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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #1 
I just found an abundant source of worm castings really close to me. Problem is I've never used the stuff and not sure what to do with it.

Should this stuff be used like manure? Either in-ground or as part of potting mix?





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Sas

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Reply with quote  #2 
See this video

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Reply with quote  #3 
I found a gallon jug at Walmart at the very end of last season. Just started using it in my potted figs. I dont know the results yet. Used it on top of soil line.
Its really good to make tea with. Not to drink lol.
I table spoon molasses
Five gallons bucket filled with 4 gallons water
Two cups worm castings
Small aquarium pump
Small air stone
Mix well
Turn on for 1 week covered with towl
Kills insects in soil.
Great for trees.
Also spray on leaves
I sprinkled the dry castings on top just to see the results. Lazy way.

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Reply with quote  #4 
Make a tea with it that stuff works amazingly. My father swears by it he went as far as feeding a portiin of his lawn with it and its way thicker and greener than anywhere else in his yard.You can even add some sea weed extract to it. It's supposed to feed the plants as well as the soil itself creating healthier environment for the plants,and help resist insect damage and disease.

There's a worm farm in Scarborough who sells it by the approx 50 lbs bag.
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Reply with quote  #5 
The molasses and air stone create microbes and they are the magic in the tea. So its different then fertilizer. Your absolutely correct PAOLO. GREAT STUFF.
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HICKORY LOUISIANA ZONE 8B WARM HUMID
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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks all. I think I'm going to take advantage of this. This guy is selling the stuff for $4 per 50 lb bag including free delivery with a minimum number of bags. That pretty good, no?

What do you do with the waste castings after they've been used for tea? Spread on the lawn or something?





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Reply with quote  #7 
You're getting a gift.  I've seen it sold for $5 for a small baggie full.
Throw the waste castings on your lawn, on your garden, in the compost pile.

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #8 
Well, this guy is in the GTA so if anyone  in the area want's the contact info send me a PM.

Curious - Why the tea as apposed to working it right into the soil? My father used to make rabbit manure tea and give it to all his food plants... Is the difference that noticeable? 

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paolo

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Reply with quote  #9 
Apparently the tea extracts the nutries and beneficial bacteria from the casting quickly. They naturally have a type of shell I guess on the casting that if tossed in the soil breaks down slowly sort of a natural slow release fertilizer. Ya I have got castings from that place before great price, few bits of plastic though. we were getting them from another nusery in Toronto for a while but I guess he caught on to what he had and jacked up his prices.
CliffH

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Reply with quote  #10 
That price is beyond excellent. It's practically stealing it. Buy all you can get!

I add a couple of cups to each of my SIP soil. I can't judge the results yet, but I hear really great things about the benefits.

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Reply with quote  #11 
When you make the tea it's a way of making the castings go further.  You can throw a cup in a plant container, which is good, but that same cup can make enough tea for a lot of plants.
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Cheryl
Chicago, Zone 6a (That's what they say, but it still feels like 5)
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Brunswick, Kadota, Ischia Green, Desert King, Osborne Prolific (slow but steady), Malta Black, Violette de Bordeaux, Texas Everbearing, Beall, White Adriatic, Nolo Pink Eyed Lady.
Rooting: Ronde de Bordeaux, Celeste, Nero 600 m, Violetta Bayernfeing, Marseilles Black VS, Celeste.
TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #12 

Paolo (above) had bought from them before. It appears these guys raise bait worms. By the looks of things they have truck-loads...They also guarantee no mixes or chemicals... 

Seems to me that if you track down a bait farm and deal directly with them you might have a similar good source. I normally till quantities of sheep manure into all my garden beds every spring. At $80 per 1000 lbs I think I'll be trying out worm poop this year.

I've been reading and reading on this...I think this will give me all the micro-nutrients I need... After that add a bit of NPK and I think I'm good.

I'm going for a record cucuzza this year! I think this will help!



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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #13 
Worm castings are worm poop...does it not need to be composted like other manures?
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Reply with quote  #14 
OMG $4 for 50lbs of worm castings? Can you ship me about 8 cubic yards of the stuff on consignment....? Happy Happy...
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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #15 
I'm getting the sense that I could re-sell this poop at a profit...I think customs might take exception though... Anything to declare sir?  :-)

Seriously...no joke... they offer a special on 2000 lb deliveries...

