Lets Talk About Worms

How many worms do I need?

1. The rule of thumb when your using worms to compost is 1000 worms per square foot of surface area.

2. The other rule of thumb is for a healthy soil. Dr. Clive Edwards from Ohio State stated that a healthy soil has around 100-250 worms per square yard. 

What kind of worms should I get?

There are over 7,000 worms in the world and when it comes to composting there are only about 7. That number gets even smaller when we talk about the specific climate you live in. We prefer Red Wigglers (Eisenia Fetida/Andrei) due to their ability to withstand a wide temperature range. In our opionion they are the most versitile of all the composting worms. 

What should I feed the worms?

Worms will eat anything that is organic. This includes meat, citrus, leaves, lettuce, jalapenos, onions, fruit, and anything else that was once living and died. 

Now what I caution you about is feeding meats, fat, dairy, and oil. These will usually bring along other critters like mice, rats, raccoons, and other scavengers which you might not want so avoid adding these things to your worm bin. 

Additionally, when it comes to acidic foods make sure to put them in your bin sparingly. You don’t want to change the pH of the bin by adding too much of anything one thing. 

The larger your worm bin the more forgiving it is when it comes to excess foods. 

How often should I feed the worms?

You should only feed once the previous feeding is completely gone or almost completely gone. Mistakes like overfeeding can lead to anaerobic conditions, protein posioning, gnats, maggots, rotten smell, and the list goes on and on. It’s best to under feed than over feed. The worms won’t die of starvation they will eat their bedding until you can feed them again. 

How long do worms live?

They say in the wild worms usually live for about 2 years. There was research done on this and I believe they found that the worms they kept lived for 5 or 7 years before the research was stopped. 

When should I add worms?

Whether you are adding worms to an outdoor compost pile or garden its best to add them before the temperatures get too cold or too hot. This will give them ample time to get aclimated to their new environment. Adding them in the Spring or Fall is ideal. 

If you have an indoor bin then you can get worms anytime. 

Lets Talk About Castings

What are worm castings?

Worm castings are worm poop. A worm has the ability to turn organic material into microbe rich balls of poop that are encapsulated in a mucus like membrane. The gives castings the ability to hold moisture extremely well. Additionally, all these micoorganisms inside the casting help increase nutrient cycling in the soil which gives your plants access to all the nutrients it would even need. While this is just a couple things worm castings provide the addition of microbes aid in disease and pest suppression while increasing in production yield. This is why they are referred to as “Black Gold.”

How do I use worm castings?

1. If you are creating a soil mix then the addition of no more than 20%-25% of the mixture should be comprised of worm castings. 

2. You can add castings to your existing plants by digging a small hole and placing the castings inside and then covering the hole. The closer you can get it to the roots without distrubing the plant the better. 1-2 tablespoons for smaller plants, 2-3 cups for bushes, and 1 gallon for larger trees.

PRO TIP: Place 1 handful of castings per gallon into a 5 gallon bucket, then take the hose with a jet nozzle and spray the castings until the bucket is full. You are trying to blast all the microorganisms off the organic material and get them suspended in the water. Then take the 5 gallon bucket and water your plants. Minimum of once a month, but I do it weekly. 

Will worm castings burn my plants?

Worm castings will not burn your plants. They are safe to use on all plants, bushes, shrubs, trees, and also safe around pets and children. 

Can I use castings in my hydroponics?

Bacteria create a type of glue that allows them to adhere to different surfaces and take different aggregates and glue them together. When this occurs in a water solution these glues create layers on top of each other which restricts the air available to the first layer. As these layers keep stacking there is a good chance that things will start to go anaerobic and that will be detrimental for your plants. I don’t recommend mixing microbes into a hydroponic system.

How do I store my worm castings?

Worm castings should be kept in a dark dry location like a garage, or shed. The key is to keep the microbes alive and the best way to do that is to keep them away from the sun, keep them moist, and provide airflow. 

When should I add worm castings?

The best time to add it is now. Adding castings in the fall would be ideal followed by spring, but you can add them at whenever you want. 

Lets Talk About Compost

What is compost?

Compost is organic material that has been decomposed for a certain period of time using a certain method. These methods include thermophilic composting, static composting, and vermicomposting. 

Are there different types of compost?

Yes. Compost come in all types from those created with only plant based materials, some use manures, and some even us municipal waste to create compost. While all these different types of compost have to meet certain regulations they all create different types of biology.

When do I apply compost?

The best time to apply compost is at the end of the season or early spring. Compost could have the potential to still heat up which could burn your plants so it’s best to do it when things are going dormant or only apply compost in thin applications, if you must. 

How should I store compost?

Compost should be kept moist, away from sunlight, and extreme temperatures. A shed or garage is a good place to keep your compost when you can’t use it all. 

Lets Talk About Teas & Extracts

What's the difference in a Tea & Extract?

A Tea is when you take compost or castings and brew them in water with oxygen and add food for the microbes. This process multiplies the microorganisms. 

An Extract removes the microbes from the surface of the organic material and suspends them in them in water.  The microbes don’t multiply and no food is added to this process.

When should I use a Tea or Extract?

Teas are usually used as a foliar application and should be used before bloom, after bloom, or during a transplant to help mitigate transplant shock. Application should occur in the early morning or late evening. It’s best to avoid the mid day heat if possible. 

Extracts are used on or in the soil as a drench or injection. They can be applied at anytime during the season. It’s also best to apply during the early morning or late evening to avoid the mid day sun when able. 

Lets Talk About Worm Bins

Lets Talk About Soil Biology

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