Worms require a suitable bedding material in their habitat to provide them with a comfortable and healthy living environment. To follow is a list of bedding materials used at PPI for Red Wigglers, African Hybrids and European Night Crawlers:
1. Shredded craft paper: This is a popular bedding material for composting worms such as Red Wiggler or European Nightcrawler. Shredded paper (non-glossy) worms is readily available, easy to obtain, and can hold moisture well.
2. Coconut coir: Coconut coir is a byproduct of the coconut industry and is an excellent bedding material for worms as it is naturally moist, holds water well, and has a neutral ph. Some of Paw Paw’s worm castings have a tan to brownish tint which reflects to use of coconut coir in the bedding. The coconut coir fragments will do nothing but help your soil and future plants. The coconut coir also offers the future composting worms that inhabit your soil, the perfect environment to thrive. PPI’s worm castings for your soil usually have some tiny red wigglers and or red wiggler cocoons which is a GOOD thing!
3. Aged cow and chicken manure: aged manure from herbivorous animals, such as cows or horses, can also be used as a bedding material for worms. It is high in nitrogen, which can help to heat up the worm bin and promote rapid decomposition. PPI DOES NOT USE RAW MANURE FOR COMPOST TEA OR BEDDING.
4. Leaves: Leaves from deciduous trees, such as maple or oak, can be used as a bedding material for worms. They provide carbon for the worm bin and break down slowly, providing a long-lasting source of organic matter. Note: PPI has found that certain oak leaves are more acidic than most. Contact PPI to determine if your oak leaves you use are acidic in nature. The levels of tannic acid vary form tree to tree.
When selecting a bedding material for your worms, it's important to avoid materials that are too acidic, too dry, or too wet, as these can be harmful to the worms. Additionally, it's important to monitor the moisture level of the bedding and adjust it as necessary to keep it moist but not waterlogged. You can purchase the perfect natural, locally sourced compost worm bedding from Paw Paw Industries. Each order of Red Wigglers is shipped with a fixed amount of bedding. This practice has shown to limit the environmental shock that the worms can and do experience during transit.
The worms gut will kill and use the bad parts of virtually any plant aliment. Just don't use the diseased part of the plant if they are to be used as a compost tea additive. If you don't have compost worms then get the diseased plants and parts away from your garden as soon as they are removed. Also, forget about putting them in your compost pile since there will be the risk of spreading.
Paw Paw has found that the shallow root plants like corn, spinach, lettuce, onions and more will only need 1"-2" deep in worm castings. For deeper rooted plants or soil that is in need of more attention, the default would be in the 4" - 6" range. PPI Worm Castings Calculator
No you do not need to buy worm tea in order to use the castings in your garden, however it has been shown that using worm compost tea along with the castings "jumpstarts" the desired microbial action greatly.
The black sooty mold is a fungi that is caused by several little critters like aphids or whiteflies. The powdery mildew does not hurt the plant per say, but it can and will hamper photosynthesis which in turn will stunt the growth of fruit. Paw Paw Industries has found that full strength Light of the Soil Compost Tea sprayed directly onto the leaves, will help reduce the spread of this annoying and potentially damaging condition.
Vermicomposting is the use of compost worms in order to breakdown carbons, proteins and certain debris. The end result is pure, 100% organic "soil" or castings that act as a natural soil amendments or natural conditioner and fertilizer. Note: PPI believes that there is some evidence of vermicomposting type practices as far back as ancient Egypt. The link above states the 1840's.
The disgusting liquid that can collect on the bottom of a worm composting bin is NOT worm compost tea. More on this will be found here and on several PPI Podcast Episodes.
The shelf life of compost tea depends on several factors, such as the type of compost used, the method of brewing, and the storage conditions. Paw Paw Industries uses an ancient, yet effective technique to increase the number of days the microbes remain active.
Compost tea can be stored for up to 7 days, but its potency and effectiveness may decrease over time. It is best to use freshly brewed compost tea, as it contains the most beneficial microorganisms and nutrients. Paw Paw Industries brews Light of the Soil Worm Compost Tea.
Worm Compost tea that works best if aerated slightly before using. If you want to extend the shelf life of your compost tea, you can add non-Sulphured molasses to the brew, as this can help feed the microorganisms and keep them alive longer. You can also store the tea in a cool, dark place and use an airtight container to help preserve its quality.
Overall, it is best to use compost tea as soon as possible after brewing to ensure its maximum effectiveness. The compost tea might have a slight sour smell if it has been siting for more than 7 days. If this happens, simply use the PawFly Aerator for 10 minutes that comes with your first gallon order.
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Batavia, IL 60510 US
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