I am always tickled by the people that call and ask for the price on a truck load of worm castings. Most of these people are well educated people, great gardeners and just looking to save money………
Problem is, I then have to spend about an hour or more, explaining why they don’t need a pickup truck full. Let me try to explain, please overlook the typo’s and spelling as I am not a journalist.
For starters, most “real” worm farms in Ga. may produce a yard or even two per year, of castings. If they claim to have tons and tons of castings(worms crap), red flags and sirens should go off. Didn’t they use any on their own yard and garden, why not.
I am not saying they are ling to you, just do the math….if you have 60 beds, with 10,000 worms in each one about 600,000 worms, and you harvest them every 30 days. You will get at most 30 buckets of castings………..that is a pretty good bit, maybe even a 1/3 of a yard, providing you don’t use any or sell any then logically in 3 months you would have a yard. But that’s only one sale of one yard, once it is gone you wouldn’t have any left. There is only about 6 good harvest months out of the year in Ga. because of temp. and weather.
60 beds full of worms is a fair size, lets double it to 1,200,000 worms and I only know about 6 in Ga. that have that many or more. The math would say you could possibly in a perfect world, under perfect conditions, not selling any worms or castings for 6 months, you might get 4 yards of castings.
Keep in mind, with that many worms, and that much harvesting, feeding and watering, you would have to have at least 2 and likely 4 people or more helping with the up keep.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few worm farms that aculy have a yard or two for sale, but you wont find them on Craig’s list for 100 per yard.
So, you are asking, how or what are the doing…….well there are lots of things, basically sifting compost. And or uneaten vermicompost.
I prefer to see the GLOW on a persons face, when they show me pictures of their, huge and bountiful crops.
and another thing…………………………………..the magic of worm castings…………………..is………………..
you only need a pound, one pound of castings will make 50 gallons of (fertilizer/tea) And that is alot of tea……………………
Fertilizer is the wrong word, when you apply 10-10-10 or other fertilizers, you kill all the live organisms in your garden, raised bed or yard and give them a synthetic vitamin shot, when you eat the fruits or veggies, that is what you are eating, but what is worse…..the soil is dead and lets in all the bad micro organisms, organisms, bugs and other bad things.
When you use worm tea made from worm castings, you are doing just like 03-03-03 and can do it over and over with out burning, organic, so when you eat your bounty that is what it is. and the soil is ALIVE, with millions and millions of micro organisms killing anything bad. That is their food…..that’s just the start……next year will be even better, and the next even better and so on. not at all like a fertilizer that you must apply over and over. Yes you can re apply tea over and over, but once your yard and garden comes back to life, it will maintain itself. this is the first year I have had so many tomato s, not one had brown spot, the list is endless.. I have only be totally free of all synthetics for 2 years.
back to the point, you dont need a ton of castings. that is the magic…….and there IS, a difference in castings, type, age, worms used, feed used for the worms and more……
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Tim Herron http://www.herronfarms.webs.com