Starting a worm bed. Give me advice!

Discussion in 'LOCAL SOUTH CAROLINA TALK' started by Pacman, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Pacman

    Pacman New Member

    Messages:
    141
    State:
    South Carolina
    I am getting tired of paying 3 bucks for a handful of half dead worms, so I am starting my own bed in half of a split 55 gallon plastic drum . I built an off the floor support in a storage building so I can get to it without getting on my knees. I drilled small holes in the bottom, filled it with peat moss, and wet it down. I had about 100 redworms left over from several fishing trips that I dumped in. I realize these probably won't make it, but they would have died anyway in the plastic cups.

    How about some do's and don'ts about raising your own worms from you all who have done it successfully. Food? Moisture? Pests? Whatever I need to know and probably don't?
     

  2. nevets91

    nevets91 New Member

    Messages:
    604
    State:
    rock hill south carolina
    i dont remember exactly how to do it but when i was in middle school i was in a science club that raised worms for a fishing trip(the only reason i joined) . i know that we mixed in news paper with back and white ink only shredded and put it with the worms in a dark cool closet. i know they grew well like that. so look into that cuz if i recall we never fed them anything other than puttin in that news paper
     
  3. big water cats

    big water cats New Member

    Messages:
    46
    State:
    south carolina
    if you have dogs, dig in put all of their poop in a pile and wet the pile of poop once a day, you will get a bunch of reds and nights.
     
  4. Deepwater1

    Deepwater1 New Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    Toccoa, GA
    Dewayne,

    I can only give you information on my worm beds. I raise European Nightcrawlers. My beds are made out of 2x12x8' with 1/2" plywood bottoms. They are on 2x4 legs and are in my garage.

    The beds are waist high ( I don't like to bend over to tend either ). The actual bedding is 8" deep and consist of 2 parts peat and 1 part COMPOSTED cow manure (fresh manure is more for redworms and heats up too much in summer) I have 1" holes drilled in the bottoms for drainage and screening over the holes. Water every other day or sprinkle heavy every day. Excess will drain. Bedding should be wet enough that you squeeze it in your hand you can get perhaps a dpop or two of water out. Worms get oxygen from the waters contact with their bodies.

    I feed ground up chicken feed (egg layer), about 20% protein. I also put a layer of rabbit manure on top probably once every week or two. Water before you spread feed and don't add more feed until the day before's feed is gone. They like most household garbage also. NO MEAT.

    Europeans will take most temp ranges. For more info Google "Raising European Nightcrawlers" or email me at: cltoll@hotmail.com and I'll give you some more info and links.

    One caution: moles, mice, rats, ect love worms. I use 1/2" hardware cloth in a lid for top. :big_smile: :wink:

    Curt
     
  5. Deepwater1

    Deepwater1 New Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    Toccoa, GA
    Dewayne,

    One more thing. Fresh pet waste can set up really bad bacteria strains. They love newspaper pulp also and it's good for them.

    Facts: European nightcrawlers can take heat up to about 95 (but the don't like it above 90 and will stop breeding above that), they can take cold down to about 35 (but they don't really like it below 40, they live on a hook for longer than most worms, they will live (when ice fishing) for as long as 30 min, finally, they will live about the same time in salt water. The only worm for use saltwater fishing.

    Happy worm raising.
     
  6. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    I have heard of folks puttin a piece of old carpet on the beds to hold moisture in and keep light out.

    BB in SC
     
  7. etexun

    etexun New Member

    Messages:
    375
    State:
    Texas (Nea
    My grandmother had a worm bed next to her house. I remember her putting coffee grounds on it every once and a while and mixing them in. She also kept some cardboard over part of it. When I would lift it up to look under it the underside would be half eaten away. I think the worms would eat that paper pulp. So I guess newspaper would work too.
     
  8. catfishinsc

    catfishinsc New Member

    Messages:
    507
    State:
    SC
    Keep the fire ants out.
     
  9. Redneck in a Skiboat

    Redneck in a Skiboat New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    South Caro
    I did it for a while with redworms and used the wet sreaded news papers that others have mentioned for bedding materal, dirt from the yard,and fed them corn meal about once a month. Food scraps and other stuff will stink and cause bugs. No one wants to dig around in rotton food or crap. It needs to be moist, but not soggy. It got to be a pain and there is a good bait shop near me so I don't mess with anymore.

