Thursday, September 22, 2011

The morning with the worms

I have to admit that I have not spent much time working with the worms. Give them a little bedding/food and not much more.
Well today I work all morning with them. New bedding and food. And lots of water!
They are pretty forgiving and will fend for themselves for quite some time. But the main thing to remember is that they have to be kept pretty wet, as they breath through their skin and taht means they have to have a wet environment.

Here are some of the tools and materials I use. The bottles are filled with water and there are 22 of them. There isn't a water source close to the beds and I tote it all in the bottles. The paper bag is filled with empty paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls (bedding).  Hard to see, there are a couple of buckets of food in there too!

This is Daisy. She was suppost to be helping, But her idea of helping is to chase rabbits or to find Deer POOP to roll in! (Silly Dog!!!).

Anyway, once I got out to the beds, The first thing I had to do was clean up around the beds with the weed eater.

Grass and weeds had gotten pretty bad around the beds,

And the spoiled hay bales were almost covered up. I got the hay curb side a few weeks ago and it is prime bedding material! Once that was done, it was time to open the beds up. 

Like I said, the worms are pretty forgiving and there were quite a few mixed in the old bedding and the casts. Sorry they are hard to see, but that's the best my camera can do!

Here are a few that I was able to pick out. Worms are by-sexual, But they need another worm to breed with. The amazing thing about them is each adult has the abillity to lay 900 cocoons (up to 7 eggs per cocoon) in it life time! And from hatching to adult, is about 90 days! So I started out with about 1,000, April of last year. And if I were to guesstamate, I would say that in the two beds there are upwards of 30,000 

Once I racked back some old bedding and was able to see several worms doing their think, I placed some new bedding in. This was a combination of shredded newsprint, and the paper rolls I mentioned before. I made sure that it was pretty wet before it went into the beds.

Just layered down the middle, after soaking in water for a few minutes. I let the water drain off before putting the bedding in.

And then the food went on top of that. Food consisted of rotted garden produce (water melon, cucumbers, sweet peppers and tomato's) and coffee grounds (with filters), tea bags, banana peels and egg shells. I run it all through the food processur and that produces a lot of water in the mix. I also use all kinds of manure's too! The worms do not eat the food itself, but the Bacterial goop that it produces as it all breaks down! And in the end, it all comes out as WORM CASTS! Another addvantage is I do not send this waste to the land fill, but feed it to the worms!

And then cover it all with a good later of rotten hay and water it all down. The hay and other bedding will decompose and get turned into casts too.

Closed up to help keep the mousture in and to keep it dark (worms do not like the light). The extra bottles are for watering again later.
So that's what it takes to make the worms happy. Not so hard? So do you want to start a worm herd of your own? Worm casts are a great thing to add to any garden!

Talk to you later,


  1. Yes! I want to start my own worm garden! You going to give a step-by-step worm ranching "how-to" on your blog soon? Hmmm?


  2. Carolyn,
    As a matter of fact, I have a DIY project that I just got the plains for. It will be an inside flow through system (known as an "OSCAR") that will make harvesting worm cast's much easier! Stay tuned!