Common Household Pests inside the Worm Bin

Fruit Flies, Fungus Gnats and Maggots in compost You will experience some common household pests inside your worm bin should you neglect it over time. Along the way, you may also be able to encounter annoying insects such as fruit flies, fungus gnats or even maggots in compost. So you might want to give your worm bin, and of course your worms some regular care and maintenance. You will certainly need to do this to help you keep your worm composter free from pests. Know these insects in more detail by reading more from this article. Pests are typically drawn to the smell of wastes These insects are usually drawn to wastes that are packed with nitrogen, all the more when it’s the decaying kind. Let’s take flies for example. When they do find something that attracts their sense of smell, they immediately look for this. Now if it happens to be your fully exposed red wiggler worms composter, then you’re in trouble. The adult fly will surely find organic scraps that it can gorge on, and will eventually leave its eggs on your compost. Now if you haven’t noticed this yet, and time passes by, their eggs will hatch, and will then turn into maggots. These young insects will then eat your compost. As easy as that. So one word of advice though: Always keep your worm composter closed. Your compost worms will also be grateful for that. Pest # 1: Fruit Flies Fruit Flies are typically the ones …

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Using Eggshells in Vermicomposting

Aside from selected organic kitchen scraps and garden wastes, crushed eggshells also play a vital role when it comes to worm composting. Not only can it be used as food for your compost pals, it can also be included as an added material for your worm bins bedding. You can learn a lot more from this versatile ingredient by reading more of this article. Eggshells as food for composting worms Composting worms can absolutely be fed with crushed shells from eggs. You should know that compost worms will eat just about anything that’s organic (all except meat, seafood, poultry, dairy, oily, or spicy stuff). Aside from egg shells, you can also feed them scraps from your kitchen (fruit or vegetable peels, coffee grounds, old and stripped carton boxes, used tea bags) or garden (dried leaves, grass clippings, presoaked peat moss, coconut coir, twigs, barks).   How to apply eggshells inside the worm composting bin Amongst other organic wastes, shells from eggs can be buried in the ground or sprinkled (you can pulverize the shells to make it more finer for sprinkling) on top of the bedding. Make sure that when you crush the shells, egg residue isn’t left over. You can also ensure this by drying it out first before mashing the shells into pieces. Now, if you happen to put in too much fruit scraps inside the bin (which may likely cause the bin to become from acidic later on), you may neutralize the bedding by sprinkling some of …

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Teach the Children Well: Composting Education for Future Generations

While composting is definitely picking up steam as a household practice, it’s far from being the norm than the anomaly. That being said, to keep the momentum building, we need to turn to our next generation’s attention to compost as a part of their daily lives. The DailyIowan recently reported such a plan, by Scott Koepke, a native Iowan who handles a part-time schedule teaching students about the practice, joy and gooshy-wiggly goodness of composting. Read entire article here. It’s not hard to imagine getting most school-age kids interested in digging in dirt and playing with worms. Add to it playing with food, and you’ve just about elevated the action to kids idea of Nirvana. To teach your toddlers or school kids about composting, get a sturdy bin, layer it halfway with compost materials and worms, then go through the process from table to compost bin that you would normally follow. Let the kids scrape the plates into the compost caddy, dump it into two piles of greens or browns and layer it into the bin for the red wiggler worms to munch. While they’re following the motions, tell them the purpose of each step, how the worms make the compost, what the result will be and why it’s good for the planet. Kids live hand on learning, and composting is no exception to that rule. The lesson will stick with them a lot longer than just reiterating “We should compost to save the planet”. If we take the same …

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QUIZ: Is your Yard Ready for Spring?

Finally, the weather has started to warm and the ground is thawing. Soon, buds will be popping out on trees and flowers blossoms will be bursting forth. Is your yard ready for the explosions of spring? Take the following quiz to be sure you’re ready to enjoy the spring. Have you prepped your yard for new growth with lime or other ph balancing products? Do you have sticks and rock debris around your yard that needs to be removed before you can aerate? Have you trimmed back any shrubs or plants that will bloom this year? (Rule of thumb: wait until after March 17th in the northern US to avoid frost threats.) Do you have spotty patches of grass that need seeding? Do you plan on investing in fresh mulch or wood chips for your garden and flower beds? (Be sure to weed before your lay it down.) Do you have tree branches that could use a trim? Have you checked on your red wiggler worms in your compost bin to see if they need a little TLC? Is your compost bin ready for the warm weather? (See how to check that here) Use these questions as a guide to get started on caring for your garden and yard this year and enjoy the coming spring!

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Spread the Word to Spread the Compost

Any good advertising is done by word of mouth. No matter how many ads, commercials, billboards (do people still use them?) or other forms of buzz building is used, nothing has the impact of over-the-fence or standing in the driveway chatter between friends and neighbors. Tom Watson, special writer with the Seattle Sun Times agrees, especially when it comes to compost. In a recent article, Watson faced the questions and curiosity that surrounds composting and requested that his readers “spread it around.” According to Watson, despite the continuous growth of the composting market, the movement simply is not happening fast enough. (read the entire article here) The final result, that rich, loamy, black and nutrient-filled compost, is not being utilized quickly enough or in enough areas of our communities to push the demand in the market. In other words, despite awareness and action on the part of many, the market is not exploding as it should due to a low demand. People (that compost) have enough compost for their yards, gardens, etc. Why speed up the process? Consider the effect of an entire community taking on the composting trend and making the whole town compost-oriented. Even as small borough of a few thousand people all composting and using the compost for their parks, school flower beds and yards and green fields, no matter what they harvest, would have an incredible effect on that local compost industry. Consider if 10 towns in every state did the same? The demand for compost …

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Benefits of Red Wiggler Worms for Composting

You’ve heard about red wiggler worms in your compost research, but is there really a difference between this large, red-colored worm variety and the typical garden worm you may find as you turn over your garden soil? Wouldn’t is just be easy to dig up those worms and use them in your bin to make compost? Short answer – no. Composting, while it relies on your worms eating and secreting, is hard work even for worms. Here’s why you need to rely on red wiggler worms to get the most out of your worm composting this year: Size Matters. When you’re considering a worm to use in your compost bin, then size really does matter. Depending on the amount of organic materials you have to put into your bin on a regular basis, the worms inside need to be able to munch through it quickly enough to maintain the pH levels in the compost bin. Keep in mind that when using red wigglers, you should maintain a ½ pound of worms for every cubic foot of bin space for optimum composting. Multiplication Nation.  How do you ensure ongoing success with your composting? You keep your worm ratio constant, that’s how. Red wiggler worms mature in 3 months, which means they can match up and begin making worm babies to ensure the future of your compost bin. Consider a bin with 500 worms at the outset, with an average of three cocoons a week and about 3 hatchlings per cocoon, one …

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Spring Garden Prep

In these last few days of March, there are still alot of signs of winter left in the yard. Still hard soil, little grass and only buds on trees and plants. This is the time, however, to take stock of what your yard will need to brighten up for the warmer weather. Even if the ground is still too hard to fertilize yet, it’ll be necessary to clean up the mess left behind by winter’s visit before your garden can begin to grow again. Survey your garden and remove the sticks, rocks and fallen leaves that cover your plants and bulbs. These materials make it harder for the rains that will come soon reach down to the roots of your plants, shrubs and trees. This rain is crucial to waking up your plants and giving them the shot of H2O they need to begin to bloom. Cleaning up your landscape also makes it easier for bulbs to reach out through the soil and makes it easier for you to assess what your garden will need come spring. Once you can see what you’re working with, test the ph levels in your soil to see if you need to increase or decrease the acidity. If you haven’t had your soil professionally tested in three or four years, have it done. Add an inch-deep layer of your composted materials, especially if you used tea, seaweed or fish remains in your pile. These materials can be as beneficial as commercial fertilizers for your garden, …

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Get Back Outside with Your Red Wiggler Worms and Compost!

Finally. The birds are singing again, the air is warmer and fragrant with the smells of flowers and new grass. Spring is here. All your patience and diligence during the winter means that you can now get back outside with your worms and begin cultivating your compost! As the world wakes up again along with your compost worms, it’s time to take a look and see how they fared over the long, cold winter. Keeping up a ratio of about 500 worms, around ½ pound, for every cubic foot of worm bin will ensure the best composting. If you need some worms, remember to order our robust Super Reds (Uncle Jim Worm Farm’s renowned red wiggler worms). Remove the plastic or wrapping you used to insulate your worm compost bin the last few months and check the bin itself for any cracks, leaks or oversized holes. Keeping the moisture level in your bin is important for the lifespan of your worms. If there are excessive holes that will cause drainage to happen too quickly, it’s time to replace your bin. Once you verify the stability of your compost bin and your worms, layer in some materials to kick-start your worms into composting. Adding a little more brown material for a little extra heat can move things along nicely. A little TLC at this point will keep your worms happy and decomposing your material to the best of their ability. Throw on your galoshes and shuffle on out onto the (hopefully) …

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Spend this Weekend with your Compost Heap

Weekends are a time to relax and enjoy your family and friends and this even means the red wiggler worms in your compost bin. Your worms have spent a few months in the colder climates, so they need a little TLC about now. The question is, how do you show your worms you need them and want them around, especially come spring, when they never really ask for anything? Stop In and Say Hi Plan a visit to your wriggly neighbors this weekend to let them know you haven’t forgotten about them. Take time while you’re there to check out the condition of your worm compost bin, to see if there are any holes or cracks that could mean leaks. If you see them, patch them up with duct tape or wrap that part of the bin in plastic to keep the contents, and your worms, inside for the rest of the cold season.

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House and Lifestyle Maintenance for your Red Wiggler Worms: Compost 101

You’ve started composting with red wiggler worms, which, by the way, are the very best little natural farmers on the planet. They eat the residual organic materials and from it make the loamy, nutrient-enriched compost that can be used in yards, gardens and lawns to replenish and rebuild their natural strengths and beauty. Residing in a worm farm, your red wiggler worms need the normal TLC anyone living on your property would need. They need a place to live, they need that home maintained and they need food to eat to survive. Worm bins come in a slew of sizes and types, both for indoor and outdoor use. Depending on the size of your yard, house or apartment, you can choose the size and type of compost bin you want for your needs. The amount of food waste your household produces is a good indicator of how many worms and the size compost bin you’ll need.

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