Posts Tagged ‘red wiggler worms’

5 Fascinating facts about Red Wigglers

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

There are a lot of things that you might not know about when it comes to vermicomposting worms, particularly about red wiggler worms. Now, these slimy creatures aren’t just your typical compost critters. You’ll be surprised at how much strange yet fascinating things these worms can live by on, on a daily basis.

Composting worms can still function without them having the usual body parts
Compost worms are born without bearing any of the usual body parts, so it’s not just the red wiggler kind. Worms have no eyes, ears, lungs, nor any teeth for chewing. So you might be wondering as to how they function without these vital parts. Well, worms are able to adapt to their surroundings. They may not have the pair of eyes nor ears for sensing the things around them. But they do rely on the vibrations and bright lights that come their way. As for the lungs, their skin has been its substitute. Worms breathe through their moist skin. So keeping them under extreme conditions (surroundings that are too wet or too dry) may actually lead them to experience health complications. Aside from all of these, worms aren’t also born with any teeth. But you’ll know how they go about their food intake on the next topic.
Worms don’t usually fed on food scraps
It all makes sense since composting worms don’t have any teeth in them. But of course, how do they feed themselves, right? Well, here’s where the good bacteria and fungi comes into the picture. The microbes and the fungi that are present in the worm composting system are the ones that are working into breaking down the organic scraps.
In a usual worm bin setup, composting worms are essentially provided with an organic bedding and organic food source. But the ones that feed off of these are actually the microorganisms contained inside the worm bin. That’s why it’s also important that the worms keep the bin contents aerated, so that these microbes get a steady oxygen fix. So, the next time you buy worms, make sure to remember this interesting fact.
Worms are invertebrates
Just imagine a red wiggler worm that has no bones in its body. But you can see how able-bodied these soil creatures can still be, especially when it comes to wiggling and crawling their way on the surface. But even if they have no bones, their body still requires some calcium flowing into their system. You can provide red wigglers with calcium rich organics, like eggshells for example (should be the crushed type).
Red wiggler worms aren’t called surface dwellers for nothing
Don’t expect your worms to burrow no more than 18 inches deeper. They’re simply not accustomed to that depth since they’re born as surface dwellers. Only earthworms such as garden worms can burrow at much lower ranges. Now, red wiggler worms are Epigeic. They are the kind of worms that only thrive when placed on soil surfaces. So note of this fact when you do decide to manage your own worm farm of red wiggler worms.
Pests inside the worm composter are more of a human disturbance than to red wigglers
Vermicomposting worms can be made into fish baits or as live food for birds, moles, raccoons, lizards, and other animals. But when they’re securely contained inside the bin, nothing can harm them (except for extreme and unhealthy conditions of course). Even if mites, black soldier flies or ants are found inside the worm composter, you can be assured that these won’t harm nor feed on your compost worms. They will be more of a disturbance to humans, since these can contribute to spoiling the contents of the bin, or even overpowering the worm population.

There are a lot of things that you might not know about when it comes to vermicomposting worms, particularly about red wiggler worms. Now, these slimy creatures aren’t just your typical compost critters. You’ll be surprised at how much strange yet fascinating things these worms can live by on, on a daily basis.

Composting worms can still function without them having the usual body parts

Compost worms are born without bearing any of the usual body parts, so it’s not just the red wiggler kind. Worms have no eyes, ears, lungs, nor any teeth for chewing. So you might be wondering as to how they function without these vital parts. Well, worms are able to adapt to their surroundings. They may not have the pair of eyes nor ears for sensing the things around them. But they do rely on the vibrations and bright lights that come their way. As for the lungs, their skin has been its substitute. Worms breathe through their moist skin. So keeping them under extreme conditions (surroundings that are too wet or too dry) may actually lead them to experience health complications. Aside from all of these, worms aren’t also born with any teeth. But you’ll know how they go about their food intake on the next topic.

Worms don’t usually fed on food scraps

It all makes sense since composting worms don’t have any teeth in them. But of course, how do they feed themselves, right? Well, here’s where the good bacteria and fungi comes into the picture. The microbes and the fungi that are present in the worm composting system are the ones that are working into breaking down the organic scraps.

