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Vermicomposting African Night Crawlers

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

african-nightcrawlers1Vermicomposting is basically done through the help of composting worms.  Breeds such as Red worms, African Night Crawler (Eudrillus eugeniae) or Blue worms can be great for worm composting.

The most common and usually most recommended type is the Eisenia Fetida but many people are also now discovering the potential of African Night Crawlers.  These are about 6-8 inches long and the good thing about them is that they are by nature hermaphrodite.  Meaning, they both have the male and female organ so even if you have only two worms, they can multiply.  Just like the red worms, eudrillus eugeniae also thrive on organic materials such as your food scraps, fruit peelings, grass cuttings, tea bags, coffee grounds and more.

To start with the worm composting process, prepare a container where they will stay.  You can also use any box that is about 3 inches in width and 2 inches in depth.  Then, put soggy soil in the box.  It should be around 8-10 inches.  Make sure that the soil is wet, almost muddy.

Once their little home is done, you can already place the worms.  You may purchase this kind of composting worm or you can also dig the soil after a heavy rain to get these worms.  They will immediately bury themselves in the soil once placed there.  You just have to wait for 2-3 weeks before they multiply.

In feeding the worms, remember to cut any organic material into pieces for a faster composting process.  With regard to the bin, always place it in a cool and shady place.  Maintain a moist soil, otherwise the worms will die.  Keep the acidity level at 6-7 and maintain a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

African Night Crawlers eat a lot and are extremely voracious so they are perfect for vermicomposting.  The byproduct of Edurillus Eugeniae is very suitable for plants because it is nutrient-rich.  With this, you not only help control the wastes at home but you are also able to have more than enough natural fertilizer for your garden.

Red Wiggler Worms for Schools

Monday, March 1st, 2010

`we_dig_dirt_wormTeaching students (be it elementary or high school students) about Red Wiggler Worms will encourage them to care for the environment in their simple way.  Introducing these creatures to them is also like teaching them mathematics, science and biology as vermicomposting through the use of composting worms will include different processes.

Red Wiggler worms for school will facilitate learning.  In your part as a teacher, all you need to do is prepare a container that is about 6 inches deep.  You may ask the students to bring newspapers and magazines.  To allow participation, ask them to shred those while some would drill holes on the container.  After the shredding and the drilling, ask the students to place those newspapers inside the bin because these will serve as the bedding for the worms.

After that, you can show them the Red Wiggler worms.  Expect different reactions at first.  Kids are kids but take that opportunity to explain to them the purpose of the activity, the benefits of doing it and of course, their roles in completing the activity.  After that, allow them to hold the worms and carefully place them inside the bin.  Feed them with organic materials such as food scraps, grass cuttings.  To better implement this in the school, encourage waste segregation so that the biodegradable ones will be used as foods for the Red Wiggler worms.  Educate the students that they need to give the worms foods that are as much as their body weight only.  Your students once the activity is done will have different questions; just entertain them.  Give them the responsibility to also look after the bin each day.  Ask them to do simple tasks like changing the bedding, looking after the temperature (should be 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit) and foods of the worms.

In just a month, you can already harvest the castings and use it for the school’s garden.  Just imagine how you helped manage the school’s waste and create awareness among students.

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Red Wigglers for classroom

Which fertilizer is Better, Organic or Non-organic?

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

You are now probably asking which fertilizer suits your garden best.  Is it the organic or the non-organic?  We’ll answer your question by comparing inorganic and organic fertilizer.  By the end of this article, you’ll know.

We start with organic fertilizer.  This includes the animal manure, fruit peelings and vegetable scraps.  The advantage of these organic materials is that they encourage microbial activities so if worms will thrive on them, they will bury in the soil allowing aeration and loosened soil.  Second, leaching is very minimal.  Third, organic fertilizer makes the plants more susceptible to pests and diseases.  Also, organic fertilizer works better then chemical because it is environment friendly.  When a heavy rain pours, there will be no chemicals to be washed out and driven to rivers which may kill fishes.  It can also be cheap if available in the area.

On the other hand, its disadvantage is the release of nutrients depends on the temperature.  If it is cold, the nutrients may be slowly processed.  Also, the lesser the microbial activity is, the lesser chance for the soil to be loosened and aerated.  For organic materials like vegetable scraps, these may also attract dogs and other insects that may damage the plants.