Apparently Toronto is the place to be for worm poop...



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tsparozi

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Reply with quote  #16 
Heck... even without an additional discount beyond the 50lbs@$4, I would buy a ton in a second if they included free delivery... its only 460 miles from Toronto to my front door... Set it up and let me know where to send the money!
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Tony S - Zone 6A Carmel, NY
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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #17 
This is the guy:

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-gardening-plant-fertilizer-soil/city-of-toronto/organic-worm-castings/1156402572?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true


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Reply with quote  #18 
I was told not to use air stones as its very hard to clean them. As they sit in between "brews" you can get the wrong bacteria growing in them and it will screw up your batch of tea.  When I took a workshop with Elain Ingram, she stressed cleaning everything with a mix of water and bleach in between brews. 
tsparozi

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Reply with quote  #19 
Thanks, Joe... I went to the web site you provided and it looks great... Only issue is that delivery is available for $4 per bag delivery within 30km radius (min 40 bags). That puts me a few miles beyond their delivery zone... Too bad.... Another thought I had was whether there are any import restrictions on bring this product across the border... Would it be considered soil or something else... Import permits / fees?

I think my solution is to create my own mini worm farm .....

You definitely have a great thing there...

T

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Tony S - Zone 6A Carmel, NY
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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #20 
That would definitely fall outside their zone. you should consider checking in your area for a bait worm grower. They might be a good source of bulk worm casting. Good luck!

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sobelri

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Reply with quote  #21 
So I'm a little skeptical because of the price.  Pure compost worm (aka red worm) castings sell for a significantly higher price in my neck of the woods.  What I suspect is that you're getting is a combination of earth worm castings and spent bedding material.  If that's the case, it can still be used as fertilizer, tea, etc. but you might not see the full benefits as someone using 100% red worm castings.  

I would be interested to know the following:
1. What kind of worms they are selling.  There's a difference between composting/red worms and your every day earth worms (aka soil worms).  
2. Do they breed the worms and raise them from birth to adult or do they collect worms in the wild and store them while waiting to sell them.  
3. What do they feed the worms.  If they collect worms in the wild, they may not be feeding them much of anything.  If that's the case you could be getting more bedding than castings.  



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tsparozi

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Reply with quote  #22 
So, I googled worm growers and worm casting availability in my area and found one in Avon, NY with a local distribution network out of Branford, CT.... Their pricing isn't quite on a par with the $4 per 50lb price point we were discussing and I guess it points out what a bargain that price point really is. The price for me to pick up a 40lb bag of worm casting from the distributor here is $31 bucks....
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Reply with quote  #23 
In the meantime, consider starting your own worm bin.  With the right conditions they'll multiply very fast.  If you've got the space and can control the environment look into an outside worm bed (protect from cooking in the sun, freezing in the winter, controlling moisture, protect from predators).  People have use old tubs as their worm bed.  Lots of options.  But at $4 for 50lb, if nothing else you could consider it inexpensive compost.
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Cheryl
Chicago, Zone 6a (That's what they say, but it still feels like 5)
Growing:
  Hardy Chicago, Black Mission,
Brunswick, Kadota, Ischia Green, Desert King, Osborne Prolific (slow but steady), Malta Black, Violette de Bordeaux, Texas Everbearing, Beall, White Adriatic, Nolo Pink Eyed Lady.
Rooting: Ronde de Bordeaux, Celeste, Nero 600 m, Violetta Bayernfeing, Marseilles Black VS, Celeste.
drew51

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoJoe
Worm castings are worm poop...does it not need to be composted like other manures?


I don't think so, in my garden each shovel full of soil has multiple worms. My garden soil contains thousands of worms. I'm one who constantly year round add organic material. Pounds and pounds of coffee, leaves, garden waste, grass clippings, compost, and organic fertilizer. I don't have a compost pile so use this stuff as mulch. It's been working amazingly well.

