How to Keep Fruit Flies Away from Your Composting

Fruit flies are annoying little bugs that like to invade the house. The Drosophila melanogaster is attracted to organic matter like fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruit on the counter or in a bowl can attract them. How do they get in the house? Are they preventable? Are there natural methods to get rid of them? For over 40 years, these questions have been bugging Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm customers. Fruit Flies in the House Sometimes a fertile fruit fly comes in through an open door or window. It’s more likely, however, that their eggs, pupae, or larvae have hitched a ride in your produce. Just beneath the surface of fruits and vegetables is where fruit flies like to lay their eggs. Once in your house, they typically stay near sources of food, though they also gather near sinks and other places, like your kitchen scrap bin and composting bin. Composting Whether it’s inside or outside, families who compost tend to collect their wasted organic materials in a bin or pail before moving them to their composting bin. Many families make use of vermicomposting, which means their bin contains worms that break down leftover food scraps into fertilizer. Worms quicken the composting process. The best composting worms are Red Wigglers. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm is #1 when it comes to composting worms and supplies. People like vermicomposting because it provides them with all-natural fertilizer that is more nourishing than regular compost. All composting is great for the environment, but fruit flies will …

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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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Vermicomposting for Beginners

“Vermi” means something that deals with worms, so when you are vermicomposting, you are composting with worms. All you need to do to vermicompost is feed your worms food scraps—it’s that easy! The worms will eat this food and turn it into your own organic fertilizer that you can use in your garden, lawn, and even houseplants. This fertilizer has many names, including worm castings, worm feces, humus, or worm manure. You will need several basic materials before you start composting. Your Worms First things first, you’re going to need worms! The Red Wiggler is our “King” of composting. Not only are they great at composting, but they are also known for doubling their original population in as little as three months. European Night Crawlers (Super Reds) are another option, and are great for fishing bait, as well! Super reds can also be released into your garden and lawn to aerate. Uncle Jim’s is your go-to worm supplier and ships all year throughout the continental United States. Composting Bins Your worms are going to need a place to call home. Composting trays are one of the best options, as they are very easy to maintain and harvest. They won’t get too heavy, so they are also easy to lift if they need to be moved. Click here to browse Uncle Jim’s composting tray selection. You can also use any basic plastic tote. This instructional video will show you how. Bedding You will need bedding for your worms to live in. …

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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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Winter is Coming! Get Your Outdoor Vermicomposting Bin Ready for Chilly Temperatures

The leaves are changing colors, which means it’s the time of year to get your vermicomposting bin ready for the colder season. Even though it’s cold outside, you can still compost your kitchen scraps using worms. The worms will produce free, all-natural fertilizer. If you are from a warmer climate that doesn’t dip below 57°F, your composting worms will probably not die, but they will slow down due to lower temperatures. However, if you live in a colder area, then you may want to take precautions so your worms will not die.

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Which Peat Moss is Safe for Vermicomposting Bedding?

Peat moss makes excellent bedding for a vermicomposting bin, but how can you tell if a bag of peat moss is safe for your composting worms? Many people new to vermicomposting ask whether they should add peat moss that contains additional ingredients. The bag might say it “feeds” with a chemical fertilizer, such as Miracle-Gro. What does “sphagnum” mean? What about bagged potting mixes? Let’s examine some basics of vermiculture before we respond to these questions. What is Vermicomposting? Vermicomposting is the natural and organic method of disposing of kitchen scraps and garden waste. Order Red Worms or European Night Crawlers from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, and keep them in a special worm bin. Feed them every few days. The foods you feed your worms should be, generally speaking, non-citrus fruits and non-acidic vegetables. Do NOT feed them dairy, meats, and anything made with preservatives and chemicals. All fruits and veggies must be cleansed of any oils, dressings, seasonings, and spices. They should be cut up in small pieces. You feed your worms well and, in turn, they will produce prize fertilizer for your gardens, lawns, and shrubs. Please refer to our articles on feeding worms: Top Five Best Foods for Composting Worms and Foods That Can Hurt Composting Worms.

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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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Container Gardening Using Vermicompost

When you think of container gardening, you probably think of flowers. Surprise! You can also grow herbs, vegetables, shrubs, and even trees in containers! Basics of Container Gardening Find out the needs of your plant and make sure to give it what it needs. Choose a location that has the right amount of sun for that specific plant. Select a container with drainage holes. Make sure your container provides enough space for the plants’ roots. Some plants, such as parsley and leaf lettuce, can be planted in shallow bowls just six inches deep. At the other end of the spectrum, small trees need a 15-gallon container, which is about 16 inches wide and 16 inches deep. Water as often as needed. Smaller containers will need to be watered more often than larger containers. If you get cold winters, the roots of perennials, trees, and shrubs in containers could freeze and be damaged. You may need to move these containers to a sheltered spot during the coldest season. Use a light soil mix in your containers.

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