next feeding i'll mix some of the dry in with the wet and see if they still swarm it.
 
hyzerflip

hyzerflip

I got a couple of small contributions to this thread. I did not feel like ordering live worms off the intertronz so I just threw a couple handfulls of wormcastings in the compost bin, wait a month and voila its now a worm bin. I also add some benificial bacteria to the mix as I too was worried about the wee beasties
Where did the worms come from?
 
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