Meanwhile, in comparing inorganic and organic fertilizer, chemical fertilizer has its own advantages and disadvantages.  For its advantages, it is available anywhere.  Second, the nutrients are already available unlike in organic.  You can also control the amount of nutrients to be applied in the plants as everything is already calculated.  It is also available in different forms like tablet, granules, liquid and more.  Most of all, in just about 14 days, you can already see the outcome if properly formulated.  Disadvantages include its chemical concentration which may be contaminated anytime.  It can also burn seedlings because of its chemical salts.  The rate of leaching is high and it doesn’t have the ability to improve the soil’s water and nutrients holding ability unlike the organic.

The list is still long but with the information presented, organic fertilizer works better then chemical.  Now you know.

What are the benefits of organic fertilizer?

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Moorganic fertilizerre and more people are now shifting from chemical to organic fertilizer.  While many inorganic are now sold in the market, farmers would now prefer the natural one mainly because of its benefits.

Soil Quality

Organic fertilizers improve the quality of soil.  If organic materials like food scraps and fruit peelings are to be used, these will improve microbial activities.  Worms and other soil creatures will thrive on these scraps, thus allowing aeration and a more loosened soil.  Further, organic fertilizer allows the soil to hold nutrients and water more.  It’s also because too much chemicals will decrease the fertility of the soil.

Chemical-free

Organic fertilizers are chemical free.  What normally happens with inorganic fertilizer is that there is chemical contamination affecting the soil and even the plant itself.  The chemical salt in that fertilizer may burn and eventually kill your plants.  Also, if harvesting comes, you are sure that the health of your family will not be risked.

Reduced Leaching

Leaching as we all know can destroy the garden.  If you are using inorganic fertilizer and once it is contaminated, leaching will be prevalent causing different problems.  With organic fertilizer, this can be prevented.

Balanced Nutrients

You can be sure that there is a balance with the nutrients released by the organic fertilizer.  Since nutrients are slowly released, this will be good for the plants.

Environment-friendly

Since everything is natural with organic fertilizer, this will be a great impact to the environment.  With chemical fertilizer, it can be washed down to rivers and seas if a heavy rain comes.  So when the chemical reaches the river, fishes may die and eventually pollute the water.  As also said, too much chemicals can damage the soil.

Cheaper

Organic fertilizer is available locally so it would not really cost much.  On the other hand, if you are in the city, you can also produce organic fertilizer by learning the vermicomposting.  This is very doable.

Now that you know, you are probably thinking of shifting from inorganic to organic as well.  If you do, then do it now.

Where can I buy Red Wiggler worms?

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Just when you have decided to start your first vermicomposting, you suddenly realized that you do not have the most needed material yet – Red Wiggler worms.  it is actually not a big problem.  This type of composting worms has been a “click” in the market that is why more and more people are in the business of raising it.  if you go through the internet, you’ll see an unending list of those who sell Red Wiggler worms.  some have different offers like free shipping, discount and all.  It is important that you are meticulous in choosing the right one.

First, you can consider the offers given by that particular store.  This will include the shipping method, the fee, discounts and more.  You also need to check on their reputation.  You cannot just risk your vermicomposting process because of a cheap price for Red Wiggler worms.  You should also check the condition of what you’re buying.  Should you be far from the store and you want the worms to be shipped in your place, ask how the Red Wiggler worms are packaged or shipped.  Will they be removed from their original bedding?  These and more factors are the ones that you have to consider.

Aside from buying composting worms online, you can also ask from your friends who used to buy Red Wigglers.  Surely, they have their trusted stores.

Going directly to a Red Wiggler worm raiser is as well good because you can directly see the worms.  There are those whose hobby is just to simply raise Red Wigglers so you can make a deal with them.  You can also visit your friends who have ranch or stable.  You can find them in the horse manure.  You may also want to visit a farmer who has a manure pile.  You just have to be familiar on how Red Wiggler worms look because there are also different kinds of worms there.

You do have a lot of choices on where to buy your Red Wiggler worms.  Make the best choice as the composting worms will determine the quality of your vermicomposting.

Worm Composting Tips: why worms climb to top of bin

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

You wouldn’t want your Red Wiggler worms to escape from your bin, do you?  Then, you should be aware of the circumstances that may trigger your worms from leaving you and from giving you an unsuccessful vermicomposting result.  Here are some of the pointers which you need to consider:

Where is your bin located?

