Hummingbird House The Garden Helper
No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997
vine bar
Wild Willy
 

worm farm!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
« Prev thread: Worm Bin Troubles| Next thread: Worm farm Harvest ??? »
Back to Thread index
by seeme on March 22, 2006 08:59 AM
okay so i thought i could contribute to the forums by telling you guys about my worm farm.it is the best compost ever!they eat anything and they multiply like mad.i never waste any food or paper etc.when i have too many in my bin i simply dump some in the garden.they are really fun to watch and easy to care for.all you have to do is leave the light on.they will run away of you don't(nightcrawler)these things eat coffee and the filters meat scraps fruit anything!they will do wonders for your garden in no time.give it a try.
by melcon6 on March 22, 2006 09:33 AM
My worms love their morning coffee grounds! [thumb]

* * * *
 -
 -

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CINDY!!!!!!!
by seeme on March 22, 2006 09:40 AM
i don't drink too much coffe but when i do they eat them up in hardly no time!it is amazing!
by patches1414 on March 22, 2006 06:41 PM
I just started my worm bin last week and I've got paper and coffee grounds in there, so they should be happy campers. [Wink] I'm sprinkling some worm chow on top so I don't disturb them for a couple of weeks. [Wink]

patches [kitty]

* * * *
 -
 -
"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by fespo on April 12, 2006 05:56 AM
seeme, where do you get the worms to start the farm. I have alot of coffee grounds, table scraps etc to feed them. And where do you keep them? thanks Frank

[nutz]
by twwright on April 28, 2006 02:05 AM
I got my very first worms from a pet store. Many pet stores, like Petco or PetsMart, sell Red Wigglers and NightCrawlers as food for birds, reptiles, fish, etc... I paid about $3.00 for a container of fifty worms. As someone else said, they multiply very fast. Very fast is about 3 weeks. I bought four containers of worms before I realized that I had already had red worms in my own yard. I dug up some from one of my front yard beds and found some huge worms with a large white looking rectangle near the head. I found out that this white rectangle area was it's sex organs. I typed "organs", plural, on purpose. They can reproduce without a worm of the opposite sex. They can have sex with themselves and make babies. Weird! The worms I got from my own garden did much better than store bought worms. The store bought worms had been kept in a cold refrigerator and were cold! They acted sick from the coldness, they barely moved at all but once they were freed from the cold environment they perked up but didn't reproduce quickly. However, the worms from my garden reproduced very quickly and in larger numbers. Another post on worms provides the website for making your own worm bin/worm farm as is very good. It depends on why you are growing them. I have an outdoors compost pile and an indoors pile. The indoor pile is kept in a Rubbermaid 25 gallon container that I drilled air holes in, used shredded newspaper/cardboard, coffee grounds and kitchen scraps and kept the lid on it with holes drilled into it also. It does NOT smell! Of course the smell can become bad depending on the kitchen scraps you put in. The way I prefer to do it now is to put the worms directly into the compost piles outside. They know how to protect themselves from the heat and any acidic pockets, they crawl away to a spot they like. It is so fun to raise worms and collect their castings for fertilizer.
by dodge on May 16, 2006 03:31 PM
If you have a lawn you can pick your own.

Mostly after a warm rain ..Soon as it gets dark, Take a flashlight and go out in the yard and they will be laying right on top. Cause water covers their holes and they come on top. Night crawlers in our area.. pennsylvania.

[clappy] [clappy]
dodge

* * * *
 -
 -
''''Those who live in the Lord Never See Each Other For The Last Time!''''
by Sir Ts Princess on May 16, 2006 03:54 PM
I have a worm farm! I keep mine in a big rubbermaid container in the side of the yard in the shade. Unfortunately, gotta go buy some more worms....my nephew left the lid off...and umm, let's just say we have some happy birds, Ants have invaded, and...well

But, since I'm a homeschool mom, I'll give you all a lesson in what we are doing. It's called "Vermicomposting". The worms, although containing both male and female sex organs...MUST have another worm to make eggs. Not sure why. But, for some fun, and further education you could check out this site:
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/worms.htm
I did have more sites about it, and a fun "learn as you go game" (my kids are 6 and 5)...
needless to say, my worm bin was made as a homeschool project.

