Worm castings

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Has anyone ever used worm castings as fertilizer? Does it work good?

Hi RR, yep I have a worm farm and I wouldn't be without them. The castings are a great starter for plants and I put them in the hole where I'm going to put my seedlings etc. I also use them in liquid form, about a handfull in a bucket of water and tip it all around the garden. I've always had excellent results from my worms and best of all it's totally free, all you need is kitchens scraps and away they go.
WOW Wombat Good for you!!!!!!!!!

..I cant afford to buy those red worms (wigglers) *LOL
I did breed our Mi worms (indoors) from 1996- until 05. Once my toads passed away I had no need for caring for worms...Hummm Maybe Ill collect some worm this year I know how to care for them ....I can put them where I can shelter them from those birds they sure have a feast every spring.
I only knew how to care for the worms I had a few things going in my wash room then.
They sure were busy and the babies were so adorable all wrapped up around each other, a truly bonded family *LOL
I use to add new soil and take out the castings am put into my (tiny) annual gardens.I had no idea there was a name for what I was doing...or was there?
Does it have to be red wigglers or do I qualify?

ok now my interest is really peeked!! How do I start somthing like this? What is needed? Are they hard to care for? I am just thinking of purchasing some worm castings for now but I would really like to start this on my own also. I get a lot of stuff from my kitchen because i am an avid juicer so always have lots of pulps. Thanks!

Hi Kale I was lucky and got my wormy friends and their farm very cheaply from a garage sale. You did really well with your wrigglers and yep they do multiply easily. I reckon you qualify easily as a ''Wormy Woman'':D although I must add that the red wrigglers are a little more productive as they're topsoil dwellers and not burrowers like normal worms therefore they gobble my kitchen sraps a little faster than their burrowing cousins, good for you for rasing a ''family'' too!
Hi RiverRock The first step is to get yourself a worm farm. There's a lot of used ones for sale if you don't want to buy a new one. The new ones sometimes come with worms, so it's best to shop around. The red wrigglers are a different breed to the burrowing worm you see in most gardens. They live closer to the surface and concentrate mainly on chomping their way through all those yummy kitchen scraps that would normally be added to the compost or to the garbage. They require a little care but then again that's pretty much needed for anything that's alive and providing you with free fertiliser. You may have to purchase the red wrigglers but they'll multiply in no time and you'll have an endless supply of wonderful free fertiliser for your plants.:)
That sounds great! any ideas on were I could look to find a used one? I have never seen anything like that around here. What kind of care do they require and do they do ok in the winter time? We get freezing winters here.

Werent you lucky! Wont ever find one of those here in a yard sale*LOL humm never know...LOL

Wormy Woman:D:D

Why, Thank-you Sir; it was so kind of you to label me as such:D:D

My little wormlings went about 8inches deep the babies were about 4-5, but, some were found at the bottom. They were so adorable*LOL I released so many after I saw they were tiring...They were great!

Now, I want to do it again *LOL

Thanks RR! And of course, you Wombat!

Hi RR,
I didn't do anything as fancy as the worm bin/farm. I just put my red wigglers in a plastic bin with holes punched into the bottom and screen over those holes. I put leaves and kitchen scraps in and covered it with an old aspen air conditioner filter. I now have two of these bins. Both bins are now full of castings.
Worms can take cold temps if they have enough bedding material but in the heat its a good idea to move them to shade and spritz the bin with water.
I could probably send you a cup of worms in a flat rate box if you will pay the postage. That should be enough to get a family started.
I started with ten red wigglers from a neighbor about 10 years ago. I tossed them into a watering trough With a lot of shredded paper. Don't forget the paper. They love your old junk mail and newspaper and cardboard and weeds, plant trimmings, etc. along with the kitchen scraps. Just no meat or insecticide sprayed things. I have shared thousands by the cupful at a time just for postage. I have not looked at mine all winter. Just tossed my coffee grounds, tea bags and kitchen scraps on top.
I have friends who have them in old ice chests with drain holes. And all kinds of plastic containers work.
Tina you're right about the paper they just gobble it all down and it's a lot faster than composting it and the worms multiply sooo fast too!
L/bloomer yep you can use just about any container for a worm farm until I managed to get a 2nd hand worm farm I had a similar set-up to you. Good advice about keeping them cool in my climate I almost have to do it daily if no rain arrives.
Kale (WW) (we can change it to Wonder Woman if you prefer):D I was very lucky to find it as I went there to buy something completely different...I needed some more wire for my hens....but ended up comming home with both:) I'm glad I have one as it's just sooo easy to pull out the bottom compartment and there's all the castings you'll need for a large portion of your garden.
RiverRock that's an interesting site, thanks for the link. If you end up getting your worms you won't regret it:)
Thank yo so much everyone, I am really excited. Yep I am going to get a nice plastic bin and make a worm bed. It will be a great adventure and oh boy more mouths to feed..roflol I think it will be great to have fresh fertilizer like that though. And my juice machine pulps are gonna work great for this.

