Composting Worms and How They Move

Worms are ancient creatures that have been moving through the Earth’s soil for many, many years. But, how exactly do they move forward? Worms do not have legs, so they must use other methods to travel. What Makes A Worm? Earthworms are a part of the phylum Annelida, which is Latin for “little rings.” This is because they have small rings around their body that are referred to as “segments,” which are crucial to their movement. Without these segments, they would likely not be able to move. These segments contain eight small bristles called “setae.” To move, worms use these bristles to clutch the soil around them. The only segments that do not have setae are the first segment, the head, and the last segment, the tail. While the head usually moves forward, worms can move backward as well. Like most creatures, the mouth is contained in their head and it allows them to eat food and soil. They produce humus (poop) out of their tail. This worm humus is what vermicomposters collect to use as an all-natural fertilizer. Worms do not have any bones, which allows them to squeeze into small spaces and grants them unrestrained movements. They create tunnels as they move through the soil by eating whatever matter comes before them. As they move through these tunnels, their bodies emit mucus that helps to steady the tunnels. The tunnels that these worms create are vital for the health of the soil because they bring air, water, and nutrients. How Do Worms …

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The Ideal Bedding for Your Composting Worms

To have the best vermicomposting experience, your worms need the best bedding. Our Red Worms are the best for composting. They will savor your leftovers and produce the best organic fertilizer. The good news is that there are multiple different beddings to choose from for your worms. Uncle Jim has pre-made bedding that you can buy. You can also make your own worm bedding from objects already in your house! Any bedding should mimic a worm’s natural environment. To do this, the bedding should be: Soft and gentle (nothing that might cut their delicate skin!) Porous enough to allow airflow (worms breathe through their skin) Neutral pH balance of 7 Moist (but not too moist, like a wrung-out sponge) Non-toxic Edible materials Our recommended beddings for your vermicomposting bin are: Fall Leaves are good to use as bedding as long as they have been composted beforehand. Fall leaves are currently very abundant. Rake them into a pile and leave it outside through the winter. They will be ready to use as bedding by the time spring rolls around. Brown Corrugated Cardboard can be found in almost any home. Most stores will also give it to you for free if you ask. Your worms will love this type of bedding in the bin. Just shred it or tear it into pieces. Shredded Paper, so long as it is unbleached or from black-ink only newspapers, can make for some good bedding when mixed with other materials. Avoid any bleached office/printer paper or newspapers with colored ink, junk mail, or envelopes containing plastic because these will …

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Holiday Gift Ideas from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm

Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays! Are you stuck on which gifts to buy your friends and loved ones? Well, we are here to help! Uncle Jim’s offers awesome products ranging from apparel to supplies. Apparel Our apparel is perfect for when you want to work in the garden or with your worms. Do you or your loved ones need a new hat? We have a new Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm Ball Cap that will keep the sun out of your eyes while you’re doing any outdoor work. We also have a tasteful half-apron that will help keep your clothes clean, and it comes with a garden shovel. T-shirts are perfect for gardening and everyday wear. We offer Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm t-shirts in many different colors and sizes– including children’s. The shirt is 100% pre-shrunk cotton, so you do not have to worry about it shrinking in the wash. It is a breathable and lightweight fabric, which makes it perfect for doing any outdoor or vermicomposting work! Composters Are you or your family trying to get into composting? Vermicomposting is ideal because you can turn kitchen scraps into all-natural fertilizer. This organic fertilizer will nourish your garden or houseplants. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm is number one when it comes to composting worms and supplies, so trust us with all your composting needs. Vermicomposting can be done indoors or outdoors, but if you live in a colder region, you should start with an indoor composting bin. …

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Vermicomposting Red Worm Life Cycle

All living organisms go through the same life cycle: birth, development, reproduction, and death. What is the life cycle of the King of Composting, the Red Worm? These worms are hermaphrodites. That means they each have both male and female reproductive organs. Let’s find out how they make new, baby worms! Red Worm Reproduction Red worms’ reproductive organs are in the clitellum, a gland that sticks out from the rest of their body. It looks like the worm is wearing a ring around its body. When the worm becomes fertile, the clitellum becomes more visible and turns orange. The color change is a signal that the worm is ready for reproduction. Worms, even though they are hermaphrodites, do not reproduce alone. At least one additional Red Worm is necessary so they can exchange genetic material.