In a usual worm bin setup, composting worms are essentially provided with an organic bedding and organic food source. But the ones that feed off of these are actually the microorganisms contained inside the worm bin. That’s why it’s also important that the worms keep the bin contents aerated, so that these microbes get a steady oxygen fix. So, the next time you buy worms, make sure to remember this interesting fact.

Worms are invertebrates

Just imagine a red wiggler worm that has no bones in its body. But you can see how able-bodied these soil creatures can still be, especially when it comes to wiggling and crawling their way on the surface. But even if they have no bones, their body still requires some calcium flowing into their system. You can provide red wigglers with calcium rich organics, like eggshells for example (should be the crushed type).

Red wiggler worms aren’t called surface dwellers for nothing

Don’t expect your worms to burrow no more than 18 inches deeper. They’re simply not accustomed to that depth since they’re born as surface dwellers. Only earthworms such as garden worms can burrow at much lower ranges. Now, red wiggler worms are Epigeic. They are the kind of worms that only thrive when placed on soil surfaces. So note of this fact when you do decide to manage your own worm farm of red wiggler worms.

Pests inside the worm composter are more of a human disturbance than to red wigglers

Vermicomposting worms can be made into fish baits or as live food for birds, moles, raccoons, lizards, and other animals. But when they’re securely contained inside the bin, nothing can harm them (except for extreme and unhealthy conditions of course). Even if mites, black soldier flies or ants are found inside the worm composter, you can be assured that these won’t harm nor feed on your compost worms. They will be more of a disturbance to humans, since these can contribute to spoiling the contents of the bin, or even overpowering the worm population.

Holiday Compost Prep: Easter and Composting

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Here Comes Peter Cottontail, and his baskets full of plastic-wrapped candy, plastic Easter straw and other amenities. Are you planning on having the family over for Easter Sunday? If so, chances are you’ve been shopping, doing your part to help out the Easter Bunny in his appointed rounds. The rituals and holiday celebrating that lead up to Easter can create a significant amount of waste, so this year, try to keep your celebration eco-friendly with the following tips:

Basket Filler

No. we’re not talking about the sweet treats and marshmallow peeps inevitably will fill the kids Eater baskets, we mean the Easter straw that causes the needle-in-a-haystack home for the jellybeans they get. In lieu of the plastic version, opt for the recycled paper straw for your baskets. It comes in a variety of gay colors and you can recycle it again once you’re done with it, or use it in your compost bin.

Sweets to Eat

So, we’re not at the point where kids want fruit in their Easter baskets (yet), but many times the chocolate and candy treats come in packaging kids have to shred to get to the delectable contents inside. Have your kids throw away their wrappers, containers and cardboard boxes to the recycle bin, not the trash.

Dinner Time

Having ham or roast turkey for dinner? Extra places to set at the table? Using reusable plates , cups and silverware in lieu of paper, plastic or Styrofoam may cause you to load the dishwasher an extra time, but there will be nothing more to go into the landfill after your meal.

Waste Not

When the festivities have died down and the plates are being scraped, be sure to toss all the food scraps except the meat and oils into your compost materials bin. Then take the scraps out to your compost bin and give your red wiggler worms an Easter feast of their own.

Spring Break Project: Start a Garden with your Kids

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Looking for some way to fill the spring break time with your school-age kids? Dreading the “I’m bored” statements on days their friends aren’t around? If not. You’re not alone. Parents scramble to fill their kids down time during spring break as a prequel to summer. Why not have them start a garden to grow their own fruits or vegetables? It’s a project that begins now and can continue to be fruitful well on into the summer months. Think of it as the time-filler that keeps on giving!

Location, Location … well, you know…

Have a sunny corner in your yard with no trees or flowers? Clear out the brush, grass and leaves from a 5X8 foot area and rotatil down about three inches. If you don’t have any clear yard area, consider buying a small plastic kiddie pool or wooden box around the same size and place it where it will get regular sun for about 6-8 hours a day. Want to increase the time and effort investment for the kids? Have them use metal rakes to dig down through the top spoil.

