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#12311541 - 06/26/17 08:09 AM Raising Worms
Lloyd5 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 557
Loc: Bosque County, Texas
Something about the idea of raising worms has always appealed to me. And it has never worked out when I've tried to do it.

I have a plastic worm bin type of thing. It has three levels of bins, each with a bunch of small square holes in the bottom. And a top that sheds water. Basically what you do is load each bin with dirt and worms and once in a while add some groceries. Pretty soon you're supposed to have a gazillion worms.

Next to last time I tried this the worms all died, from the summer heat I suspect. This last time I ended up just turning the worms loose.

I had the three bins loaded with potting soil from a bag I bought at the nursery. Miracle Grow brand. I loaded the potting soil, then loaded the bins with Canadian Night Crawlers that I bought from an on-line source. I fed them about every three days - a combination of bread crumbs and coffee grounds.

After about two weeks I went to feed them and when I opened the first layer (newspaper cover over it to help maintain moisture) I found all the worms on the surface over to one side, while in the middle it was heaving with large brown maggots.

Each of the three layer were the same. The worms were trying to stay away from the maggots and I'm pretty sure there were fewer worms. Perhaps the maggots were eating the worms, looked like it. Having looked these maggots up on the internet they appeared to be an insect called a Soldier Fly. These do not appear to be native to this area, but they may be as they look quite a bit like a dirt dauber when in their flying stage, so who knows...

But I didn't see any point in raising soldier flys on my worms so I dumped the worm bins in a shaded and leaf covered area. That way the worms could escape from the maggots and I hoped the maggots will quickly dry out and die. I'll check sometime later today and if there are still maggots I'll rake them around with a rake to expose them to the elements.

I don't know if the maggots came in the potting soil or if these insects are already in this area and infected the bin, or if they came with the worms.

I'm thinking of maybe trying again some day, but this time with soil I dig up from my yard, and only after I figure out some way to put screening on/over/around the worm bin to keep any more of the maggot causing infestators out.

Meanwhile I'll continue to buy worms when I need them. They keep forever in the refrigerator where my wife is happy to put them.


Edited by Lloyd5 (06/26/17 08:09 AM)
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#12311644 - 06/26/17 09:29 AM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Lloyd5]
Cast Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 6576
Loc: North Texas - God's Country
You're doing it wrong! No soil. Shredded newspaper and (better) shredded cardboard. Keep it moist and occasionally add some chopped celery stalk, a crushed egg shell, a little coffee grounds. They eat and recycle the paper into castings. Start with the bottom tray, line that tray only with a thick layer of newspaper to keep them from going down and escaping. Add the paper to the tray above the bottom when it's about done and the worms will migrate up. When the trays are about all castings, dump and spread to remove the worms and start over with new paper filling. To harvest worms for fishing, fatten them up with some worm chow or chicken scratch (about the same) for a few days prior and place them in dry peat moss for the trip.

Sounds like you have a worm factory. BTW, put red wigglers in that, crawlers won't prosper in that environment, they need a large aerated bin full of Black Magic cow manure compost mixed with shredded paper, and a light to keep them down.
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#12311693 - 06/26/17 10:01 AM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Cast]
Lloyd5 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 557
Loc: Bosque County, Texas
Originally Posted By: Cast
You're doing it wrong! No soil. Shredded newspaper and (better) shredded cardboard. Keep it moist and occasionally add some chopped celery stalk, a crushed egg shell, a little coffee grounds. They eat and recycle the paper into castings. Start with the bottom tray, line that tray only with a thick layer of newspaper to keep them from going down and escaping. Add the paper to the tray above the bottom when it's about done and the worms will migrate up. When the trays are about all castings, dump and spread to remove the worms and start over with new paper filling. To harvest worms for fishing, fatten them up with some worm chow or chicken scratch (about the same) for a few days prior and place them in dry peat moss for the trip.

Sounds like you have a worm factory. BTW, put red wigglers in that, crawlers won't prosper in that environment, they need a large aerated bin full of Black Magic cow manure compost mixed with shredded paper, and a light to keep them down.


That is what I call solid advice. Thank you!
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http://www.amazon.com/River-Proceeds-Wou...ds=on+the+river

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#12311770 - 06/26/17 10:36 AM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Lloyd5]
PKfishin Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/28/12
Posts: 2579
Loc: Texas
Here's what to do. Go to Home depot and cut some 2 x 8 non treated lumber for a raised bed garden. Buy some Earths finest Organic compost at lowes. Put all your non dairy or meat based kitchen scraps in this bed. (everything but meat or dairy eg egg shells, coffee grounds watermelon rinds, etc) You'll soon have more worms that you can use.

My Garden is chock full of worms.

