August 2013

Red Worms a Threat to the Nation’s Water Supply!

There’s your hype-filled headline for the day!

But it actually relates to what I’m about to share with you…

Our good friend, the one and only, “Mark from Kansas”, dropped me an e-mail yesterday to tell me about an incredible news {cough} story he came across! If he didn’t share the link to it, I just wouldn’t have believed him! And even then – I had to double-triple-quadruple-check the name of this news {cough} website just to make sure it wasn’t some sort of gag site (like “The Onion”).

It isn’t.

The story is about (more…)

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Vermi-Fertilization System – 08-28-13

I decided to check up on my “Vermi-Fertilization & Watering System” today. It’s been about a month since my last update.

All in all I have been pretty lazy with the system itself, as well as with the plants growing in the raised bed. I have continued to add (more…)

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Vermicomposting & Extreme Heat

Question from Barbara J.

Any word of the worms surviving 110 degrees heat? I live in Texas and wow
it is really hot.

Hi Barbara,

To be totally honest, it is very unlikely that any species of earthworm will survive being exposed to temps that high. As you get up towards (and past) 90 F even the most tolerant composting worms will tend to die off.

So, keeping a vermicomposting system going outdoors in 100+ F weather is incredibly challenging – and will only work if you can find ways to lower the temps inside the system.

Your chances of success will increase if you are using (more…)

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Crazy Q&A Podcasts – Session #13

Today’s Topics

– Maintaining a worm bin during the winter
– How do you know your vermicomposting trench is getting too much water?
– What is the best foodstock for easy screening?
– Can pine shavings be used for vermicomposting?
– Is it possible to over-tend composting worms?
– Growth and cocoon production for Red Worms vs Euros
– Ideal percentage of vermicompost for potted crop plants?
– Any harvesting methods faster than “Turbo Light Harvesting”?
– What density of worms equals “over-crowding”?
– Which worms are best suited for vermicomposting?
– Salt accumulation over time with various feedstocks.

Show Notes

During the podcast I had some difficulty remembering (more…)

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Ticks in Your Worm Bin?

Here is an msg from Adam H:

I’ve been worm farming for quite awhile now. I know what spring tails
and the red mites look like. I have ticks in my rubbermaid worm bins
inside the house. We do have lots of ticks outdoors here in phoenix,
but I have no idea where these ones came from. The bedding I use is
coco coir, shredded paper, shredded cardboard, and my rock dust/oyster
shell flour mixture. I don’t use any manures or anything in my indoor
bins. I do have dogs that could and likely do bring them into the
house, which may be how they got to the bins. Is there an easy way to
get rid of them? I have food grade Diatomaceous Earth, but those bins
are way too moist to use that stuff on them. I have lots of worms in
the bins so I don’t want to bring them outside and cook them. Any

Hi Adam,

Mites and ticks are very closely related and they look a great deal alike. I’d personally be very surprised if you ended up with any number of ticks in an indoor worm bin. Maybe in an outdoor bin if there happened to be lots of them in the area.

There are many different species of mites that can (more…)

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Do I Have the Right Worms?

Question from Mike F:

I have been composting for a few years now. I want to start composting
with worms. I have a large compost pile that I put everything in that
does not fit into my three other compost bins. I was digging in that
pile just to get a little extra air into it and found thousands of
worms. My question is are those the right worms for composting in a
worm bin, or should I just buy some ?

Hi Mike,

Great question! You’ve actually (accidentally) hit on a great way to test if there are “epigeic” (will get back to this term in a minute) worm species in your area. All you need to do is lay down some rich organic matter, such as farmyard manure (the real stuff – not from a bag) or food scraps mixed with shredded newsprint (good idea to cover this with something like straw) etc, keep your heap moist, then simply wait.

Getting back to the term “epigeic”…

There are three primary categories of earthworms based on (more…)

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Wool Vermicomposting Update

Today I decided to check on the little clump of wool sitting in my VB48 system. I was curious to see how extensively the worms had moved into the material (if at all) – and whether or not they seemed to be pulling the wool into the surrounding habitat.

I didn’t discover anything too earth-shattering, I’m afraid. It did look as though the material has been (more…)

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