* * * *
 -
by Longy on May 16, 2006 07:51 PM
The worms, although containing both male and female sex organs...MUST have another worm to make eggs. Not sure why.
---------------------------
While worms have both male and female sex organs, they still require another worm to partener their reproduction. So when worms mate, both of them fertilize the other and both of them become 'pregnant'. Otherwise they'd just be cloning themselves. A genetic stagnation in terms of evolution.

* * * *
 -
The secret is the soil.
by patches1414 on May 16, 2006 08:18 PM
Hi Sir Ts Princess! [wavey]

What a cute site! [Smile] Thanks for sharing it! [thumb] I'm going to send it to my grandson! I'm sure he will love it and learn something from it! [Love] Actually, he's my gardening and fishing buddy! So, right now, he thinks the only reason I raising worms is so we can go fishing. [Big Grin]

* * * *
 -
 -
"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by Sir Ts Princess on May 17, 2006 01:39 PM
Yeah, my husband is the fishing fanatic in the family. He just LOVES my worm bins!! And my youngest son is well...he just loves the worms! They are his...PETS!! He named them: "Wormie Hermie". They all have one name. If he only knew how true the "hermie" part really was [Big Grin] but he doesn't. We haven't studied their reproduction, just their "habits" and "habitat". Now, we're working on the "plant project" to go with the "worm project". HEHEHEHE.

* * * *
 -
by patches1414 on May 18, 2006 08:46 PM
quote:
And my youngest son is well...he just loves the worms! They are his...PETS!! He named them: "Wormie Hermie". They all have one name.
That is so cute! [Big Grin] This sounds like a wonderful project where a lot could be learned. [thumb] I think it's great to get kids interested in things like this while they are young! Keep up the good work! [Wink]

* * * *
 -
 -
"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by Sir Ts Princess on May 27, 2006 02:37 AM
I love homeschooling. It provides so many opportunities for learning, and many times my kids just think its "fun". I mean, how many kids get to learn about birds, insects, plants, recycling, etc. in a "hands on" manner in a "school" setting? Most spend the majority of their day inside at a desk. While my kids do have "book work", they also have a lot of "hands on" learning. And, there are times that we indulge in THEIR interests. By doing this, my 6 yr. old can fully interpret a weather map! It's really cute. And reading, my youngest son can't read on his own yet, but my oldest son can and does. I just LOVE seeing him curled up with a book without me having to tell him to read. Currently, his favorite book is his bible...and he's then took and found some countries in the bible on a world map. He's starting to get interested in plants from the bible...something tells me we will probably have a bible garden before too long [Smile] And these things are "education" that he's pursuing on his own time. I just LOVE it.

* * * *
 -
by LandOfOz on May 30, 2006 04:23 PM
What is the optimal worm for a worm bin? Walmart sells canadian nightcrawlers, but I read on the internet that they like cooler conditions? If I'm keeping my bin in the house, I'm afraid that it wouldn't be cool enough for them. Are Red Wigglers the best to get?

Sarah

* * * *
 -
Sarah - Zone 5b/6
 -
by patches1414 on May 30, 2006 05:09 PM
Red Wigglers are what was recommended to me and from what I've read they seem to be the worm of choice for a worm bin I started my bin just a few months ago and they are doing great. [thumb]

* * * *
 -
 -
"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by LandOfOz on May 31, 2006 04:17 AM
Great! Thanks, I'm going to have to keep an eye out for them...Maybe send my hubby out to a bait shop to get some for me...

Sarah

* * * *
 -
Sarah - Zone 5b/6
 -
by Sir Ts Princess on June 03, 2006 02:14 AM
Yeah, don't use nightcrawlers in a container bin, they burrow too deep. Red wigglers are much better for the type of bin you are wanting. As for the container measurements, I just use a rubbermaid container (cost like $3 and something at Wal-Mart). Drill holes in it on the bottom, and I added some around the top (not the lid as mine is outdoors from spring-fall). I have more info on worm bins stored on my computer (currently I'm on my inlaws comp) I'll share it with you guys when I get the chance.