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Reply with quote  #25 
Is this really worm casting?  Even a 50 lb bag of composted manure cost more.  50 lb worm casting for 2 toonies seems darn cheap.  How do you know it's only worm poop and not fixed it other stuff
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Reply with quote  #26 
Worm castings are a pain in the rear.  So many egos.  The short ones can't understand that they don't sell as romantic leads, the tall ones want too much money for their talent and everyone wants top billing even if they don't have a 'squeaking' part.  You're better off leaving it to holeywood.

What?  Oh.  Nevermind.

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #27 
@ Sohelz - It's close to me so I'm going to visit the facility for a taste test... These guys produce the poop and are not a retailer selling bagged ..... well, crap.

@ rcantor - More disturbing yet is after years of failure in getting any real part... ending up on the worm casting-couch 

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Dig

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Reply with quote  #28 
Worm compost does not need to rest or be steamed or anything. It will not burn plants even in 100% rates. It is crazy full of beneficial microbes. It does not get better then worm compost IMO. It is basically the rain water of soil media. And at those prices yeehaw get me a dump truck load.
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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dig
Worm compost does not need to rest or be steamed or anything. It will not burn plants even in 100% rates. It is crazy full of beneficial microbes. It does not get better then worm compost IMO. It is basically the rain water of soil media. And at those prices yeehaw get me a dump truck load.


Thanks! This answered my one primary question. I'm assuming these castings come crest and I would never use an uncomposted manure. I'm going to check these guys out first chance I get....although I don't know how I'd assess the quality of worm poop. I basically want to see if they look like a legit operation and see how they produce it.

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torontofig

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Reply with quote  #30 
nice find. thank you Joe.
i had some experience before: i covered a small lot (in shadow area) with wet straw. after a month or two, i found lots of fat earthworm/also  castings under the straw. I believe the earthworms like vegetable scraps/waste. But they are sensitive to chemicals. the earthworms help to add lots of fertilizer and remove waste in a efficient way.

I am trying fish emulsion fertilizer occasionally. but be sure to seal the container well and hide it from wild animals. :):)


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Smyfigs

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaFarm
I was told not to use air stones as its very hard to clean them. As they sit in between "brews" you can get the wrong bacteria growing in them and it will screw up your batch of tea.  When I took a workshop with Elain Ingram, she stressed cleaning everything with a mix of water and bleach in between brews. 


I have used air stone to aerate & never a problem at all.

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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by torontofig
nice find. thank you Joe.
i had some experience before: i covered a small lot (in shadow area) with wet straw. after a month or two, i found lots of fat earthworm/also  castings under the straw. I believe the earthworms like vegetable scraps/waste. But they are sensitive to chemicals. the earthworms help to add lots of fertilizer and remove waste in a efficient way.

I am trying fish emulsion fertilizer occasionally. but be sure to seal the container well and hide it from wild animals. :):)



Fish emulsion is also great! I add it to the mixture when i make worm tea.

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"The best way to show my gratitude is to accept everything, even my problems, with joy." ~ Mother Teresa  
"Do not pass by a man in need for you may be the hand of God to him." ~Proverbs 3:27~  
"He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted." ~Job 5:4

 

TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #33 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smyfigs
I have used air stone to aerate & never a problem at all.



I feel foolish for asking - What is an air stone? Like that used in an aquarium?



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Reply with quote  #34 
Yup I used a regular aguarium air pump and air stone at the end to diffuse the air into tiny bubbles
TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #35 
Would have never thought of that. Thanks
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Reply with quote  #36 
That is how you clone live plants; with good water, good cuttings, a plastic tub, an aquarium pump, an air stone, and a lid with holes drilled throughout. Make sure the cuttings just barely touch to water like 1/16". Best green tissue method I have found so far, but the airstone is the key.
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vanfigs

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Reply with quote  #37 
I started worm bin in 2014 with 500 Red Wiggler worms. My tomato plants were doing very great after adding worm casting to soil. I didn't make tea, just add to soil.

The worm population were growing crazy. You don't believe what I saw at rainy summer night in my backyard, tons of worms came out for party. I have two earth compost bin that I filled them up with all organic materials before winter. Went to aerate the compost a couple of days ago, man, there are MILLIONS of worms in the bin.

I am thinking to empty my worm bin this year. As long as keep adding organic materials to my compost bin/soil, all the worms will be happy.

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #38 
You must have some very fat birds!

