worm factory

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by MattyB, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. MattyB

    MattyB Moderator

    Messages:
    449
    Location:
    Spring Valley, CA
    Does anyone else use worms and compost tea? I've got a worm farm and the compost and leachate that they produce has been extremely beneficial to my plants. Here's a Ravenea xerophila getting a nutritious drink.
     

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  2. Jim in Los Altos

    Jim in Los Altos Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    9b or Sunset zone 16
    Looks mighty tasty, Matt. Mmmm. I bet the palm likes it. I don't personally use or make compost tea but all my soil areas are always several inches deep in rotting leaf debris, cedar needles and cones, etc. and any digging almost always unearths worms. Sometimes lots of 'em.
     
  3. MattyB

    MattyB Moderator

    Messages:
    449
    Location:
    Spring Valley, CA
    Sounds like you have the built-in model. I mostly use this method around my xeric palms that are in very rocky soil. I let them go bone dry so I've never seen a worm in these harsh areas. I've had problems in the past with synthetic fertilizer burning in these areas that go very dry, very quickly. The worm juice keeps them green and growing and drying out isn't a problem.
     
  4. Stan

    Stan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    502
    I tried once...stunk to high heaven,so I couldnt see myself doing that too often. I wonder too..if you do feed the worms,will snail bait and pellet fertilizers then kill them? I do use a mix of "guano" type fertilizers and pellets. The only real smell is in the bag and you're not likely to burn plants as with a strong manure tea. I've burned plants with only a handful of manure tossed under them.
    Like Jim,I never rake up anything on the ground under the jungle type plants. Brugmansia breaks down very fast for example,But, Podocarpus is near the other side of the scale- with Magnolia- THAT does get raked and picked up.
     
  5. MattyB

    MattyB Moderator

    Messages:
    449
    Location:
    Spring Valley, CA
    If you smell anything other than an earthy smell your set up is wrong and you've got some nasty anaerobic activity going on.
     
  6. KennyRE317

    KennyRE317 Active Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Seal Beach, CA 10a/10b
    i've looked into this and will do a small worm farm once i get everything in the yard cleaned up and organized, i have too many potted stuff all over the place. i have bought worms from a local place though to quickly introduce worms into my garden and they seem to be all over the place now that there's regular water in my yard. i mixed in alot of compost into my yard before i started planting and even areas where i didn't put the worms they're pretty abundant now
     
  7. Stan

    Stan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    502
    Your right,I think it was old tea that stunk. I remember now, that I made more then I could use and it sat. I've heard that chicken manure is much better then cow.What do you think?
     
  8. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Stan - I have found that most anything works once you get a good "pile" going. As long as it is sufficiently aerated to allow air and water to move through, you should be okay with just about anything. Avoid letting it get too "sludgy" so it's like a mud. That shouldn't be a problem, but if it is just add some more chunky stuff and turn it over - mix it up.
     
  9. MattyB

    MattyB Moderator

    Messages:
    449
    Location:
    Spring Valley, CA
    My worms are in a stackable compost bin designed for worms. All of our kitchen scraps go in there. Just today it was time to empty the lower bin. It takes at least a year for them to finish this bin. It's very dense, about 40 lbs of finished compost/worm castings here, along with lots and lots of worms. This was spread around Satakentia, Mad Fox, and Purple King and then topped with mulch.
     

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  10. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    I compost which attracts the worms. With all the heavy mulching in my garden, there is very active earthworm presence along with other anaerobic happenings. As far as the compost tea, I don't see much of a benefit for my particular garden. So much rock with intense drainage would limit its benefits. Plus with the precipitation rate, much of the beneficial "juice" would not remain in the root zone.
     

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