* * * *
 -
by LandOfOz on June 03, 2006 04:01 AM
I used This Page as a recipe for my worm bin. I just bought the rubbermaid boxes last night. I'm so excited to get my worms. [nutz] [Big Grin] My hubby is going fishing tomorrow morning and he knows better than to come home without some red wigglers. [Wink] I have about a million questions, but I'm hoping doing a search on this site will clear them up! If not, you'll be hearing from me again!

Sarah

* * * *
 -
Sarah - Zone 5b/6
 -
by Sir Ts Princess on June 04, 2006 05:05 AM
That is a pretty good site to get you started with your bin. Some others that you might be interested in are:
www.bae.ncsu.edu - go to “people”, “faculty”, “Rhonda Sherman”, then “vermicomposting” &
“publications”. A resource listing of publications by North Carolina State University faculty member
Rhonda Sherman, including a number of publications and lists of other publications on vermicomposting.
www.biocycle.net - go to “search article archives” and type in “vermicomposting”
Numerous articles on vermicomposting from Biocycle magazine.
www.ccc.govt.nz - go to “search” and type in “worm composting”
“A Guide to Worm Composting” from Christchurch, New Zealand. Downloadable guide on
vermicompost basics with illustrations.
www.cityfarmer.org - go to “search” and type in “worm composting”
Basic vermicomposting information, worm books and education programs from Canada’s Office of
Urban Agriculture.
www.journeytoforever.org - go to “site search” and type in “vermicomposting”
Information on basic vermicomposting with pictures and resource list.
www.magicworms.com - go to “Other Resources”
A reviewer’s bibliography of the best web sites on vermicomposting. Web Site also has general
information about worms and sells worm products and books.
www.nyworms.com - go to “vermicomposting” at bottom of page
Commercial worm growers that give basic tips on vermicomposting.
www.oldgrowth.org
Information on vermicomposting, home and large scale composting, products and services.
www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/annelida - go to “Annelida.html”
Information on the biology of worms with links to The Burrow and Worm Digest.
www.whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost - go to “Vermiculture/Worm Composting”, also “publications” then
“worm composting vermiculture” for: “Composting with Redworms”, by Joyce Jimerson, Master
Composter/Recycler Program Manager at Washington State University. Small-space practical worm
composting in a nutshell. Also links to other worm resources and bin plans.
www.dnr.state.wi.us - go to “search” and type in “worm composting”
Several publications from the Eek Environmental Education program. Good for adults and kids.
www.wnrmag.com - go to “search” and type in “worm composting”
“A New Wiggle on Waste”, 1998, a four part publication from the WI Natural Resource Magazine.
Excellent information on how to vermicompost, history of worms, troubleshooting, bins, etc.
www.wormwrld.com (that is world without the o)
Worm products, books and a connection to the worldwide worm tour. Check out “Lists” for other links.

Something else that might help you, since you're getting started is my homeschool unit study on this topic. You should be able to find a lot of useful info and links there as well, just overlook the "assignments" [Smile] LOL

Vermi Hermi Habitat Unit

Created by: Ali L.

Unit Objective: To combine the principles of Math and Science into a fun, hands on project that will provide opportunity for continued learning long after the unit is finished.

Unit Ouline: In this unit, we are going to build a compost bin and/or a worm bed. Most of the materials needed for this can be found around your home or property. You *might* need to purchase inexpensive wood for building the bin. Although a large plastic garbage can with slits cut in the bottom or a Rubbermaid tote with a lid will also work.

Unit Materials: The bin/bed (this can be as large or small as you desire). Dirt (not potting soil, use yard dirt), organic kitchen waste (tea/coffee grounds, vegetable/fruit peelings, egg shells, stale bread, nut shells, etc.) DO NOT add any meat, bones, oil, grease, citrus fruit,onion, garlic or milk/cheese etc. to this as it does not break down easily, will smell bad, or worms won't eat it. Cut up paper/card board scraps (not glossy), yard clippings, leaves, etc. Try to avoid getting seeds into the mixture as when this stuff breaks down it will be VERY fertile and you just might grow some unwanted plants (like weeds). And, last but not least...worms! **Note: Worms break this stuff down much faster than if you allow it to break down on it's own. Plus, their waste makes this material richer for growing house plants later or fertilizing your garden with.**

Useful Internet Sites:

Worm World--

http://yucky.kids.discovery.com/flash/worm/index.html

Make Your Own Worm Farm--

http://www.ccc.govt.nz/Waste/Composting/MakeYourOwnWormFarm.pdf

Worm Farming Comic Book--

http://www.carbon.org/WormFarming1/Comic_WormFarm.htm

Vermi The Worm--
http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Vermi/

EEK! Our Earth--

http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/earth/recycle/compost2.htm#worms

Worms, Worms and Even More Worms--

http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Publications/Schools/32298008.pdf#search='vermicomposting'

Teacher lessons--

http://www.nasaexplores.com/show_912_teacher_st.php?id=030307125651

Captain Earthworm--

http://www.epa.state.il.us/kids/fun-stuff/wormbin.html

Useful Books for this project:

Worms Eat My Garbage" by Mary Applehof

Worms Eat Our Garbage by Mary Appelhof, Mary Frances Fenton, & Barbara Loss Harris (work book)

Wacky World of Worms by: Debbie Anderson

Pee Wee's Great Adventure: A Guide to Vermicomposting by: Larraine Roulston

Pee Wee and the Magical Compost Heap by Larraine Roulston

Pee Wee's Family in a Nut Shell by Larraine Roulston

Starting the Unit:

For this unit, you are going to need to make a journal. This can be a notebook, computer paper with holes punched in it, etc. Use your journal to keep track of your math and science work and discoveries. Feel free to include photos, drawings, etc. in your journal.

What does the word vermi mean?

What language is the word vermi from?

Math and Science for the unit:

Worms eat their body weight in food per day! So, know how much your worms weigh. On average, one pound of worms will equal about a thousand worms. Worms will also multiply every month. So, if you start with one thousand, provide them with enough food and the right living quarters, you will have 2000 in about 30 days!

For this part of the unit, keep a journal of how many worms you have, and how much they eat, or are fed each day. Do this for as long as you are working with this unit, whether that be a week or a year. Keep track of how many worms you started with, and how many you have at the end of the unit.

How big was your worm bin?

How much water did you have to add and how often? (use gallons to measure this)

How much bedding did you add (use pounds to measure this)

What kind of worms did you use? Be sure to write this in a science journal as diffrent types of worms act diffrently. And some are not good for vermicomposting. The best ones for this job are either red wigglers or jumpers aka Alabama or Georgia Jumpers.

Where did you purchase your worms from? A worm distributor or a bait store.

What kind of bedding did you use?

What did you feed your worms each week?

What happened to the food and bedding after about 6-8 weeks?

What did you build your worm bin out of?

Did you see other things living in your bin besides the worms? What did you see? Were these things good for the worms or bad for them?

When you cleaned out the compost, did you find any worm cocoons? If so, what did they look like?

How often did you have to refill the bedding?

Is vermicomposting good for the environment? How?

Did the vermicompost help your house or yard plants to grow better? Why do you think this is?

Draw a picture of what the inside of a worm looks like (please do not disect a worm for this, you can find such pictures online to use without killing a worm).

Concluding the unit:

Be sure to write what books you read and when, as well as what internet sites you visited while doing this unit into your journal.

Now, pretend you are an environmental reporter. Write an article for a newspaper or magazine about why you think more people should vermicompost. Describe how it helps the environment and what benefits the people could get from it. Be sure to include resources for how people can get started vermicomposting.

For the last assignment, write down what you have learned from this unit in your own words.

Hope this helps [Smile] And like I said, just overlook the assignments unless you're a homeschooler who wants to use this "unit". Best of luck.

* * * *
 -
by plantingnewb on June 04, 2006 06:45 AM
I am a beginner, so I hope this doesn't sound stupid.
I have a shady spot in my front yard that I am redoing right now. We just pulled out some bushes, gravel & plastic. We put up landscaping bricks added some dirt from the side of our house. The dirt is very thick and sort of clay like, almost no worms.
What should I add & can I just buy some worms and add them?
Tammy
by Sir Ts Princess on June 04, 2006 07:17 AM
Hmm, if there are very few worms there, then the conditions there aren't good for them so I wouldn't just add worms. Worms need soil that drains well or they drown. Worms need food, which is organic material that is breaking down in your soil. They don't actually eat the material, they eat the bacteria that is eating the decomposing material. Does this make sense?