    My mother-in-law used to live on the lake and she had a spot where she dumped food scraps in one of her flower beds. It was on the shaded side of her house. It always had tons of earth worms in it. Me and the kids would dig them out and fish with them. To me those were the best worms you could get.
     
  10. TXCatfishinSC

    TXCatfishinSC New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    South Carolina
    Rabbit manure is the key to a successful worm bed!
     
  11. LOWCOUNTRY CATMAN

    LOWCOUNTRY CATMAN New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    sc
    I have a million crawlers in my backyard and have only one thing that I can see that draws them.Alot of leaves and plenty of shade.I feed them nothing,and do nothing except watch the kids dig them up before we go fishin.I would say the coffee grounds and some paper would be all you ever need.
     
  12. RiverratSC

    RiverratSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    State:
    Gaffney, SC
    Fire Ant will take out a worm bed.
     
  13. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    Ok, his turned out long, sorry..I just kept thinking of things to say ; )

    Yep...Coffee grinds are great for worms, they need the grit that's in it for good digestion. All I feed my worms are grinds and the leafy part of lettuce. I advise to just lay both in one area, on top of the soil, and don't burry it. It takes surprisingly little food to feed them, and old food in a bed is a killer. The worms will go to the top to eat etc.

    Keeping them at good temps ( dark and cool ) is also the key. Red worms and types of that sort are the easier ones compared to most crawlers.

    The worms will let ya know if they are happy or not. All worms live good being cool so the cooler ya keep them during summer the better. Keeping the soil moist is good...to moist will mush em up and kill em.

    All food that sits for a time period should be removed and fresh put in. The warmer the bed is, the faster food will rot.

    Dirt....Ive always dug my own from good rich soil under trees, even though it's not as sterile as store bought soils. If your using peat only, I would prolly see about mixing it will other stuff too.....I don't care for the pure peat thing but for reds that may be ok, I just don't like the way it drains etc. I've always avoided, rabbit waist. Under rabbit cages will hold tons of worms !! but I don't like using in my home beds.

    Newspaper ( hold moisture )...well I did this too for years and some of the growers do it because its cheap/easy. There is actually a great scientific reason for not doing it, but for the life of me I cant remember, LOL. Growers normally don't have it in there tanks but do use it for packaging...along with the old used up dirt from their beds. Oh, and normally newspaper is used for the crawlers only...not red worms etc ; )

    You'll do fine, just check them often and adjust till they look shiny and plump ; )

    ATM I don't have any beds. If I buy a tub of worms I keep them cool and take them home, then put in some old coffee grit, lettuce, sprinkle of water, and back into my refrigerator. I just happened to use crawlers today and off one worm I caught 10 gills by cutting them up. I guess since I don't raise reptiles anymore ( worms=food ) I don't use enough to bother with beds for now. I pretty much play with home gill tanks and stuff now ; )
     
  14. Kevin G

    Kevin G New Member

    Messages:
    64
    State:
    South Carolina
    From what i remember, is to keep it moist, use newspaper, coffee grinds, egg shells, it's hard to go wrong unless you get an ant infestation or small white bugs. I don't know the amount per volume, but if you do use night crawlers use about 5 lbs or so. If your catfishing and particularly worried about bait dying try dip baits as they don't require hassel.
     
  15. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    State:
    Central Iowa
    redworms are a recycling boon right now. You can google home composting and get info. I love redworms. I don't really need them year round or anything but in the summer they are great. Not available all the time in baitshops. Most have none. I almost, and wish I had bought a pound and built a bin for them this summer.
     
  16. Pacman

    Pacman New Member

    Messages:
    141
    State:
    South Carolina
    I appreciate the info.

    Here's a tip I found that I thought was smart. Place a brick in a shallow aluminum foil cooking pan. Set your worm bed on the bricks (One on each end of the bed.) Pour water into the pans. Any crawling pests (ants, etc) will have to cross water to get to the worms. Neat and cheap!
     
  17. whiteriver

    whiteriver New Member

    Messages:
    617
    State:
    in
    That sounds like crap to me! ((:)smile2:)))
     
  18. whiteriver

    whiteriver New Member

    Messages:
    617
    State:
    in
    That may be true but will they take her out after closing time? ((:)crazy:)))