Why Add European Night Crawlers to Your Garden and Lawn? Worm Power!

Does it make sense to buy worms and release them into your garden or lawn? When you buy something, you usually keep it. However, European Night Crawlers are a type of worm that stays where the food is. Like free farmhands, these worms will hang around your property and improve the soil. Good soil leads to nutritious vegetables and fruits, blooming flowers, and green lawns. How does a lowly earthworm improve the soil? Why buy worms when wild worms live in the soil? How is releasing worms different from composting in a bin? And how can you encourage the worms to stick around? How Worms Improve the Soil Worms have been digging into the earth for more than 500 million years. Humans are just 200,000 years old, and we started

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Can I Feed Cardboard to Composting Worms?

Cardboard is readily available, but can you feed cardboard to composting worms? Vermicomposting enthusiasts turn trash into valuable organic compost with the help of Red Worms. Obviously, fruit and vegetable scraps are an ideal food to bury in the composting bin. However, most of our household consumables come packaged in cardboard. Can you compost cardboard? Which types of cardboard are best for worms? Can worms live exclusively on cardboard? Properties of Good Worm Bedding When you start a composting bin, you need material for the worms to live in. This is called “bedding.” Bedding is typically made from a mixture of coconut coir, pure peat moss, shredded black ink newspaper, partially-decomposed leaves, and/or small amounts of untreated wood chips. Additionally, certain types of cardboard make good bedding. Bedding needs to contain cellulose. Cellulose gives structure to plants. When worms eat cellulose, they acquire some nutrition. However, worms will also need regular feedings of fruit and vegetable scraps to stay healthy. The best bedding retains the right amount of moisture. Ideal bedding should feel like a wrung-out sponge when squeezed. The pH of bedding should be neutral — not alkaline and not acidic. And it should be light and fluffy enough to allow air flow and worm movement.

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How to Feed Composting Worms Indoors

Indoor composting worms gobble up kitchen scraps, but what is the best way to feed them? Which foods are best? How is feeding indoor worms different from outdoor worms? Feed them well and you will get nutrient-rich fertilizer, perfect for helping plants grow. You will also reduce trash and virtually eliminate garbage odors. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm offers these tips for feeding composting worms indoors. Why Compost Indoors? Composting inside your house is almost impossible without worms. Composting worms break down the scraps quickly. This helps prevent odor and pests. Hot composting without worms takes too long inside the home. Adding a bag of Red Worms to a suitable indoor composter makes the scraps

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Winterize Your Worm Composting Bin

When the cold winter weather comes, you can keep composting with worms. Composting worms slow down when the temperature drops below 57 degrees. However, below-freezing temperatures will freeze the worms in an outdoor composting bin. You can take steps before the freezing temperatures set in. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm recommends you choose one of these options: Leave them as-is outdoors Insulate the outdoor bin Partially bury the outdoor bin Move the bin to a warmer place, or Move the worms indoors Option 1: Leave Them As-Is Outdoors Worms are among the oldest

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How Do I Compost Fall Leaves with Worms?

When you rake the fall leaves, you are handling valuable organic material. If you compost these leaves, you will have free fertilizer in the spring! Leaves and other plant waste are the perfect food for composting worms. If you have a yard or garden of any size, you can capture these valuable nutrients by composting. Composting with worms, called “vermicomposting,” is fast and efficient. It’s easier than you might think! And you can start anytime. While your neighborhood might have leaf pickup, question where that material goes. Can you get free fertilizer from it in the Spring? Chances are that you cannot. You would likely have pay and pick up fertilizer during business hours. Keep the leaves working for you by composting in your own yard. Types of Composters You will need a location for your vermicomposting project. A variety of

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Which Compost Pails are Best?

