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Video: Content Of California Red Worms
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 20:34
Home fertilizer factory
At the end of the last century and at the beginning of this century, there was a real excitement among gardeners in our city, caused by the appearance of Californian worms on the market.
Much has been written about their ability to quickly process organic matter, producing valuable vermicompost useful to all plants. However, then this boom began to subside, and now rarely anyone remembers these invertebrates, which is a pity.
The California red worm is a hybridization of various earthworms, bred at the University of California. He is a real hard worker. I first met him a year ago, when I began to grow spicy herbs on the windowsill. Life made me grow greens at home. There is no dacha, and the quality of the greenery sold did not suit - it is usually sluggish and does not smell at all.
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A bunch of purchased greens, if not eaten right away, can be thrown away the next day. So I decided to arrange a garden on the window. I bought garden soil, pots and various seeds in the store, sowed it. I was very happy when the first shoots appeared, but the happiness was short-lived. After each watering, the seedlings fell and died.
I began to change seeds, but the result remained the same. Then I thought that the matter was not in the seeds, but in the soil and began to look for information on improving the fertility of the land. This is how I learned about these amazing creatures. After all, Californian worms quickly process plant waste and form a valuable organic fertilizer vermicompost or vermicompost.
Biohumus restores soil fertility, improves its structure, gives a quick positive effect, reduces seed germination time, accelerates plant growth, supports immunity and resistance to diseases. This fertilizer contains: organic and humic acids, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese and retains its effectiveness in the soil for four years. Does not pose a threat in case of overdose during application. In stores, such fertilizer is quite expensive, and its quality is unknown, since we do not know what the worms were fed with, but they eat any paper, cardboard, wood, even various industrial waste.
I didn't want to feed my plants with such fertilizer. I also used the sold biohumus, but I did not like the result. Plants continued to die, that's when I decided to get worms.
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Every housewife knows how much waste remains during cooking, and worms love it all very much and quickly turn it into valuable fertilizer.
Californians are very gluttonous, eat 500 times more than our earthworms, they multiply quickly and live up to 15-16 years. Therefore, I got good land very quickly. Dill, parsley, cilantro, lettuce, watercress, basil, celery and cucumber herb began to grow on the windowsill like in a garden - strong and fragrant. Now I have greens at home throughout the year.
True, in winter I have to additionally highlight my plantings. At first I used ordinary energy-saving lamps, then I tried LED phyto lamps. The result under LED lamps was much better, and they began to pay less for electricity with them.
This year, in early February, I sowed cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes for the first time in my “home garden”. The seedlings have grown strong, such as those of my friends in the country. On April 16, I removed the first cucumber from the windowsill. By the beginning of May, several more of their cucumbers were ripe. I hope to taste my tomatoes soon. Here's a home garden!
And for those who also decided to get Californian worms, I will tell you where they can live in summer and winter, what they can and cannot feed them.
1. They can live in any plastic container (box, bucket, etc.). You cannot keep in a metal container - they will die from iron oxidation. The container can be placed in the toilet or in the kitchen. A small layer of coconut substrate should be placed on the bottom of the box, it will absorb excess liquid from plant waste and become a valuable fertilizer, which you then mix with purchased or garden soil.
The substrate will give the soil looseness and enrich it with useful substances. The compost temperature should not be lower than + 9 ° С, if it is lower, the worms may die. At + 15… + 30 ° С they eat well and reproduce. Air access and constantly wet ground are the necessary comfortable conditions for these hard workers. If the soil is very damp, fruit flies may start in the container, then the container will need to be covered with a cloth dipped in saline and dried.
This must be done so that the flies do not lay larvae on the tissue. The ground should be moist, but not wet, if it dries out, moisten it with settled water. California worms from the container in which they live do not crawl anywhere, they are very obedient. They rise to the surface of the soil in a container only if they are stuffy, hot, wet, or they really want to eat, but at the same time they do not run away in search of a better life.
2. You can feed them: peelings from carrots, onions, garlic, cabbage, potatoes, peels from bananas, apples, eggplants and cucumbers. They recycle infusions from tea, herbs, coffee. They love cereals, pasta, bread left over from the table, flour, cereals. In the fall, give them peels from watermelons, melons, pumpkin. They are very fond of horse and cow manure, but not fresh. You can feed them with weeds, grass, leaves, sawdust, roots.
If you keep worms at home, you won't have to take out a bucket of food waste, everything that was previously thrown away will become a valuable fertilizer. There will be no smell from the processing of this waste in the apartment. California worms give off a liquid similar to deodorant, so the waste doesn't smell.
3. At the dacha, worms must be kept in some kind of container, you can dig a hole and put polyethylene in it, you can take a plastic building box or make a box of boards - otherwise the most valuable fertilizer (liquid) and vermicompost will go into the ground. We do everything the same as at home: we put several briquettes of coconut substrate, grass, weeds, kitchen waste and worms on the bottom of the pit on polyethylene.
Periodically, layers with waste should be sprinkled with sand and dried and powdered eggshells. Worms, like chickens, clean the stomach with sand. The shell is needed so that the earth does not acidify; worms will not live in acidic earth. They are a good test for your land, if they reproduce well and crawl quickly - the ground is good, if they don't reproduce, they barely move - check the acidity of the soil.
Alkaline earth is not good for them either. At the dacha, try to arrange the compost pit so that direct sunlight does not fall on it, otherwise the worms will die on a hot day. It will not be superfluous if you make a canopy over the compost, it will protect the worms from the sun and rain.
4. For winter, cover the compost heap with twigs, grass, hay and plastic wrap to keep it warm and as many worms as possible. Take about 50 worms home, so you are guaranteed to keep their population. They will be divorced in the right amount by the next summer cottage, and you will not throw away food waste in vain, but turn it into a valuable fertilizer.
In order to choose a ready-made vermicompost from a home container, you need not feed the worms for two weeks, and then put a layer of food waste on top, and in 2-3 days almost all the worms will rise up to a new portion of food. Put on gloves, remove this layer along with the worms and put it in a basin, select vermicompost from the container and put the coconut substrate there again, and then the worms with the remnants of waste - and everything will be repeated from the very beginning.
The resulting land can be put in a plastic bag and stored until spring on the loggia or taken to the country.
One St. Petersburg enterprise has already begun to produce plastic worm houses for worms to live at home. Two types of containers are planned for production: for 40 liters for a house and for a summer residence - from 100 liters. This house has a double bottom, one with holes for draining the liquid that is formed after waste processing. There is also a tap for draining this liquid, a cover with openings for air inlet and a net for removing worms.
The resulting liquid can be poured into a bottle, and then, diluting it with water, water the plants with such fertilizer. It can be stored in the same way as biohumus - in a loggia or in the country. It is easier to keep worms in this house, because they will not be too damp. It will be easier to choose vermicompost, put a net on the surface of the compost and continue to put food on it, the worms will rise through the holes in the net to the top layer, and then you will lift the net and select vermicompost, and shake off the worms with their contents.
These are some wonderful new pets that have appeared in my life. I loved them very much for their noble cause. Californian worms can be kept at home just for waste processing, and the resulting land can be used in flower beds near your front door or on lawns, flowers also need fertile land.
I wish good luck to everyone who takes up this business
"home" gardener, St. Petersburg
Photo by the author
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