Harmful Worms For People and Pets

Here at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we love worms and value them for all they do for organic gardening, house plants and our ecosystem. Our famous Red Wigglers are amazing composters that will turn any ordinary garden into a beautiful lush that produces much bigger and healthier looking foods. However, not all worms are beneficial for us. Some of the worms we encounter can be harmful if touched or ingested. It’s important to know the differences between good and bad worms to keep you and your pets out of trouble. Good Worms Most worms you’ll encounter won’t pose any threat to you or your pets. These include earthworms, redworms, nightcrawlers and more. We recommend buying a worm identification guide so that when you do come across an unusual looking specimen (aren’t all worms unusual looking?) that causes you to have concern, you can refer to your guide and find out if it’s something you need to be worried about or not. Good worms clean up soil by consuming organic matter. Furthermore, they make soil fertile. They create pathways in soil that helps oxygen and water reach plant roots! Good worms are vital to our ecosystem! Harmful Worms Just like there are a lot of good worms out there, there are a lot of harmful worms too. Nematodes are one of the most numerous animals on the planet. They are tiny creatures that typically grow to about 1 millimeter long, and for that reason, they are hard to spot with the naked eye. …

Read More

Five Ways to Sell Your Family on Vermicomposting

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones and you live with others who share your passion for vermicomposting worms. If so, congratulations and lucky you! But for the rest of us, here are a few approaches to consider when trying to win over your favorite “worm-resisters.” The Garden Angle Gardeners are perhaps the easiest worm-resisters to convert. That’s because they already know that worms are great soil-builders, and they have a vested interest in worm by-products. Worm castings are some of the best fertilizer around, and a small 4.5-pound bag can easily cost more than $10. With your own vermicompost system, you get that fertilizer for free! The Eco Angle Any kind of composting lets you remove compost from the waste stream, and that is a good thing. The EPA estimates that Americans generate roughly 4.38 pounds of household waste each day. Some gets composted, some gets recycled and some gets burned (for energy), but even so, we throw out about half our solid waste products each and every day, and our landfills are getting more full all the time. Vermicomposting lets you reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill. If your worm-resister is committed to the environment, this may be a good way to convince them that vermicomposting is worth a try. The Convenience Angle If you compost outside, you may find it more difficult in the winter. If so, you might want to point out to worm-resisters that, unlike a regular garden compost pile, …

Read More

Helping Your Worms Navigate the Holiday Eating Frenzy

For most of us, the holidays mean good food and lots of it. Along with all the food preparation comes increased amounts of food waste. If you usually feed your vegetable scraps to your worms, you might be wondering if you can give them all the extra scraps you’ll be generating. Well, the short answer is, probably not, at least not all at once. Although we humans can tolerate occasional overeating, it’s best not to overfeed your composting worms. If you have a lot of extra scraps, give your worms the usual amount, or close to it, and find another way to dispose of the extra. If you do overfeed your worms, there are a few problems you may accidentally create. (But don’t worry, we’ve got a few solutions for you as well!) Problems Created by Over-Feeding Worms Excess moisture. All those vegetable scraps contain a lot of hidden liquid. Your worm bin should always have a consistency close to that of a wrung-out sponge. But as the structure of the food scraps collapses and the moisture seeps out, your worm bin can take on a more slimy consistency. Anaerobic decomposition. A slimy appearance indicates that your worm bin may be developing a second, more bothersome problem: anaerobic decomposition. Anaerobic decomposition (rotting without oxygen) is definitely something to be avoided. Reason number one to avoid it is that your worms need oxygen. If your worm bin becomes anaerobic, your worms will be uncomfortable. They may try to leave their bin …

Read More