Pick your Poison

Are you planting tomatoes? Carrots? String beans? Radishes? Do you want edible flowers in your garden? Let the kids choose 3 or 4 different products to plant and have them read the planting instructions to decide on placement. Once you have your garden mapped out, you can buy your plant or seeds and get ready to plant.

Feed and Protect

Using compost from your bin or some you have purchased, layer about 1 inch across the garden surface before placing seeds. Throw a little in the hole with seeds or roots to enhance growth.

Add red wiggler worms into your garden to increase the nutrient level of the ground. They’ll much their way to a better garden for you.

To keep local pests (think bunnies, cats, stray dogs, raccoons) out of your garden, layer about an inch thick row of clean cat litter around your garden borders.  The “hint” of cat is enough to keep them from munching your freshly-grown produce.

Have your ids manage the garden watering, weeding and produce collection. They’ll love seeing the results of their labor and you’ll enjoy some downtime knowing they’re not parked in front of the television or game console.

Spring Break Project: Composting with your Kids

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Many kids around the US have off from Good Friday through the following week for Spring Break. If you know you’ll have more people home that week during the day than you’re used to, you are well aware of the need to fill their time as effectively as possible so your days are not plagued with “I’m bored” complaints and the subsequent moping. Think of Spring Break as a prequel to summer… oh yeah, they need something productive to do. Friday is creeping up on us… get your action plan in place now to save yourself the unnecessary stress.

Have a compost bin in your yard? If not, then now is the best time to make use of those extra little (and not so little) hands to get one in place. Kids like to do things with you more often than most of them will admit so planning your compost bin initiation as a family activity kills two birds with one eco-minded stone.

Step 1

Shop for the compost bin you want – indoor or outdoor, large or small. Order the red wiggler worms you need to get the best results from your compost bin.

Step 2

Weed, rake, dredge through your garbage and yard-cleanup your way to organic materials that you will use to feed your red wiggler worms and make the compost you can use to feed your garden and yard in the future.

Tip: Great materials to use in your compost bin.

Paper (shredded is best)

Grass clippings

Leaves and weeds

Food scraps except: meat, grease or oils, citrus fruits

Hair (clean out your brushes)

Have the kids to the work to gather the composting materials for the bin – it’ll get them outside and get your house and yard cleaned up all at once.

Step 3

Armed with your compost materials, set up your compost bin by layering the brown (dried leaves, coffee grounds) and green materials (grass, weeds) in your bin and add in its new residents.

Have the kids do the layering and dropping of the worms. If they do the initial work, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in how the composting progresses. Let them spend the week monitoring what the worms do to begin the process, and if you’r efeeling particulatly creative (and have kids in elementary or middle school – this won’t work for toddlers or high schoolers) Have them write a short story of their efforts for their “What Did I Do over Spring Break” project.

Working with compost and worms, you just might make it to May with less grumbling than usual…

Jack of all Wiggly Trades: the Many uses of the Red Wiggler Worm

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

You’re doing your yard maintenance and have checked on the red wiggler worms in your bin. You may need to buy some more to replenish the few you had lost over the winter months, or maybe you want to expand the size of your compost bin. Or maybe, your red wigglers are doing just fine in your bin… there are still a slew of uses and reasons to buy more red wiggler worms.

A hearty and exceptionally versatile breed of worm, red wigglers are a sound investment for any of the following uses, as well as worm composting, of course:

  1. Sport Fishing
  2. Attracting Wild Birds
  3. Feeding
  • Pet Birds
  • Turtles
  • Iguanas
  • Aquarium Fish
  • Pond Fish
  • Salamanders
  • Snakes
  • Frogs
  • Raising
  • Trout
  1. Nourishing
  • Gardens (Bigger Tastier Veggies)
  • Lawns (Greener Healthier Grass)
  • Flower Beds (More Colorful Blooms & Stronger Stems)
  • House Plants
  • Hanging Plants

No matter what you need them for, order your red wiggler worms today!