Good source for starter worms:

https://unclejimswormfarm.com/


Edited by PKfishin (06/28/17 10:22 AM)
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#12311837 - 06/26/17 11:10 AM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Lloyd5]
Cast Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 6576
Loc: North Texas - God's Country
No meat scraps please. Red worms don't do meat, maggots do.
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#12311846 - 06/26/17 11:17 AM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Lloyd5]
Lloyd5 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 557
Loc: Bosque County, Texas
I have sand, not soil here. It will barely grow grass since each rain leaches all nutrients right through it. Dig all you want and not find a single worm. I have raised garden beds that I put compost in, and worms. The worms always disappear eventually. Hence the little plastic worm farm. My understanding is no meat, no bones, no lemons, no onions, no garlic, no pickles. Chopped veggies and tea and coffee grinds are the thing. Or so I've read.
_________________________
Texas State Editor: FishExplorer http://www.fishexplorer.com/tx

http://www.amazon.com/River-Proceeds-Wou...ds=on+the+river

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#12313097 - 06/27/17 07:58 AM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Lloyd5]
ChuChu1 Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 3081
Loc: Gonzales, Tx
Go here, learn all you need to know. Sign up for his newsletter.

https://www.redwormcomposting.com/reader-questions/woodchip-vermicomposting/


Edited by ChuChu1 (06/27/17 07:58 AM)
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#12313160 - 06/27/17 08:33 AM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Lloyd5]
Fishin' Nut Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 03/14/03
Posts: 6053
Loc: Huntsville, AL
Originally Posted By: Lloyd5
I have raised garden beds that I put compost in, and worms. The worms always disappear eventually.


A weed barrier should have been laid down before adding compost/soil. It will keep the worms inside the raised bed for a long time. I used the high quality black window screening as my weed barrier. Lasts much longer.
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#12313863 - 06/27/17 04:37 PM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Lloyd5]
blackhorse Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/13/08
Posts: 169
Loc: Morgan, Tx
check with Harry and Lloyd!

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#12313934 - 06/27/17 05:42 PM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Lloyd5]
Cast Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 6576
Loc: North Texas - God's Country
Don't mix up composting and worm ranching. The worms will eat the paper and a little lettuce and celery but won't survive in a compost pile. They will do well in a raised bed with good organic content. And you can mulch with newspaper and cardboard. They'll eat it.
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#12314026 - 06/27/17 06:39 PM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Lloyd5]
Muzzlebrake Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 12/26/14
Posts: 1526
Loc: Euless
My dad raised rabbits. Rabbit pills dropped thru the wire cage to the ground. Covered droppings under the cages with burlap sacks and kept watered. Anytime we needed some fishing worms we just pulled back the burlap and scraped the worms up by the handful. Don't know where the worms came from. Just wild worms but they were the best fish bait ever.
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#12314118 - 06/27/17 07:40 PM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Fishin' Nut]
Coreywms Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 779
Loc: Mckinney, TX
Originally Posted By: Fishin' Nut
A weed barrier should have been laid down before adding compost/soil. It will keep the worms inside the raised bed for a long time. I used the high quality black window screening as my weed barrier. Lasts much longer.


I did the same thing. I'm using two 5 gallon buckets for my worm farm. I read somewhere that if you use fruit freeze it first. The freezing will kill any remnants of fruit flies.
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#12320124 - 07/01/17 07:15 PM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Lloyd5]
V-Bottom Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/18/16
Posts: 1519
Loc: Galv. Cnty
Cornmeal,coffee grounds, and layered with burlap bags. Cardboard is good
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#12327826 - 07/07/17 08:03 AM Re: Raising Worms [Re: V-Bottom]
Roller22 Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 03/30/04
Posts: 5587
Loc: Justin, TX
Originally Posted By: V-Bottom
Cornmeal,coffee grounds, and layered with burlap bags. Cardboard is good

This is what my grandfather did. Raised red wigglers in a number 10 wash tub in his cellar. Newspaper, cardboard but mainly cornmeal. Covered with a burlap feed sack. The key was the constant temperature of the cellar.

When we needed worms, pull back the burlap and there were 100's right there on top.
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#12332579 - 07/10/17 02:29 PM Re: Raising Worms [Re: Lloyd5]
bluesea112 Offline
Angler

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 265
Loc: West, TX
I raise red wigglers and have great success. I use a plastic bin with small 1/16" holes drilled in the bottom for drainage; lined on the inside with window screen and 4 bricks under the bin to keep it off the ground. I fill the bin half way with peat moss. Then I water it and let the standing water run out until the peat moss is soaked but there is no standing water in the bin. Then I add the worms and cover the peat moss with a layer of cow manure chips. Then I cover the manure with a layer of news paper. I pick up the cow manure from the field next door and soak them in a 5 gallon bucket of water for an hour before throwing them in the worm bin. I water the worms every day in the summer with a couple of gallons of water. Whenever the family eats watermelon, I throw the watermelon rinds in the worm bin. Worms love watermelon. As the worms eat the dried cow manure I throw more chips in and a layer of newspaper on top of the chips. The only thing I feed my worms is dried cow manure and watermelon rinds.
Your worm count should double every 30 days if you do it the way I do it.

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