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Composting with Worms

Updated: Oct 27, 2018

by Nancy Donovan, Master Gardener

My name is Red. I’m a composting worm. Most people just call my family red wigglers. My friends, family, and I are very beneficial to your plants because we help recycle your kitchen garbage that you would have thrown out. We give you compost called Vermicote or casting but it’s really just worm poop. Some people make compost tea out of the vermicote. It’s called liquid gold because it is so good for your plants. A Styrofoam ice chest, an old refrigerator or freezer makes a wonderful house for us. We can live outside all winter and summer but we like the temperature about the same as humans do. The sunlight makes our bodies dry out really fast so we need to be in a dark damp house. As do all living creatures, we need to have a little air circulating in our house.


My name is Red. I’m a composting worm. Most people just call my family red wigglers. My friends, family, and I are very beneficial to your plants because we help recycle your kitchen garbage that you would have thrown out. We give you compost called Vermicote or casting but it’s really just worm poop. Some people make compost tea out of the vermicote. It’s called liquid gold because it is so good for your plants. A Styrofoam ice chest, an old refrigerator or freezer makes a wonderful house for us. We can live outside all winter and summer but we like the temperature about the same as humans do. The sunlight makes our bodies dry out really fast so we need to be in a dark damp house. As do all living creatures, we need to have a little air circulating in our house.


Fruits, vegetables, bread, shredded newspaper, junk mail, coffee grounds and tea make up our diet. We like watermelon, cantaloupes and apples the best. Meats, oils, butter, and slick paper (the paper ads are printed on) are yucky. The smaller the pieces of food we get, the faster we can eat it, because we don’t have teeth. If there is something in your refrigerator that is all moldy, it’s the best, nice and soft, yummmm.


Water is very important because our bodies are 80 to 90 percent water. You only need to feed us about every 2 to 3 weeks because we are very slow eaters. To harvest the compost, feed us on one end of the container and wait a week or two and most of us will go to that end and then just take the compost out that you need. You can put a little on your plants or put some in a bucket of water and water your plants with this compost tea.


The benefits of using compost are suppress fungal diseases, reduces chemical cost, no ground contamination, improving poor soil structure, and your plants are much healthier.


Come join the Master gardeners compost and worm class October 23 and 24. Make your reservations at www.westtexasgardening.org

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