3 Uses for Compost in your Garden and Yard

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Okay, so you’ve spent the fall and winter feeding organic materials to your compost bin, turning it when necessary, keeping a watch on your pH levels, making sure your red wiggler worms are multiplying and munching their way to making the nutrient-rich compost you expect at the end of the process, but now that it’s time to get your yard ready for the warmer months, what exactly can you do with all that compost?

Green up that Grass

Is your grass looking a little wan after the cold months? Not to worry – after you aerate your yard and lay down your organic weed killer, grab your wheelbarrow and fill her up with that dark compost and layer it over your grass. Take a metal rake and work it down into the top soil to give it somewhere to cling then run your sprinklers to hold it in place.

The minerals in the compost will feed your lawn better than any commercial, chemical based grass feed.

Need to reseed this year? Add the compost in before you spread the new seed around for an extra boost of growth.

Nourish your Flower Beds

Shoots have been driving up out the ground for weeks now, so you know that Mother Nature is doing her part to get your flowers and shrubs back to their beautiful selves. Why not give them a boost with a layer of compost? Clear out any old leaves or sticks, weed your gardens and then sprinkle an inch of compost throughout your flowerbeds. Water the beds and then cover with mulch to keep it in all in place.

Don’t Forget your Trees

Oftentimes we think that due to their size, and maybe because they were there before we were, the trees lining our yard don’t need any tending beyond the occasional trim of a branch or limb. Not so. Trees need nutrients too, and because of their size, tend to leach it from the soil around them faster than other plant life. Add about 3 inches of compost around large trees and two inches around smaller ones to give them some much needed nutrients. If the ground is sloped or uneven around your trees, you may want to consider rimming them with pavers or stones to keep the compost around them where it belongs.

Use your Yard Debris to Fuel your Compost Bin

Friday, April 1st, 2011

This time of year, a lot of people send at least one day of their weekend cleaning up their yard and handling their yard maintenance like removing twigs, fallen branches and leaves or pine needles from their grass and flower bed areas. With the winds of March behind, the debris tends to lessen during the later spring and summer months, so it makes sense to take the time to get yards in order now for summer fun.

An added benefit of this productive yard cleaning is that you’ll have extra food for your worms in your worm compost heap, so the work you put out has a two-fold boon.

SEPARATE YOUR FINDINGS. While you cean you yard, keep your compost bin in mind as you gather sticks and twigs, leaves and needles from your yard. Separate any greens from the browns left over from fall and put them into two separate piles to layer into your bin as you need them.

STOCK UP. Think on the piles from your yard cleaning as your outdoor compost bin’s pantry. Your worms need a good balanced diet of brown and green compost material to maintain the right temperature in their compost bin home. Put your yard debris in two trash cans or bins in a cool dry area of your yard for future feedings.

ADD SOME WORMS. Al this extra food may be a little too much for your current amount of worms, so add some new ones to pick up the compost pace – shop our hearty Super Red Wiggler Worms!

Preparing your Compost Bin for Spring

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Have you seen them? Maybe in your neck of the woods you hear them instead. The long-sought harbingers of spring have returned. Depending on your geographic location, you have probably noticed the sounds of woodpeckers in the air or the sight of the first fat, red-breasted robin. Both are sure signs that warmer weather is around the next bend. Even if you haven’t seen wildlife returning, the longer days and increase in humidity signal that spring is on the way.

As a green-minded composter, you have spent your winter patiently maintaining your compost bin in preparation of this exact moment. Now, finally, you can begin to reap the loamy, nutrient-rich for its ultimate purpose, spring.

Take a walk out to your compost bin and see how it’s fared during the cold, drier winter. If you noticed that it is a little dry, then turn it to speed up the decomposition process. Is your pile a little fragrant and wet? Add in some heat-building “browns” like shredded newspaper or straw to up the temperatures and dry it out.

If you compost with red wiggler worms, give them a once-over to see if you need to replace any. Worms, like other animals, slow to a “crawl” during the winter. As they sense the arrival of warmer temperatures, they begin to wake up and eat at normal rates. Remember, a good worm-to-bin ration is about 500 worms, around ½ pound, for every cubic foot worm bin.