Wonder Woman was my favorite Childhood (whatever that means,oh I know younger years, oh, I know; when I was shorter) ) person to watch Lynda Carter was so beautiful and lady like and tough!*LOL I wished she was my big sister*lol
She was great!
Wormy Woman makes me :D:D just the same; I don't care..I love them both!

1st Question, addressing the junk mail. :)
I wouldn't put into my compost pile but, are certain it is ok if the worms eat it?
will their casting still be organic?:confused::)
I shred garbage bags each month...:confused:

Kale I tend to burn junk mail that's obviously been treated with chlorine etc. It's the only solution I could think of to break down the chemicals and I use the ash on my flower gardens only. It was then pointed out to me that I'm polluting the atmosphere with these toxic chemicals when I burn them lol....... ya just can't please everyone it seems:rolleyes:
I've been using newspapers for years as the ink over here is made from either soy or canola oil and the paper is usually made from pulp which contains lignin but which has been treated to remove all of the lignin’s colour-forming structure. I learn't that in my first permaculture class years ago :D
What sort of garbage bags are we talking about?
Yes, all of our newspapers and inks used must be organic and compostable by law here, now. The shiny inserts are not though. Phone books make good worm food as well.
What kind of garbage bags are you shredding, Kale? Paper bags are good for the worms.
I do not mash or do anything to my kitchen scraps. I toss them in as is: eggshell halves, watermelon rinds, teabags, etc. i know they would compost faster if I did. But my worms seem to travel to some of there favorites and I like to watch them. I have had melon seeds sprout in there. I just turn them under when I am messing with it all.
*lol I guess I sure didn't write that correctly*lol
I have junk mail you know get AT&T now and save "junk". I shred it all and place it in a plastic garbage bag (don't shred bags, just the junk mail) then add my dog and kitty litter then throw it out. I use to give it to pet shops that sold cats and dogs for their bedding but they no longer exists so I don't have a safe place to dispose them.
Wombat,in Mi nearly all their ink is from soy, I think it was the the chemical change used to achieve the results of ink never really does a complete breakdown.I discovered that years ago when the ink was still sitting there many months later. I had to remove all the soil in that large bed and start all over wasn't fun, if I was a cry baby I would had sad there crying for hours.
I did a long dragged out research to find out. I even went a bit further to verify the findings.I am doing a computer search for that main write up. I know I saved it. I can post it once it is found.Check it out and if you can add some input in this matter:)

Found, here it is.
"Soybean oil, also known as vegetable oil, is mainly used for human consumption. Soybean oil can also be used a a carrier for printing inks. For the production of soy ink, the soybean oil does not need to be as refined that much. The soybean oil is blended with pigments, resins and waxes to make ink. The volume for soybean oil in the ink varies between manufacturers and is dependent on the application of the ink. Soybean ink is not eatable because it contains the same pigments found in conventional petroleum-based inks. This and certain other chemicals make soy ink inedible and not 100 % biodegradable. "
Further reading...

Found this too
Soy ink contains the same pigments found in conventional, petroleum-based inks. Since heavy metal pigments have been phased out of widespread usage, most ink pigments are petrochemical derivatives.
Soybean oil does not evaporate when the ink dries. Instead, the oil polymerizes as the ink hardens. While this is an advantage for sheet-fed and cold-set presses, it is a slight disadvantage for commerical printers with high-volume, heat-set presses because soy ink takes slightly longer to dry. "
For a copy of the Western Michigan University report, e-mail your request to the National Soy Ink Information Center at soyink@soyink.com

This is Michigan's results and assessments. This just confirms my personal findings.It simply didn't break down.Oh I had a beautiful compost pile I had to rid too found compost with chunks of inked paper.I use to gather paper on recycle days, go to the garage and shred for a few hours, bag it and use it until I found those clumps.

My story and I'm sticking to it *lOl

I think of my worms as actual clean up tools for some ecology problems. They actually change the basic ingredients they ingest in their digestive process and 'clean up' some pollutants that would normally hang around for many years in landfills. Not plastics. It would be nice to find something that could digest plastic and turn it into a usable form.
Ok I am gonna get my tub tomorrow for my worm bed..so how big of a tub should I get? I was thinking like maybe around the 30 gallon size? I have plenty of leaves and such to start this with.

I am so excited my wormy family is on the way to me as I type this..wooo hoo:)

I am gonna start it with leaves from the yard and pulp from juiced carrots and apples. and some paper. I cant wait to see the little critters. It seems so funny to get excited about worms..lol


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