What Do I Do If My Worms Are Sick?

Worms don’t need much to stay healthy and happy, but occasionally bad things happen. Just like humans, worms respond to changes in their environment. Sometimes the conditions in your worm bin may have become unintentionally harmful to your worms. What do you do if your worms appear to be sick or dying? Fortunately, there are some simple measures to take. What to Do: If you notice that some your worms are dead, act quickly to save the remaining worms with these steps:   Move worms to a new, clean bin. Even if you don’t have another designated worm bin, clean and use whatever container you have on hand. In the future, keep another bin around in case of emergency. Replace bedding with something neutral like shredded newspaper, clean leached peat, or something you know your worms have liked in the past. Clean and check your old bin for any of the trouble signs below before returning your worms to the bin.

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How To Make Compost Faster

When it comes to growing healthy, vital plants, soil building is essential. Most people who want to garden without synthetic chemicals turn to compost. Compost is a rich, dark, crumbly substance colloquially known as “black gold.” It is made from organic materials including leaves, wood chips and appropriate food scraps that have been broken down into a natural fertilizer. Composting takes time. Depending on the conditions and ingredients used, it can take from three months to two years to create. Like cooking, the process goes much more smoothly and quickly when done properly. The following tips can greatly enhance the ease of making good compost. Balance the Ingredients

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Worm Life Cycle

There are approximately 2,700 species of different earthworms across the world. They commonly live in habitats that us humans would find less than desirable; deep within the soil. However, you’ve definitely noticed a worm crawling along on the surface at night or after a shower in the spring or fall. And, you may have even come across two worms mating when the conditions are ideal, like when it’s under 50 degrees. While the whole idea or worms reproducing sounds a bit gross for some people, the lifecycle of a worm is actually fascinating. Why else would Darwin devote 39 years to study the earthworm? There’s a lot to learn from our slimy neighbors. Even with the differences between all of the varying earthworm species, they each have similar life cycles. For instance…

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Adding Compost to Your Garden

What are the best ways to add compost from vermicomposting to your garden? Vermicomposting is composting with worms. “Vermis” is Latin for worm. Composting can be done without worms, but worms accelerate and enrich the process. They generate rich, dark brown humus. This “black gold” is a super-food for plants that enhances soil porosity and nutrient content. Humus helps produce strong, healthy vegetation in abundance. At Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we recommend our Red Wiggler worms for vermicomposting. Humus works in a number of ways. It forms loose particle aggregates which make soil “crumbly”, which means the soil retains moisture while enhancing oxygen flow. Since plants depend on both water and free oxygen to develop, they do not do well in soil that is too compacted or too dry. Adding humus to clay, sandy soil or other types of difficult growing terrain increases porosity, which makes it much easier to grow successfully.

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Harvesting Worm Castings

When you have a vermicomposting system, you periodically need to harvest your worm castings. This nutrient-rich “black gold” is the perfect fertilizer for your plants. Harvesting also helps keep the worms healthy. You will know it is time to harvest when most of your worm bedding has been turned into a rich, dark, soil-like substance of vermicompost and castings. There are several good methods for harvesting worm castings for small home-based vermicomposting bins. Which method you choose will depend on the type of system you have set up, and on your personal taste.   There are single tray vermicomposting systems, stackable multi-tray systems and many do-it-yourself systems. Choose a method that efficiently extracts the casting while leaving enough worms behind to keep composting.

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How Worms Help Your Soil

Did you know that worms help increase the value of your soil?  Yup, it’s true.  Not all soils are created equal.  Most of the soil that you buy at your common stores or farms is lower quality.  With worms, they will increase the value and nutrient in your soil exponentially. Below are some interesting facts about worms! Facts: Worms double the calcium content in soil. Worms increase magnesium level by two and a half times. After worms the soils nitrates goes up by five times. Worms increase the phosphorous level by seven times Increase potassium level eleven plus times.

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What Worm Kit Is Best For Me

I get asked all the time “What worm kit is best for me”?  Today I’m going to help you hopefully answer that questions for yourself?  We sell three different kinds of worm kits.  Enjoy!   Worm Hobby Kit This kit if for the average person that’s looking to grow worms for fun.  These are great to have as gifts for children to have families grow worms together.  You can see everything and grow them together. Whats Included: 500 Red Wrigglers Starter bedding 3 month feed supply (Our special blend is sure to have your worms thriving!) Moisture-retaining burlap Detailed Instructions 16″ L x 11″ W x 6″ H  Plastic container  

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Tips for Keeping Vegetables Fresh

Yes, we’re worm guys but after working hard and caring for your vegetable garden all spring and summer, you’ve got to figure out a way to keep your veggies fresh until you can consume or store all of them! All vegetables have different preferences when it comes to storage and maintaining freshness. Some prefer to be refrigerated and others prefer to not. Here are some tips for all those different veggies. Tomatoes are one of the trickier vegetables to store. Most people think that putting them in the fridge is the sure fire way to keeping them fresher longer – it works for most things after all….right? Actually that is wrong! Refrigerating your tomatoes will actually change their texture and lessen their flavor within only a few days. The best way to store them for a longer period of time is to place them in a bowl that is lined with paper towels. Another note for storing tomatoes is to keep their stems pointed upward; this is the juiciest part of the tomato and is the most likely to bruise first. Rotate the tomatoes around every day or two to help with bruising as well. Tomatoes should keep for at least a week when stored this way. Leafy greens such as spinach, cabbage and lettuce are best stored wrapped in a paper towel; this will help absorb any extra moisture from the leaves. They are best stored in a refrigerator, in the drawer if you have that ability. If they …

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Growing Vegetables in Different Climates

As it comes time to start readying our gardens for spring, it is also a perfect time to decide what vegetables will grow the best in your particular environment and climate. Different types of vegetables will grow easier and faster depending on your environment. There are four different categories that home-grown vegetables fall into: very hardy, hardy, tender and very tender. “Hardiness” is a term that indicates how well a vegetable tolerates cold. Generally speaking, the growing season wherever you live is determined by the average last frost (spring) and average first frost (fall). The hardiness of a plant tells you how far in advance of the “last frost” they can tolerate. Very Hardy plants can be planted anywhere between 4-6 weeks prior to the last frost of the spring. Vegetables such as cabbage, peas and lettuce need to be planted in advance so they have time to mature before the weather gets too warm. A few other plants that can be planted prior to the last frost are asparagus, onions, broccoli, turnips and spinach. Hardy plants are able to tolerate slight cold, and can survive maybe on frost of the season. This means they can generally be planted about 3 weeks prior to the last frost. A few examples of this type of plant are carrots, beets, radishes,

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Zucchini and Eggplant Casserole

Here is a recipe that you can use with almost all home grown vegetables! It is a healthy alternative to many other casseroles, and can be enjoyed by all! 3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced 2 large sweet red peppers, coarsely chopped 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped 1 medium eggplant, coarsely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 tbsp olive oil 4 eggs ½ c. light mayonnaise 4 oz Romano cheese, shredded 8 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded 12 round crackers, crushed

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