Presentation on theme: "Vermiculture! Wormy Squirmy! Oh No!!!"— Presentation transcript:
1 Vermiculture! Wormy Squirmy! Oh No!!! There’s Worms in Fort Bend County!Vermiculture!What is this all about?!!!Co-Presenter;Kenneth FletcherCertified Master Gardener , FBMGRainwater Harvesting SpecialistCreated and presented by:Margo “Mac” McDowell, Certified Master Gardener andCertified Master NaturalistFort Bend County Master Volunteer CoordinatorTexas AgriLife Extension Service
2 Texas AgriLife Extension Service County based outreach of Texas A&M University SystemProvide information and educational programs on:Agriculture and Natural ResourcesIncludes Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteersFamily and Consumer Sciences4-H and Youth Development
3 Who are these guys. - These worms are known as Eisenia Foetida Who are these guys? - These worms are known as Eisenia Foetida! (I SEE nee a FET id a). These worms process large amounts of organic materials in their habitats of manure, compost piles or decaying leaves. They are also fast reproducers.Amystewart.comWhy is this so important? They are “composters.” They don’t mind being handled. They don’t mind being pets. They can survive in a bin. They eat our garbage!
4 Why do we need to teach about these yucky creatures! Introduce Recycling to ChildrenImportance to environmentIntroduce an Ecosystemshows living organism’s needsReduces waste in landfills
5 How do I get started? 1. Decide on a bin Regardless of choice, aeration is an important function of the controlled environment.
6 Considerations for a bin: Location, location, location!Common materials are wood & plastic.Must have ventilation because redworms need lots of oxygen.Ideal bin is shallow because redworms feed upwards so the more surface the more nibbling!Do not use container that used to store chemicals – no pesticides!
7 Worm bins need to have an “aerobic” environment. This means oxygen is present throughout the bedding.When bedding becomes packed and pushes all the air out of the layers an “anaerobic” condition occurs.Worms become unhealthy as well as the other microorganisms.
8 2. Prepare the “beddingWorm beddings are important – they provide:MoistureMedium in which worms can workBury their garbageAir3. Use Newspaper!Readily available & no extra cost!Tear into strips and soak in waterSqueeze out as much water as possible, then place in bin
9 Additional bedding materials: Leaf moldComposted Animal manures (horse, rabbit or cow)Additions to bedding:Add handful or two of soilThis provides grit to help break down food particles within the worm’s gizzard.Also provides soil bacteria, protozoa and fungi which aid in the composting process.
10 No bones, no teeth, no arms, no legs - definitely slimy! Worm Facts:No bones, no teeth, no arms, no legs - definitely slimy!Worms keep themselves moist, and need a moist environment.I have 5 hearts!
13 Worms grind food in their gizzard by muscle action Digestive SystemWorms grind food in their gizzard by muscle actionThe ground up food is mixed with enzymes in the worm’s intestine. This breaks down the food into the bloodstream for use where needed. Undigested material, including sand, soil, bacterial and plant residues passes out of the worm as a worm casting.whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/images/wormdiagram.gif
14 I love strawberries!!! What do I feed my worms? Apples Pineapples CabbagePearsWatermelon & rindsCoffee grounds & TeaPotatoes – but no butter!LettuceCeleryPineapplesEgg ShellsAll kinds of fruits – mangos, bananasCantalopes!I love strawberries!!!
15 What NOT to feed your worms! If you feed your worms some of these food, you’ll end up with some pretty smelly worm bins!Mayonnaise or salad dressingMeatsButtery FoodsColored/glossy paperOilsPine needlesDog/Cat manurePeanut butterFishWood chipsPoultryNo Dairy ProductsButterNo Bones/ Twigs or branchesMargarine
16 Always bury your food in the worm bin or… Fruit Flies is whatyou’ll get !!!
17 In the beginning, check your worm bin every week to see how fast the worms are eating the food. The more worms you have, the more food they’ll eat, and you can judge that by keeping track of how much food you are giving them and how fast it disappears.Stats: ½ LB. food per day for 1 LB. of red wigglersBecause you’ll have less than one pound of worms, just give handfuls of food and see how fast it disappears.
19 What are the other “things’ in my bin? Physical DecomposersArrive in the pile after lower level decomposers have ‘worked’ materialGrind and chew remaining organic materialMites, snails, slugs, millipedes, sowbugs, whiteworms
20 What’s Happening in the Pile? Organic matter is decomposed by living creaturesStarting materials converted to ‘less complex’ formsIt becomes “unrecognizable” humus
21 Microscopic Decomposers Chemically convert organic materialsMostly single-celled organismsBacteria considered most productiveFungiActinomycetesProtozoaRotifers
22 Red Wigglers were fast reproducers?!!! Redworms can be mature and produce cocoons in eight – ten weeks!
24 2 cocoons x 24 weeks x 2 hatchlings Do the math!Once it breeds, a worm can deposit two to three cocoons per week for 6 months to a year.If that’s the case – then if a two-month old breeder laid two cocoons a week for 24 weeks, and two hatchlings emerged from each cocoon, one breeder would produce ______ worms in six months!962 cocoons x 24 weeks x 2 hatchlingsBefore the first two months are up, the first hatchlings will be able to breed. These could produce two cocoons for 16 weeks with two hatchlings coming from each…
25 “Exploring! & Gathering! of the“Black Gold!”Harvesting!
41 Problem Cause Solution Sour SmellToo much waterAdd dry beddingAmmonia SmellToo much nitrogenGnats & FliesExposed FoodsOverfeedingCover food with damp newspaperReduce amount of food (especially citrusWorms are dyingToo wet or too dryExtreme TemperaturesNot enough air or foodCheck condition of beddingMove to a controllable environment; add more beddingFluff bedding/add foodMold formingToo acidicReduce citrusWorms escapingBin conditions are unhealthyOvercrowdingSee all aboveMake new binWater Collecting at the bottomPoor ventilationToo many scraps with high water contentRemove lid more oftenAdd less coffee grounds & watery scrapsWorms Eat My Garbage, Mary Appelhof and The Composting Cookbook by Karen Overgaard
42 Additional References: Worms Eat My Garbage, by Mary AppelhofThe Composting Cookbook, by Karen Overgaard