People who compost their kitchen scraps need a compost pail. The compost pail stores organic material for a few days. When some scraps have accumulated, just dump the fruit and vegetable trimmings and wasted produce into the compost bin. Which compost pails are the best? What are the pros and cons of each type of compost pail? Where should you put the pail? How much care does the pail need, and how long might it last? Qualities of the Best Compost Pails You could just let kitchen scraps pile up in a mixing bowl. However, after a few hours, the organic material will start to have an odor. Flies might move in. Uncovered scraps may attract other unwanted insects. You would have to empty this type of compost pail into the larger compost bin after each meal. That is too inefficient for most householders. The best compost pails are: made of a durable material that’s easy to rinse out or wash material is not prone to taking on unpleasant odors allows air flow resists insect invasions has a minimal footprint, or can be hung on a cupboard or wall is easy to handle Types of Materials Compost pails are usually made from ceramic, plastic, or stainless steel. Some have washable plastic liners.

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What are the Differences Between Vermicomposting with Worms and Hot Composting?

Many of our customers ask, “What’s the difference between vermicomposting with worms and regular composting?” Here at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we are experts on composting with worms. Let’s explore how these processes are similar, and how they differ. Which method is more convenient? How can you produce high-quality organic fertilizer for your garden and lawn? Which is fastest? How to Set Up Vermicomposting vs. Hot Composting Vermicomposting harnesses the power of worms to break down organic matter quickly. Regular “hot” composting may attract a few wild worms. However, “hot” composting produces more heat than vermicomposting. Temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit will kill Red Worms. Both methods break down organic waste into fertilizer. Most kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, and yard waste are suitable for composting. The main difference is in the setup of the composting bin or pile. Regular “hot” composting involves throwing organic waste into a bin or pile. The material starts to break down using an aerobic process. The compost pile heats up. The ideal temperature for hot composting is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. At 200+ degrees, it can even produce steam! However, temperatures high enough to steam will kill beneficial microorganisms. Therefore, this type of compost needs to be turned and lightly moistened on a regular basis. This means you lift the organic matter and introduce air with pitchfork or shovel on a regular basis. You need some strength to do this. Or get a tumbler-style composter that you can turn using a crank. Vermicomposting is usually done …

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What are the Benefits of Composting?

Composting is the natural process of breaking down organic materials into fertilizer. In our modern world, unwanted items go into the trash by default. Trash is stored in a landfill or incinerated. This process is an utter waste of resources. Composting has many benefits for the household and the earth. Finished compost also creates free fertilizer for the garden. Let’s find out the benefits of composting and, more specifically, composting with worms. Household Composting Benefits You know how household trash has a bad

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Composting Beverage Waste, Coffee Grounds, and Tea Bags Using Red Worms

Vegetable scraps are obviously compostable, but some beverage waste is also perfect for composting with red worms. Composting worms speed up the process, breaking down inedibles and left-overs into a dark, rich organic fertilizer. This is called vermicomposting. Red worms are the best for vermicomposting. People who compost may overlook their compostable beverage waste. However, certain types of left-over beverage-making material is safe for the worm composting bin. How to Compost Solid Beverage Waste Preparing popular drinks results in left-over organic materials: Coffee Grounds: Half of the US population drinks at least 1 cup of coffee or equivalent each day. Where do all those coffee grounds go? Instead of filling up landfills or burning up in an incinerator, they could be composted. Worms love them! Coffee filters are also fine. Use a spoon to scoop out K-cups. However, coffee grounds are acidic. Therefore, rinse some eggshells and let them dry. Crush them up. Mix some crushed eggshells with cooled coffee grounds, then add them to your vermicomposting bin. Eggshells reduce acidity and provide “grit” for the worms’ digestion. No, caffeine will not make them jittery! Note: Loose coffee grounds can get stuck to the inside of the compost collection pail. If this bothers you, keep them in the coffee filter and use a separate container that is easy to clean. Loose Tea: Perfect! Add cooled loose tea to the worm bin. Tea Bags: Yes! The tea bags will start to break down in the worm bin, and the worms will …

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Vermicomposting Bedding Guide by Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm

In a vermicomposting bin, bedding is the material that composting worms live in. When you set up a worm bin, you will need to add bedding before putting the worms on top. What is the purpose of bedding? Which types of bedding are best? How do you prepare the bedding, and when should you add more bedding? Read Uncle Jim’s Vermicomposting Bedding Guide and find out! Why Composting Worms Need Bedding Bedding is meant to simulate the worm’s natural environment. The best type of composting worm is the Red Worm. These hearty, medium-sized worms have a ravenous appetite for

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