John’s Worm Farm

This is John Allan, aka. Johnny L. Dose. I have been invited to be an author here, so, I’m just testing out the step to make a post.

I have a B.Sc. in Plant Science: Soils emphasis from the University of Delaware (1985: five and a 1/2 year plan, oops). I have worked in the agricultural industry as an environmental fate chemist for 35 years. Main function was to use 14C-radiotracers in laboratory testing in order to determine the half-life of the parent molecule and confirm metabolites of the parent in various soils from the US and around Europe.

My contributions to The Garden Dreamer will be from my own backyard experiences. My first area to discuss is vermiculture. I raise worms. Red wigglers to be specific. These feed on kitchen scraps, lettuce, onion peals, apple cores, cucumber ends, etc. There is some controversy over the use of coffee grounds. To be explored and debated by all in future blogs.

I use Rubbermaid tubs or 5-gallon buckets. These are fixed bottom containers, so water management is key so as to not drown the worms and also to not create on overly stinky medium from getting too anaerobic. If so, then keep your worm tub next to the cat box.

If you eat a lot of salads like Teresa and I do (Teresa: my wife of 21 years full of laughter, love, and two attempted murder charges that didn’t stick), then you will generate plenty of kitchen scraps that can go directly to the worms. I typically pull away the top layer of the worm medium to one side, drop the scraps in the hole, and cover the scraps with the media that was pulled away.

The tub should have a lid, but it doesn’t need to. If you put a lid on, you must provide aeration by drilling holes (3/8 inch drill bit works) around the sides around your tub, up high, but not in the top (six inch spaces). Don’t drill holes in your top. The rain (if kept outside during the summer) will get in and perhaps flood the worms when you’re not there. The holes provide aeration and a means for decomposing gases (CO2, H2S, CH4, etc.) to escape and not suffocate the worms.

If you don’t use a lid, your tub might dry out quickly or attract cats to leave a litter box pal. If you us a lid, you can stack your containers. Note: The tubs can get heavy depending on the size, of course.

Anyway, feel free to ask me any questions about my experiences with worms. I’ll stop now and save some material for my next post.

All the Best,

John Allan

The Garden Dreamer

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