Blogs related to January 2013

  • Keeping your worms cool

    How to help your worms survive the schorching Summer temperatures

    Posted by Angus Stewart

    Feb 12

    Watch the video for some simple ideas to keep your worm farm cool during the really high temperatures of Summer . . .

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  • Which worms are best?

    Tiger and Red Worms – composting champions

    Posted by Angus Stewart

    Jan 30

    One of the most important things in worm farming is to have the right type of worms. It is thought by scientists that there are literally thousands of different species world-wide yet only two of these are commonly used in worm farms. The tiger worm (Eisenia fetida) and red worm (Lumbricus rubellus) are the ones most commonly used although the two can be confused as they are both predominantly red in colour.

    The tiger worm has distinct stripes across its body which usually allows for its easy identification and it is by far the best worm for composting because it multiplies very quickly when given lots of food. Both tiger and red worms thrive in rotting vegetation unlike most other earthworms, and it is this characteristic that makes them so well suited to composting. Most species of earthworms simply tunnel through the earth and eat the soil as well as organic materials and they cannot adapt to concentrated volumes of organic waste. It is sometimes suggested in literature on worm farming that you cannot introduce tiger or red worms into your garden soil. In my experience, if the worms are supplied with an ongoing source of food that is in contact with the soil, they can happily live there by moving constantly between the organic food source and the soil. This can be achieved by burying organic materials such as kitchen scraps or by having athe base of a worm farm in direct contact with the soil. Of course it is entirely feasible to have grow tiger and red worms purely on concentrated organic waste in a worm farm with no soil contact whatsoever.
    It should be said that other species of earthworms will generally not thrive in a worm farm as most species appear to need an environment that is not so rich in organic matter. Tiger and red worms are thought to have originated in Europe and have then spread around the world with the European settlers that went to all corners of the globe. Their use in worm farms is rapidly increasing as people are seeing the benefits of vermicomposting, particularly in city environments where the worms are particularly adaptable to the concentrated organic waste streams that are generated there.

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  • Benefits of Composting

    Why compost is good for your soil and plants

    Posted by Angus Stewart

    Jan 03

    Well made compost is the best material you can add to your soil to make it the best possible environment for plant growth.
    Compost does two main things for your soil including

    1.  Improving the structure of your soil in order to make it more open and easier to cultivate and improve its aeration and drainage. Plant roots need to breathe oxygen just like we do so improving the soil’s structure helps grow your plants from the ground up! Simply by adding broken down organic matter (also commonly referred to as humus) you will help your soil by glueing the inorganic particles together. Humus also acts like a sponge by soaking up water and nutrients as they flow through the soil, thereby ensuring they are not leached away and hence lost to plant roots.
    2. Fertilising the soil – for this we need a compost that has been made from nutrient rich organic materials such as animal manure, worm castings or kitchen scraps. This is because the nutrient value of a compost is determined by what goes in as raw ingredients. Home composts will generally have a reasonable nutrient content if lots of moist kitchen scraps are being added to lawn and garden clippings. However, if you mix in a couple of bags of a high nutrient manure such as chicken or duck this will absolutely ensure a nutrient rich compost that is ideal for digging into tired soils that need a lift.

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