Blaska has worms!

We got the red wigglers!

Our worms are here. One-half pound of red wigglers and European night crawlers were deposited on the doorstep of the Stately Manor, neatly boxed in peat moss, by the good ol’ USPS today. That’s about 500 worms (but who’s counting) ordered on-line from Buckeye Organics, based in Newark OH. Just $34.95.

The unlettered field hands here at the Experimental Work Farm (and Penal Colony) are practicing vermiculture — not that they could spell it. We’re worm farming, like Cousin Eddie, before he pulled up stakes and set out for Clark’s place in the tenement on wheels. We’re not fishing with these worms, although both species of the phylum Annelida make great bait.

These worms are made for gardening (and one of these days they’ll walk all over you.) The crawly creatures are all digestive tract. Inserted into a dirt pile at the edge of our urban property, they will consume several months worth of kitchen waste buried with them. In league with microscopic bacteria, they will turn coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, apple cores, banana peels, stale bread and pizza crusts into soil fertilized by their “castings.” The resultant compost will be ambrosia for our green pole beans, red beets, and asparagus.

Worms will even eat cardboard toilet paper and paper towel cylinders — and pizza cardboard, egg cartons, bank statements and newsprint. We’re shredding to hasten decomposition. (Avoid pet waste, meats, grease, and citrus fruits).

Red wigglers (Eisenia Fetida) measure from 1½ to 4 inches; tolerate temperatures from 40°F to 100°F. They work closer to the surface, allowing the Head Groundskeeper to keep piling on yard waste without working the pile too much. (We’ll see.) The European nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis) are slightly larger than the red worms and work deeper down the pile but not as far down as American earthworms, or nightcrawler (Lumbricus terrestris).

Not doing rotating cylinders or three-part bins (you can read about them in the DNR’s composting manual). We’re not that ambitious! Just one big pile, tossed with a pitchfork from time to time.

Further study

Come next spring, we’ll shovel the result of their labors onto the gardens and till it into the soil (along with the customary blanket of macerated leaves applied directly to the garden in autumn). Roots breathe better in aerated soil.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: This fall will pile on leaves mowed in mulch mode. May help the worms survive the winter. Not bringing them into the Stately Manor.

What bugs, you?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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9 Responses to Blaska has worms!

  1. tartanmarine says:

    Will they eat dead people?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jimydandy says:

    Do they have more protein than bugs?


  3. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    dirt pile at the edge of our urban property” (bolds added)

    Soil pile, Blaska…SOIL…dirt’s not what you entrust with planted comestibles intended for human consumption, it’s what you wash outta yer clothing.

    Castings as a euphemism for $#!t?


    The Gotch

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One eye says:

    You need at least sixteen thousand worms to finish the job in one sitting, so be wary of any man who keeps a worm farm. They will go through a body that weighs 200 pounds in about eight weeks.

    Hence the expression, “as greedy as a worm”.


  5. Mark+Lemberger says:

    In West Africa they paint slogans on transport vehicles, as follows:
    I drive (a) Vespa and you (a) Mercedes but the worms get us just the same.


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