I'm curious...What's involved in aerating the bins?

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Reply with quote  #39 
I have been using worm castings for decades, ever since I found out how fantastic they are. I did a bunch of research on them long ago. They do not need to be composted. They can be used in several ways. You can just spread them on the soil and water them in or dig them in. You do not need to make a tea, with or without extra stuff like molasses. The reason to do that is to increase the number of bacteria, enzymes, etc. Which is great but not necessary. I have worm bins to which I add plant material for them to eat. It takes months to get a big load of castings but if you get the commercially made bins (rather than the home made ones) there is a lower area to collect liquid and a spigot. The liquid forms continuously and you can collect it anytime you want some, then dilute it and either add it directly to the soil of filter and spray it on the plants and soil. When I had a small backyard nursery with thousands of plants this was almost all I used and for fertilizer and the plants were fantastic. Now I have a backyard with tons of veggies, fruit trees, and ornamentals and it works great for keeping everything healthy and happy but I do use a little extra fertilizer for some things because I plant so intensively. . At the price you are getting them, I wouldn't care about going to the trouble of making a special tea! That is a fantastic price, even if it has some bedding material. If it is straight castings it will look like black dirt but lots of tiny little grains. If it has bedding material in it, it will look more like compost, which it kind of is! The reason it's so great is that as the worms eat plant material, tiny bugs, etc they leave behind a fantastic collection of bacteria, fungi nutrients and enzymes. Like most manure but better. They also have an enzyme in their gut called chitonase which is to break down the chiton in the outer shell of many tiny bugs. Some of this chitonase is in the castings and is absorbed by the plants and helps to kill small sucking insects that attack your plants. So the castings also act as a systemic insecticide. Worm castings work better at getting rid of white fly than anything else ever did, seriously! It is also a mild fungicide. If you spray it on the plants it is absorbed thru the leaves, like foliar feeding. And some will drip to the ground also. The castings feed the soil more than the plants, because of all the good stuff in it. The soil then feeds the plants and makes them stronger and healthier. I have seen some results that can only be described as miraculous. I am an all organic landscaper and I use worm castings at all my clients houses, on everything, with great results. I really encourage everyone to try them!
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Reply with quote  #40 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoJoe
You must have some very fat birds!

I'm curious...What's involved in aerating the bins?


Aerating compost bin helps the decomposing process. Compost bin usually comes with an aerator which has a set of "wings" that fold back to plunge deep into the pile, then open to create new air passages. You can google "compost aerator" to see how it looks.

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #41 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanfigs


Aerating compost bin helps the decomposing process. Compost bin usually comes with an aerator which has a set of "wings" that fold back to plunge deep into the pile, then open to create new air passages. You can google "compost aerator" to see how it looks.


OK - Now I'm confused. I'm reading several accounts above indicating that worm castings don't require composting...So - in the case of worm castings - why the need to aerate?

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sobelri

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Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoJoe

So - in the case of worm castings - why the need to aerate?


Aeration isn't required for the worm castings it's required for the food (garbage) that the worms will eventually eat.  If the worm food doesn't get air, it can go anaerobic and kill the worms.  

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #43 
OK. So if I'm just buying castings with no worms, aeration isn't a consideration then?
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Reply with quote  #44 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoJoe
OK. So if I'm just buying castings with no worms, aeration isn't a consideration then?


That's correct. 

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #45 
Thanks for the 411!
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Reply with quote  #46 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoJoe


OK - Now I'm confused. I'm reading several accounts above indicating that worm castings don't require composting...So - in the case of worm castings - why the need to aerate?


Sorry for confusion.

I have two Earth compost bins (http://www.earthmachine.com/the_earth_machine.html). Most of my yard and some kitchen waste go to these bins. They need to aerate for helping decomposing. When the bins just filled up, they are hot compost pile. There are lots of heat when aerating or stirring the bins. Worms wouldn't survive in the bins at this stage because it's too hot, they will be cooked. It will cool down after a couple of month and can attract worms come for food.

I also have worm bins like this: http://www.vermicompost.net/rubbermaid-worm-bin-plans/ . they don't need aerate nor the worm casting.

I have had very great success using these homemade compost and worm casting in past few years without any store bought fertilizer. 

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