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Vermicomposting, Hot Composting or Cold Composting?

Composting is composting, right? Wrong! Let’s talk about three different types of composting: hot, cold, and vermicomposting. All these styles of composting break down organic matter. They all result in finished compost to use in your garden soil. However, they each require a different amount of labor from you. And they each take a different amount of time to start producing finished compost.

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Five Ways Kids Learn from Composting with Worms

Children and composting worms are a perfect match. Vermicomposting is both fun and educational. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm is proud to announce its new Children’s Vermicomposting Kit. Made for small hands, this starter kit comes with 100 composting worms and a 2-gallon bin, plus accessories and a book. Already have a vermicomposting bin? Let them help, or get them their own Children’s Vermicomposting Kid. Having their own worms, bin, gardening tools, starter bedding, and instructions helps them take ownership of the project. Here are five ways kids absorb lessons when they compost with worms. Hands-On Learning You do not have to give a lengthy vermicomposting lecture. Kids learn a lot from doing. When setting up a bin, read through the instructions with them. Depending on their maturity, they might be able to set up the worm bin with a little guidance from you. Younger children will need more help.

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How to Grow a Butterfly Garden Using Compost

Are you excited about the idea of growing a garden that butterflies love? Looking forward to beautiful fluttering wings? If you want to attract butterflies, it’s not enough to offer the adult butterflies a bit of nectar. You must also create a garden that is hospitable for their offspring–caterpillars. Your plants will need nourishment. Organic finished compost is safe for both plants and insects. Start in advance by composting kitchen scraps. The fastest way to compost at home is to use composting worms. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has composting bins and composting worms to make plenty of finished compost. Nectar Isn’t Enough for Butterflies The mistake that many gardeners make is that they plant flowers that offer nectar for adult butterflies, then do nothing more. Like other creatures, butterflies are driven to eat and survive–and to reproduce as well. So in addition to finding a meal today, butterflies need to find plants that their future baby caterpillars can. When butterflies find those plants, they lay their eggs there.

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Vermicompost Holds Water: Tips On Watering Your Garden

Did you know that composting with worms can help keep your garden’s soil moist enough? Using composting worms to break down kitchen scraps results in vermicompost (literally: worm compost). Just by keeping a worm bin, you will have a ready supply of vermicompost to use in your garden. Vermicompost in the soil nourishes the plants and adds air pockets. The air pockets allow proper drainage, helping to regulate soil moisture. Most people are busy and want to be efficient about watering their plants. There are two main ways to save time watering plants. The first is to choose the right plants. The second is to improve water retention by adding compost to your soil. Choose Plants for Dry Areas If you have a spot in your yard that tends to be dry, or you live in a dry climate, choose plants that do well in dry areas. Otherwise, even watering multiple times a day may not be enough to keep your plants healthy.

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Composting Worms and Container Gardening

Container gardening means growing plants in containers instead of a garden bed. Composting worms can play a role in successful container gardening. Growing plants in containers instead of the ground solve many gardening problems. If you’re concerned about your soil, don’t have much space, or want to convert lawn into a garden bed, planting in containers may help. Just like any growing medium, the soil in container gardens will need fertilizer. The easiest and cheapest way is to start a separate bin that uses worms to break down kitchen scraps quickly. This is called “vermicomposting.” Vermicomposting results in worm castings (worm poop) that is more powerful than regular finished compost. This concentrated organic fertilizer is ideal for container gardens. And, once your worm bin is established, the fertilizer is free and self-replenishing. We recommend using a tray-based composting bin for convenience.

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Spring Is Coming! Get Your Worm Bin Ready for Spring Composting

As winter yields its grip and the weather begins to warm up, it’s time to prepare for productive composting. You will need to check what effect the Winter has had on your compost bin. Also, you need to take the necessary steps to bring it back to productivity. No doubt there will be organic fertilizer to be harvested and used on your garden. You might need to order worms and other supplies. Check Your Bin Do not disturb your outdoor worm bin until there is no chance of freezing weather! Otherwise your worm colony could be damaged. Search online for “last frost date” for your locale.

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