Title: Re: [cg] worms
Frank at our community garden is our local worm expert (and now supplies our local city with worms for their horticulture programs) and his favoured way of separating worms from castings is to get a black tarp/thick garbage bag cut open and spread over a table, then get a large onion bag made from plastic mesh/or some other mesh material usually free from the fruit markets and spread this out over the black plastic. He then dumps the worms and castings in a 1-2 inch layer over the sheet and lets light do its work (easiest outside on a potting table in the daylight but also can be done inside with electric light, he uses a table as it is easier on your back). The worms crawl down through the plastic mesh and become a lovely wriggly mass on the plastic and you just pick up the castings in the mesh and use! He mentioned that there are often eggs in the castings and he may sometimes keep the castings and make more worms. He also reckons that handling worms helps protect against arthritis!!!
A lot of people here who haven’t got the composting knack down pat will use their freestanding compost bin as a worm farm, starting with straw or coconut refuse in a 20cm thick and damp layer then about 500 worms and then vegie scraps and then a layer of natural carpet underlay or an old door mat kept damp and then the bin lid. Works a treat. I have both the compost bin system going and a free standing wormfarm (made from two plastic crates on legs with a tap in the bottom, a lid and airholes). The main advantage of a free standing worm farm as I see it is the lovely worm juice. I lightly water the worms once a fortnight and collect the water from the little tap at the bottom of the farm. (It is quite hot here at the moment so the water helps the worm farm stay at a reasonable temperature.) Then I mix this in a watering can until it is the colour of tea and all the pot plants get fed. Apparently this also works with a scoop of worm castings in a bucket of water but I haven’t done this as I dig them into the top of the soil.
Does anyone know of a good mixer to add to worm castings so that they don’t need to be dug into the soil but wont dry out into hard lumps when spread about the garden or potplants??