Location for the composting worms is very important because this is where the temperature is measured.  They are supposed to be situated in a cool and shady place.  Bringing the worm bin to your kitchen sink or basement is recommended.  Should you want to place it outside, you can do so.  Just make sure that they will not be exposed in an environment that is too hot or too cold.  You are advised to maintain a 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit, otherwise, your worms will climb to the top of the bin.

What and how much food are you giving them?

Though Red Wiggler worms thrive on organic materials, they also have their preferences.  Giving them foods that are not really meant for them would mean disaster.  Meanwhile, these composting worms also eat half or as much as their body weight.  Meaning, you don’t give them more than that.  If you do, it may lead to the death of the worms or it may trigger them to leave!

Give them the right moisture

It isn’t enough that you have a worm bin.  Composting worms like Red Wigglers worms need a comfortable environment.  If the bedding is too wet or too dry, this will definitely irritate them.  Add more shredded newspapers if you think that you’ve put too much water and if it’s too dry then moisten it.

PH

Your bin should have the right Ph. It shouldn’t be too acidic or else, the worms will leave their home. So avoid putting things in your bin that are too acidic. Ph should be between 6.4 to 6.9.

These are the basic things that you need to put in mind if you really want to keep your composting worms intact in the bin.  If you are able to check all of these, you’ll also be able to see the smaller problems.

Starting from the basic: Countertop Composting

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

countertop composting

So you have already familiarized yourself with the what and whys of composting.  Now we bet you’re on your way to exploring more of it and as always, we’re here to supply you with unlimited tips beginning from countertop composting.

There is no more need to explain what this is as we know that you have already searched the net about it.  Now, it is time for you to get started and let the ball rolling for another adventure.

Choosing the container for countertop composting

First things first.  If you are in a very limited space and you want to keep going with composting, then find the best composting tumbler to start with.  Countertops like your kitchen would definitely require a tumbler that does not give out foul odors.  As this has become a trend in the market, you can choose from different designs out there.  It will not cost you much; it is even more comfortable and accessible on your part.

Remember not to use tupperwares or old containers that would make the whole process terrible for you.  As composting is good, it can also be yucky if you don’t have the right composting tumbler.

What to put and what not to include

If you want your countertop composting to be effective, then know the dos and don’ts of it. First, we tell you what to include and what to eradicate from your tumbler.  Start with the basic: you are composting organic materials so anything that has organic roots will do.  You can throw your fruit peelings on it, vegetable scraps, kitchen scraps, tea bags, grass clippings, leaves, egg shells, nut shells and all other organic scraps that you can think of.  Combining all of them in one fine composting tumbler won’t be of a problem because it will filter the smell.

Just a precaution though.  You may think that meat or fish left over will also work.  That’s a big NO!  Dairies and cheese won’t do either.  If you don’t want insects to dwell in your bin, better have a second thought of adding those stuff .

Going beyond countertop composting

As mentioned earlier, this type of composting is the easiest one.  After having all those organic materials, you can just bring your compost tumbler to a composting site.  Now to make it more productive on your part, add composting worms leading you now to the process of vermicomposting.  When you already have the scraps that you need, worm composting will no longer be much of a burden.  You can buy the Eisenia Foetida or commonly known as Red Wiggler worms for your composting worms.

Now adding this to the process requires another initiative from you.  Just to remind you, nitrogen is needed to make composting process faster.  Thus, you must know that dried leaves and your grass clippings are the sources of it so you may want to add these per 2-3 inches of your organic materials.

Further, correct handling of the Red Wiggler worms is also crucial.  They love an acidic environment and to provide this kind of place for them, you need to have coffee grounds as these help in creating such environment.

Now, you won’t have to worry about your Eisenia Foetida because they are placed in a moist environment with all those scraps, they are good to go and at the end of the process, you’ll have the most substantial compost for your garden.  Your benefits are provided at a low cost and at a safe way.  You’re even helping the environment to reduce the wastes as 13% of the wastes that are usually thrown are food scraps.

Excited?  Go now to the nearest market or search the internet for the best composting tumbler and begin looking for Red Wiggler worms as well to begin your countertop composting experience.  Enjoy!

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