Luminary Perspective

March 21, 2006

Growing Worms

Filed under: Business, Efficiency, Spiritual Growth, Technical — Luke @ 10:56 am

Last summer, we had the bright idea to purchase some red worms. The little critters are fairly hardy, but even so we thought we lost them last winter when the bin froze solid. Well, this spring I dug around in the bin and it turns out there are several breeding adults still alive in there. Apparently they either grew from eggs, or survived freezing.

I like worms. They are nature’s farmers, constantly plowing and fertilizing the soil. Nightcrawlers are about 5-10 inches long, and plow deep burrows into the subsoil. They come out at night to find any food lying about, then pull it down and eat it. They also leave some of their castings on the surface where it buries loose rocks and fertilizes surface plants. Their tendancy to dig deeply makes them a tree’s best friend, because the roots of trees need spaces to grow into and ways for water and air to pass through the soil.

Red worms are different from night crawlers, because they are smaller and require a higher carbohydrate intake to survive. They thrive on manure piles and rotting vegetable matter, and reproduce quite a bit faster. This is the kind we have in our worm bin. We feed them coffee grounds and table scraps, along with rotting leaves and such for bedding. Our current bin is half of a plastic 55-gallon drum with holes in the bottom for drainage. I am planning to make a larger one by stacking some tires on top of each other.

Not only are worms good for the soil, they make great fishing bait. Red wrigglers are popular because they wriggle around more than nightcrawlers. They (and/or their castings) should be fairly easy to sell if we can get them to reproduce enough.

W red worms
O  reproduce fast : eat high-calorie stuff : small
R night crawlers
M  come out at night : dig deep burrows : greatly improve soil
B worm growing
I  use red worms : feed table scraps : need bin with drainage
N
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1 Comment »

  1. my husband is trying to grow night crawlers and we r wondering if you knew how long it takes them to reproduce. we just started them but wanted to know as much as possible bout the process. and one more while im here will it hurt the worms if u didnt use rain or fresh water to get them started we used tap out of faucet in kitchen. we would appreciate any helpful hints or info u can give to a beginner worm grower.
    thank you lloyd and sheila

    Comment by lloyd — May 7, 2007 @ 8:24 pm


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