Vermicomposting (Make your own Worm Castings)

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by OldPork, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. I also found a great way to get compost for the next year is to go on Craigslist(if it's available in your country) and post in the Want Ads : Earthworm Castings, this will get you some of the local hippies and composters replying to you more than willing to sell you some cheap and wonderful earthworm castings and most will offer you some red wigglers to get started with your own!
     
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  2. I'll look around Firstimah! Actually, some relatives of mine have a vermicomposting bin but they don't know of my gardening activities. :D. I'll have to borrow some of their worms ... I'll see if I don't find an ad or something too.
     
  3. just checking my signature
     
  4. These here are African Nightcrawlers, also used for composting. They are a much larger worm than the red wiggler, but they don't reproduce as quickly. They do however really crank out the castings. I'm going to start up another bin with these babies. These are just real nice to have around for those impromptu fishing trips.
     

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  5. Hello OldPork and respect to you. I'm curious why you are creating a separate bin and not combining both types of worms in the same bin? I just started a Red Wiggler bin this week and would like to add African Nightcrawlers if they can live together in the same bin. Thanks man.
     
  6. #27 Mr. Farmer, Mar 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2009
    Sweet post, OldPork. I've been looking to build one of these come warmer weather and hadn't ever thought about doing one half at a time. My stoned ass probably would have ended up trying to run the whole slop through a strainer or something to get the worms out.

    I am also going to use the same style tub, but I'm going to go with a 2 tub system. The bottom tub will have PVC pipe laying flat along the bottom to hold the top tub up. Then I'm going to put a spigot in the bottom tub to drain that sweet tea. BTW, do you serve the tea at full strength?

    Also, I ran across another style of worm called an Eisenias. They are a smaller worm suppose to great for composting. This site sells a Garden Mix with 3 different types of worms, 26 bucks shipped for a pound. http://www.bestbuyworms.com/id15.html
     
  7. Well I actually DID try to introduce them in with the red wigglers because I was told you could. But the next day all the African nightcrawlers here all trying to escape, so I started a new bin and they seem to like it better separated. It may have been a little too wet for them in the other bin, IDK. But I will keep them separate until they can get establsihed.
     
  8. No I add water and let it sit for a day.
     
  9. would it be possible to add some of the live worms directly to the soil your growing in provided you kept them fed with daily compost or would they risk harming the plant?
     
  10. My guess is that the worms would not be a healthy additive to your grow. Castings yes. Worms that will eat your roots. No. And I can think of other potential negatives as well.

    But that's just a guess bro.
     
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  11. #32 Bobby Digital, Mar 28, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2009
    Worms are always a good thing no matter what you're growing, as long as you don't go way overboard. I used to have a worm farm, and used the product for an indoor op. Every once in awhile you will get some stragglers in your buckets, and they do fine, partly because they can't get out, haha.

    That post was sweet OP, I've never seen it summed up so concisely, with pictures and everything. Your technique is so simple, I think I will set one up just like it. I used to use a two bucket system, with 5 gallon buckets, but it always had problems with ventilation. One bucket with holes drilled in the bottom inside another bucket to catch the drainage. I ended up taking out the bottom bucket, and placing the other on an elevated surface over a plate. Then I drilled a whole bunch of wholes in the sides of the bucket. That worked OK, but it was a really small system and couldn't take much of my organic waste. Toward the end before I moved and closed up the op I was actually feeding them my organic fertilizers like kelp meal, and they did fine as long as it was small doses.

    One thing I learned was that using perlite is totally legit, and it ends up getting soaked in worm compost juice. It also helps to aerate the bin, which is the reason I originally put it in there.

    And that's a pretty sweet technique, the Bokashi Composting. I was just reading about it, since I have never heard of it. So it basically is letting the food rot before you put it in the compost? With some help from a specially selected blend of micro-organisms, or course. Definitely sounds interesting. I used to blend all the stuff I had saved up for them before I put it in there, that actually really helps to speed up the process significantly. But I don't know if I'd want to put completely rotten stuff in my blender......I guess at that point you wouldn't have to blend it.
     
