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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a dozen left over nightcrawlers and about 2 dozen redworms from a fishing trip last week stored in beer fridge. Was wondering from others that have done this the best way to start a small easy bin so that I can later put the overflow in my gardens and yard (as well as use for bait). Just looking for things like "don't mix redwormds with nightcrawlers" or "make sure you put something on the bottom of the bin so they will not escape", and other tips on feeding, watering etc.?
 

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We had a small worm farm. It is really easy. The dirt and tea makes great fertilizer. Just get a large tub I poked holes for drainage and set it on the lid so the drainage would collect. This makes the tea. Fill it about 1/3 with soil, add the worms and keep the soil very moist, but not so wet that the water builds up in the bin. You will need to add soil as the worm population grows. Throw vegetable scraps on top of the dirt pile. You have to judge how fast the worms eat it to know how much to use. The scraps should be gone in a day. Every few months you can change the dirt out and use it for dressing your plants, and make more worm tea.
http://www.redwormcomposting.com/raising-earth-worms/
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Would "mixing" regular redworms with nightcrawlers make a difference? I'm thinking along the lines of how male beta's kill each other when put in the same bowl as pertaining to "fish".
 

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It would probably best to start them in separate bins. The night crawlers being larger may eat all the food.
 

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From what I have researched as far as reds and nights is the red are actually the ones you want more as a composter they will eat more. I recently started a small indoor style set up. Which might be the way you want to go I dont know. It is the system that uses five gallon buckets stacked. You can also use the plastic totes this way. I think I came across it on youtube. All you do is get a few 5 gallon buckets. You will have the bottom one to catch fluids and the rest will have holes drilled in the bottom of them. The bucket on top of the collection bucket I put down some screen to keep the worms from falling to the collection bucket. Leave the rest unblocked. Fill it with some dirt which worms need to help digest their food. I cut a piece of cardboard to fit down on top of the dirt. Water it down a little and all you have do is add the worms. To feed them I just get me table scraps and add them. Just dig a little spot in the soil put your scraps in cover up a little bit recover with the cardboard and thats it. Next time you add some scraps put them in a different spot. Once you fill that bucket do the same with another bucket and sit it right on top of the first and so on and so on. I keep my bucket with a lid just to keep other critters out. Keep the soil a little damp. Check the bottom bucket and when starts to get full pour out to another bucket and some the best fertilizer I have ever had. Dilute it of course. I dont know it works for me.
 

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If they are outside, the ground needs to be above freezing. Earthworms will hibernate and go 3 feet down, and I think Nightcrawlers will go around 6 feet down. It depends on your frost line. You can cover the area with tarps, or heavy mulch to keep the ground warmer.
 

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Hey how'd the worm farm go? I'm thinkin' about starting one for my chickens. I didn't even consider using the rabbit pellets. The kids are gonna' love this! lol.
 

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Besides compost, what are some other benefits of having worms?
Instantly ready fishing bait...

Also, one could spread them into the garden where they will reproduce and do there what they do in the tubs.

Don't let McD's know you have a supply of worms... I hear they don't like the competition. '>)
 

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I picked up a galvanized feed bin from a local feed store bought a bag of peat moss, and mixed the moss with water until it was moist, throughout. Then, I threw in the throw-away parts of the veggies we eat and some white corn meal, letting the bacteria build up a couple days. Then, I added the worms. They are fantastic pets, as they make no noise, do not beg, do not make a mess, and nobody gets mad when you use them as fish bait.

Oh, one more thing about the bin - I poked a lot of holes in the bottom of it and then covered it with screen (a piece from an old screen door). This allows draining. That drained fluid is called worm tea. Worm tea is good for your plants.

I have red wrigglers. They stay in the first couple inches of dirt, unless they get spooked. When you want to skim some of the dirt, knock on the side of the bin, causing your pets to dive a few inches down.

I use a piece of plywood to cover the top. I glued a couple wooden stakes at ten and two so that there can be ventilation. Sunburns are lethal for worms. :lol:

Worms like non-acidic plant matter. Want to make them happy? Toss in banana peels.

We eat a lot of fresh produce, so there is a lot of broccoli stalk pieces and the like that the worms love, but they eat more than we can eat, so I supplement them with corn meal mixed with glacier rock dust. The glacier rock dust makes the dirt even better for plants, and I read the worms need the rock dust for digestion.

According to friends who use worms for composting, they also like grass clippings and leaves. Mine don't seem to care much for that. I think mine are spoiled.

As far as temperature, they get more active and hungry as the temperature rises. Make sure and keep them moist. Obviously, they need water.
As far as low temps, my worms survived this winter, even with three days staying below freezing. Keep in mind, I live in south Alabama, so our temps are more moderate than a lot of other places. Insulating the sides will obviously keep the worm dirt from freezing. If the worms do freeze, count on the eggs for the spring brood, the frozen worms are a good protein source when you make wormcicles. :lol:

Make sure you name them I named them all Bob. Easier for me, and they don't seem to mind.

Remember, real men don't feel sorry for the bait, so don't go so far as trying to train them or house-break them.
 

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That sort of setup wouldn't work in my neck of the woods. It would be almost unimaginable to you, but we had temps BELOW ZERO for over 40 straight days this winter. Everything that could freeze was frozen, including water lines buried 6 feet deep. Over 300 watermain breaks in Milwaukee alone. Temprature of Lake Michican is still in the upper 30s. Lake Superior just lost its last ice JUNE 13th... Around here, worms pretty much have to stay in the ground or be carried indoors somehow.
 
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