Hmm, what could you do with the dirt? You need to make sure that the soil can drain. What you might could do is mix your clay with some sand. you will also need to add organic material that can break down. I would add in some crushed eggshells, coffee grounds, tea grounds, grass/leaf clippings, and shredded paper. None of these will produce any smell. Mix this in with your soil. Put some mulch over top. Water it. Wait about a week or so and then add some worms and they might begin to set up housekeeping. If this is going to be a worm bed and not a flower bed, then just pull your mulch back atleast once a week and add more "greens" to your bed. Just dig it into diffrent spots and then recover with the mulch. Over time, your worms are going to eat just about everything you've add besides the sand and clay, including the mulch.

* * * *
 -
by plantingnewb on June 04, 2006 08:30 AM
We just added peat moss and grass clippings before I read this. I'm a little impatient. Sorry =(
Should I still add sand?
What should I use for mulch?
Then when could I plant in this area?
So many questions, but I am still learning. [clappy]
Thank you for the advice!
Tammy
by Sir Ts Princess on June 05, 2006 12:35 AM
Peat moss isn't bad, neither is the grass clippings. As for what kind of mulch...anything organic. The storebought wood mulch, grass clippings, fallen leaves,shredded paper or carboard (they LOVE corugated cardboard) worms aren't picky. This just keeps their food covered and their home moist. But, they will eat everything you've added to the area so far. The sand, oddly enough adds "grit" to their diet which helps them to digest their food. This can also be added through: coffee grounds, broken egg shells, and cornmeal. Worms LOVE cornmeal, just ask my 5 yr. old!! [Smile] The Wormie Hermies (two cans of fishing worms that my son adopted as pets, who later became the first worms in the wormbin)enjoyed weekly meals of cornmeal for two months while living in a coffee can. Boy were they happy...they had babies!!

You don't HAVE to add the sand. I would recommend waiting atleast 3 months before beginning to plant there. But quit feeding them about 1-2 weeks BEFORE you begin planting there. They won't eat your plants, just anything that is decaying. But they should continue to eat your mulch as it breaks down. But, you could just wait until spring. However, where ever you are, if you want to keep your worms alive during cold weather, you will have to make a bin for them to live in during those months, harvest what you can, and keep them indoors. Don't feel bad about this, these little fellas will compost your kitchen scraps in a very nonsmelly manner and give you a head start on spring. [Smile]

* * * *
 -
by plantingnewb on June 05, 2006 03:22 AM
Do I really need to wait 3 months?
I was hoping to plant next weekend(impatient again) since the spot is in the front of my house and looks pretty bare with nothing.
Thanks for all the advice. [Smile]
by Sir Ts Princess on June 05, 2006 07:20 AM
You could plant next weekend and add the worms AFTER you add the plants. I just wouldn't add very many things like vegetable peelings in the area. Stick with the grass, paper, leaves, egg shells, banana peels, coffe grounds, and tea bags. Why? Well, the banana peels will give your plants the potassium they need as they break down to help with flowering. The eggshells will give your plants the calcium they need for strong lush growth, and the coffee grounds will supply you with your nitrogen. Pretty balanced slow release fertilizer if ya think about it.

I was just thinking that the longer you wait before planting, while feeding the worms, the more rich your soil would be. But...with it sitting in FRONT of your house, I can see why you would want to go ahead and plant. Just add more of the same kind of scraps every so often (like when changing out plants, planting new plants, etc.) and keep the area supplied with mulch and you should be able to keep your wormies happy.

* * * *
 -
by Longy on June 06, 2006 07:24 AM
If you can get your hands on some compost, sometimes it's available thru the local waste places or the local council, or it's often available from landscaping places, you could top up the bed with that. You want about 6 inches minimum of decent soil to get things going. Preferably more, so dig it into the existing soil if necessary.
The worms will come to a garden by themselves if the conditions are right. There's no need to buy them.

* * * *
 -
The secret is the soil.

Active Garden Forum

« Prev thread: Worm Bin Troubles| Next thread: Worm farm Harvest ??? »
Back to Thread index

Other articles you might like: