Best Bedding for Your Composting Worms

What is the best bedding for your composting worms? At Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we want you to enjoy your vermicomposting experience. For that reason, we recommend Red Worms. They’re the best worms for composting. That’s because these worms love devouring kitchen scraps. In return, they produce humus, the prized organic fertilizer perfect for gardens. To start your composting bin, you need to make bedding. Bedding is your worms’ world. It needs to simulate their natural environment. How do you do that? We prepared several simple guidelines. Follow these guidelines and your worms will be very happy.

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Do Not Feed This To Your Composting Worms

What should you NOT feed your composting worms? At Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we supply our customers with the finest composting worms. We recommend our quality Red Worms or European Night Crawlers for vermicomposting. Vermicomposting is a great way to get rid of organic waste. It’s good for the environment and produces valuable compost for plants. We want to make sure that not only are our customers happy, but also our worms. Healthy worms make for the most effective composting.

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Why Fruit Flies Invade Composting Pails and What to Do About It

Whether you are composting indoors or out, irritating little fruit flies sometimes invade your house. Exposing organic matter to the air attracts drosophila melanogaster. Even fresh fruit on the countertop or in a fruit bowl brings them on. How do fruit flies get into the house? How can you prevent them? What can you do to get rid of them? Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has been dealing with this question for over 40 years. Types of Composting Most households choose to compost kitchen scraps outdoors. They collect wasted organic material a pail or container with a lid. After some scraps have accumulated, they dump the scraps into a larger outdoor composter. This could be a pile, a rough structure made from scrap materials, a tote(link), a composter purchased from a store, or a composter bought online.

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Airflow in Composting Worm Bins

worm composter airflow

Composting worms need oxygen, but how much airflow do their bins need? While starting a worm bin is quite simple, the reasons for the bin design are more complicated. All worm bins need air holes, proper drainage, and suitable bedding. Without a proper design, a worm bin becomes a coffin for sick worms. And the smell! Thus, using a standard worm bin design is important to composting success. If you want to turn kitchen scraps into valuable fertilizer, find out about airflow in composting worm bins.

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Where Do Composting Worm Babies Come From?

Ever noticed a band around some of your composting worms? This band shows that the worm is mature enough to reproduce. How do composting worms make babies? How long does it to make worm babies? And how can you encourage the worms to breed? The red worm, Eisenia fetida, is a champion composting worm. Nestled in the confines of a composting bin, red worms happily eat your kitchen scraps. In return for these tasty morsels, they excrete valuable compost. The resulting “black gold” is the best compost for your garden and indoor plants. It Takes Two Red Worms to Tango On the one hand, red worms have both male and female characteristics. Botanists call them “hermaphrodites”. On the other hand, they need a partner to make babies. They cannot reproduce all on their own. Having DNA from two parents helps keep the offspring strong. When the conditions are right, two red worms line up against each other, facing opposite directions.  Their bands, called clitellum, secrete a mucus film that envelops both worms. Each worm receives sperm, which they store for later. After several hours, the worms go their separate ways. The clitellum then secretes albumin, a chemical that makes the clitellum start to harden. The worm starts to wriggle out of the clitellum. On the way, the worm deposits its own eggs and its partner’s sperm in the clitellum. The resulting lemon-shaped sac is called a cocoon. Sperm from one mating session can fertilize several cocoons. Waiting for the Eggs …

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Fertilizing Soil in the Fall: Applying Organic Compost and More

fall gardening

The fall is the time to get a jump on applying soil amendments, including organic compost and worm castings. Did you know? Getting full benefit from natural soil amendments can take weeks or even months. Compost you apply in the spring might not be fully activated until mid-summer. The soil in the spring stays muddy for quite a while. Dryer soil in the fall is easier to work. You will have tons of garden and yard work to do in the spring. Getting your soil partially ready in the fall frees you up for spring chores. What to Apply to the Soil

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Making Compost: Differences Between Vermicomposting, Anaerobic and Aerobic Composting

Did you know that there are different types of composting? Aerobic composting and vermicomposting require ventilation. Anaerobic composting works without oxygen. How do you make compost? Which type is best for households, farms, businesses, institutions, and schools? How Composting Works Composting takes advantage of the natural process of decomposition. When leaves drop on the ground in the fall, Mother Nature breaks them down. Ants and other insects, bacteria, and fungi do their work. Soon, nothing remains except brown matter, which becomes part of the topsoil. This rich organic matter nourishes plants, helps regulate water saturation, and creates air pockets.

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How Do I Catch Worms for Fishing and Composting?

Earthworms make great fishing bait, and they also speed up composting. Maybe you are tired of using artificial lures or over-paying for small quantities at the bait shop. Or perhaps you’ve decided to start composting kitchen scraps. Adding European Night Crawlers or Red Worms to the composting bin will make the waste break down faster. Either way, you can catch the worms yourself or get them cheaper online. Types of Worms First, you want to figure out which types of worms to catch. There are around 182 taxa of earthworms in North America. Of these, two are especially useful: The European Night Crawler is called Eisenia hortensis or Dendrobaena veneta in Latin. This earthworm grows to 6 inches long. They grow to the diameter of a pencil. It has a bluish, pink-grey color with bands or stripes. The end of its tail might be pale yellow or cream. At Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we call them “Super Reds.” These are especially good for fishing because they continue to wiggle for quite a while on the hook underwater. The smaller Red Worms are also known as red wiggler worms, manure worms, panfish worm, brandling worms, tiger worms, trout worms, tiger worms, red Californian earth worms, and Eisenia fetida. Red Worms are smaller and thinner than European Night Crawlers. These champion composting worms are ideally suited to turning waste kitchen scraps into finished compost quickly. Get Ready for Worms When you get ready to go worm hunting, prepare a container with holes …

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Planting with Organic Compost: How to Use Worm Castings

The spring is the time to start using your compost from your worm bin. Your red worms have been busy all year eating kitchen scraps and creating valuable fertilizer. How do you apply worm castings to your garden and lawn? Can you use compost on seeds and bulbs? How much compost do you need? Harvesting Compost You need to retrieve the valuable worm castings (worm poop) from your vermicomposting bin. If you have a tray-based composter, harvest from the lower trays. If you have been feeding the worms in the top tray, there will be few worms in the lower trays. Remove the lower trays and dump them into a wheelbarrow, bucket, or sack. For other types of composters, harvest finished compost from the bottom. See our page on harvesting compost. The fresher the worm

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Revive Your Vermicomposting Bin in the Spring

As winter fades into spring, vermicomposting bins will start to warm up. Warmer temperatures make the composting worms more active. If they froze outdoors during the winter, new baby worms might hatch. Spring is the perfect time to refresh and renew your composting bin. Your spring gardening will require fertilizer and the worms have made it for you! What can you expect? Do you need to add bedding or water? How can you tell if you need to order more worms? And is that composter still serving you? Gather Information Look inside your composting bin and dig around. Do you see any living worms? Do you see tiny brown specks? These specks are probably worm eggs. Baby worms should be hatching soon! You should see black, crumbly material. This is worm poop, called “black gold”, “worm castings”,

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