Red wigglers

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agri.CULTURE Posted on Feb 2, 2018
“These are composting worms, they are called red wigglers. They like to be in the vegetative matter, so they like to be on the top 2 to 4 inches of the organic matter. They are surface dwellers, but earthworms and nightcrawlers go down to 10” or 2’ in the ground. That’s good because they take nutrients down to the root of the plants. The red wigglers are just digesting everything on the surface. The Vermicompost gives the plants lots of micronutrients and trace minerals. Vermicompost is the politically correct name for worm poop.

I was growing worms in a bin and using the runoff from the worms to mix in the water for my plants. I also used compost for transplanting plants and they were going hog-wild. I noticed that my tomatoes tasted sweeter when I used the compost. So, my husband and I went to a worm farm in California and decided to start our own business. We bought 40 pounds of worms and that was the start of it all…we are going into our fourth year and we have 9 rows outside. I advertise them on eBay and I have a website for them. I sell them by the pound or sometimes by the hundred count. The bigger orders are probably used for composting, the smaller orders, I think they are using them to feed reptiles or fish. I typically harvest them over the weekend and ship on Mondays so they get there in two days, they need to breathe and eat during shipment, so I pack them in cotton bags in a one-rate box with holes. I place a label on the box “live worms” so the post office should know to handle them with care. I put moist coconut core in with them to help keep them moist and fed. I have shipped to Porta Rico, Florida, Texas, California and all over the place.

We feed about every two weeks. I feed using a muck spreader that we bought out of Ireland, it takes the manure through an auger and we can spread it on the windrows. We windrow the worms so I can spray the rows easy with water throughout the summer to keep the rows moist, then we will scoop the piles together to keep them warm in the winter. We use most of our compost on our own fields, but sometimes we sell compost to other places by the truckload or even in a small bag to people who just want it for their house plants. It’s been a learning adventure for us, a little time consuming, but not too bad.”
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