Sift through the organic material left in your bin and remove any debris. Fallen twigs or rocks make for difficult composting.

Once your bin is cleaned and your composting worms are in order, add in a fresh batch of layered browns and greens. Be sure to shred your materials extra carefully to help your worms begin the break-down more easily as they rev up towards normal decomposition rates.

Don’t Buy Compost – Let Our Worms Make It for You

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Finally – spring has come again. You’ve probably spent the last few weeks puttering around your yard. clearing our your flower beds and noting the work you’ll need to do to get your yard ready for summer.

You know that compost provides the most organic and nutrient-rich food source for your plants, trees and grass, but you’re not sure how to find the right vendor because you don’t have a compost bin set up in your yard.

Before you begin hunting the web for compost dealers, consider the option of creating your own – it’s a lot simpler than you think and when you use a worm compost bin, the maintenance is as simple as feeding your worms and reaping the soil that comes from their nightly munching.

Ready to get started? Check out our selection of compost bins for your yard or house here.

If you choose to use a worm composter, then you’re in luck. We carry some of the heartiest, most voracious little wrigglers around. Our Red Wiggler Worms are great to use in your compost bin to create rich, loamy compost to use around your yard, or drop them right into your garden and plant beds and let them enhance your plant and veggie growing.

With our compost bins and red wiggler worms, you’ve got the tools you need to have the best yard in the neighborhood by summer!

Vermicomposting with Red Wigglers and Nightcrawlers

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

It’s very common to use red wigglers and European nightcrawlers for vermicomposting. But other than that, these two earthworms have its own distinct characteristics.

Now, composting with worms (it’s better that you start and buy composting bin materials for this process) is a process that helps break down decomposing organic wastes into nutrient packed worm compost (also known as worm castings). By using worms, this composting process helps recycle further all the scraps from the kitchen and all the garden wastes, to make these into a valuable organic fertilizer. These castings from worms can further be used to supplement your plants and soil; and it definitely helps enhance the structure of your soil; and also helps improve its water-retention capability.

Worm composting has its other benefits too. So, aside from finding a natural way to recycling your organic wastes, it also provides worm tea (liquid based fertilizer that comes from worm castings that have been previously brewed) that you can use to spray on your indoor plants. Through composting with worms, you also get the chance to raise and breed more. And from this, you may also be able to make a profit out of selling your composting worms to local bait shops, fishermen, and other dealers. And since this natural process saves you space and money, you also get to practice how to use what you can at home.

Red Wigglers

When it comes to composting, the red wiggler worms (also known as manure worms, tiger worms and brandling worms) are typically the most preferred when compared to nightcrawlers. Although both earthworms work by eating decomposing kitchen scraps and garden wastes, the Red Wigglers involvement in the composting process is more favored.

These red worms can actually cut the typical composting time of 8 months down to only just a month. But aside from these facts, they also produce castings (also termed as Black Gold) that are always packed with nutrients. Of course, they only get to eat the best kind of organic wastes; and this by-product from red wiggler worms can then be used as an organic fertilizer for your plants, and as a conditioner for your soil. These worms can clearly supply a better alternative to using chemically-made fertilizers.

Nightcrawlers

When you’re vermicomposting with any type of nightcrawler, you should know that they too can still be good in a lot of composting-related things. They can also help improve the condition of the soil, and encourage a healthy growth in plants. And since these earthworms like to burrow and create tunnels, they actually help aerate the soil to make way for enough air and water to flow into the soil system. And just like red wiggler worms, they too help with the breaking down of organic wastes, which then turns into quality-made castings as well. Other than that, they can also be used as live worm food, and as fish bait.

Although there is also a downside to using and raising European nightcrawlers (or any other type) when vermicomposting. This type of earthworm actually survives on cooler temperatures. They will die eventually in your worm bin if they were to be kept in warm surroundings.

GardenWorms.com recommends the Red Worms

Our Red Worms are always shipped year-round. And we’ll make sure to send it directly to your doorsteps, 100% live guaranteed! Get to pick from our selection of worm packages, and experience the thrills that vermicomposting has to offer. Buy yours today!

To know more about the product, check the Red Worms here.