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  12. perlite is a good idea. My worm bin is exactly like the origanl rubbermaid design. I drilled holes in the bottom and place a peice of expandable sheet metal over it. Then i placed a 3 gallon rubbermaid under the 18 gallon that collects all the castings tea. The worms are a few weeks old and finally starting to show more action. Still al long way to go. Gotta learn what better to add. No avocado peels! lol, I got al kinds of flies, so I neem oiled the whole thing, with garlic and dish soap. I water with bacteria teas every so often.
     
  13. Man, I wish I had a bin going. The worm castings are outrageously expensive over here. 12 Us dollars for 20 kilos. And it won't be as good as the homemade stuff...:(:(:(. That's gonna be abouit 60 bucks for my dozen holes I suppose. Oh well, that'll be for next year. The Russin Comfrey is going nuts though.... :D:D:D
     
  14. Vermicast tea is a great fertilizer.

    But if you want to get the most bang for your buck...live microbial tea foliar spray.

    Take a container, a five gallon bucket works well for larger batches, and put an air stone in the bottom hooked up to an air pump. Aquarium air pumps work for the most part. Then fill the container with water. Add a SMALL amount of molasses and depending on your nutrient needs some bat guano and/or sea kelp. Then put some vermicast in a cheese cloth, a tube sock also works, tie it off, and submerse it in the water.

    Turn on the air pump and watch as it forms a slimy, polysaccharide rich, solution that not only has the nutrient value of a good tea fertilizer but also increases the "EM" of the vermicast. By brewing it thusly you literately breed the good bacteria in the vermicast that break down organic material and turn nutrients into ones more readily accepted by the plant. It's usually best to brew for 24 hours....more than 36 hours and it starts to break down and the microbes die off from lack of food.

    As it brews it will get a slimy layer on the top. This slimy substance is actually special sugar based molecules called polysaccharides. They prevent soil erosion when applied to soil. The increased microbial effect also helps prevent diseases and molds. It's best used with another fertilizer with plenty of organic matter to break down.

    Generally is microbially active for 24 hours after removed from air stone. After that is goes aneorobic and if left to sit will actually ferment into a slightly alcoholic fertilizer that helps keep away bugs as well. Once it's fermented steep some good tobacco in it and you've got one helluva fertilizer/bug repellent.
     
  15. Aaah! I've been waiting for this simple tea recipe. Thanks man. I needed this easy method so bad!!! + rep for sure. :hello: You could also post it in the organic tea section.
     
  16. #37 OldPork, Apr 6, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2009
    A little update on those African Nightcrawlers...they are really fantastic worms for composting...I like them better than the red wigglers because they are much bigger and really the perfect trout fishing worm if you are into fishing. They are already reproducing nicely and I now have them mixed in with the red wigglers and both worm species are coexisting nicely. And even though they don't reproduce as quickly as the red wigglers, they really make the castings in a hurry!
     
  17. Wrong guess bro. Worms are good for your soil and they don't eat the roots...they eat only dead decaying material.
     
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  18. Nice reading...

    A long-time friend introduced me to vermiculture about 3-months ago...

    My 1st box was started 9-weeks ago tomorrow with $2 worth of Red Wigglers from the bait fridge at the local hardware store...

    As a test run, I've only used a small amount of worms... and give them plenty of food to work with...

    There is no real smell... if anything, I believe it puts a certain "organic freshness" into the air... perhaps that is just my impression...

    Making sure to keep it 1/3 "greens" (or compost-able organic matter) and 2/3 "browns" (usually shredded paper, cardboard, and/or coffee grounds and filters) seems to be the key. Keep the organics covered!

    Also, I've seen pictures online and even a video on YouTube that involved organic grows that used worms right in the grow medium...

    Just another .02 from a newb here, to growing, and to worm-farming...

    Regards,

    Andrew420
     
  19. #40 Corto Malteze, Apr 6, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2009
    Good stuff Andrew420. How fast do you think you'll be getting good amounts of worm castings (several pounds)? I'm still debating on buying the stuff or making my own. A little worried I might not have enough in time. Next year for sure though as the homemade castings are better quality and much cheaper.
     

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