worms, composting, organic gardening, and nature

Posts tagged ‘castings’

No Till Gardening


One of the best ways to increase the amount of nutrient converting soil microbes in your soil is to practice No or Low Till Gardening.  This means that instead of disturbing your garden soil with shovel or tiller, you allow the natural fungi and carbon sequestering to remain intact by a simple management program.  Whether you garden a small, raised bed plot or an acre, No Till can reduce your time and labor, while increasing your yield.  Here are a few simple ways to adopt this practice:

Establish Beds First

You will want to establish a raised bed or garden area with lots of compost to create a loose soil bed with lots of organic matter before starting a No Till Garden plan.  Once you have 6-12 inches of loose soil established in your area, your goal will be to maintain the quality of this soil.  Plant your first season of crops, and once plants are established by more than 3-4 inches of growth, mulch heavily (2-6 inches) in areas where you see bare soil.

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch

Maintain a layer of mulch in all areas that do not have seeds, but do have bare soil.  This serves to maintain moisture, provide organic matter for microbes to feed on, encourage earthworm habitation and protect those roots and microbe populations from UV damage.  My favorite garden mulch is shredded fall leaves. As the microbes and earthworms feed on the mulch, they break down the mulch into humus.  Another tip is to spread 6-18 inches of hardwood mulch in the walkways.  About every 6 months you will be able to scrape aside the top layer of mulch and find wonderful humus to add to your garden beds.  Replace walkway mulch to start the next season’s garden compost.

 Trim, Don’t Pull

Whenever possible, try to trim spent plants at the soil level instead of pulling out the root ecosystem.  This is especially important for legumes like peas and beans, which add nitrogen to the soil.  Large roots usually have fungi established along their root hairs that act as nutrient converters for most plants.  By pulling these roots, you lose organic matter that could enhance your soil as it decomposes and you also disturb long strands of fungal hyphae.

 Add Compost, Worm castings and Amendments each Time you Plant

Every season, you will need to add some compost to the top layer of your soil to maintain your 6-12 inches of loose soil.  If you had adequate mulch, you will need to add much less compost.  Living worm castings, added at 10 lbs per 100 square feet will maintain your soil microbe population.  Amendments like Azomite or Texas Green Sand will help keep trace nutrient levels high and allow them to be converted by the soil microbes in a plant available form.  Watering and rain will allow these top dressed amendments and worm castings to filter into the soil ecosystem, there is no need to till them in.

 Plant amongst Roots

Finally, you can plant your seeds and transplants amongst the old roots that are still in the soil.  Brush back mulch to plant in the soil. If you added appropriate compost, there should be plenty of soil for seedlings to establish.

 These tips should help your gardening experience by reducing many hard hours of work.  Enjoy Your Freedom from the shovel and tiller and watch as your plants produce like never before!

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New Year Opportunity for Organic Growers and Producers


Our mission at Texas Worm Ranch is to:

  • Reduce the local waste stream
  • Create beautiful and safe landscapes and gardens
  • Promote the use and enjoyment of local, sustainable, organic agriculture

The TOFGA conference is right around the corner, and we look forward to seeing all of our friends there.  We would love to schedule a time to talk about your program and see if our worm castings or aerated worm casting teas might benefit your production.  Please let us know if you would like to schedule a time to meet with us in Austin.

Worm castings and aerobically aerated worm casting teas have been a key ingredient in the success of organic and natural programs from vegetable gardens to grass fed beef operations.  We can help you increase the yield of your pastures, fields, and gardens. 

 Now is the time to think ahead about applying worm castings or an aerobically aerated worm casting tea to your property in timing with the last expected freeze date for your area.

 

Want more info?  Contact:  Heather Rinaldi or Steve Clary at info@txwormranch.com

Texas Worm Ranch is now taking bulk orders for premium worm castings.   In an effort to make it more affordable for our organic…Image partners, we will offer reduced pricing for bulk pre-orders placed a minimum of 10 weeks in advance of needing castings. A 50% deposit is required.  Pre-orders help ensure you will have the castings for application when you need them, and get an affordable price to inoculate your soil with the gold standard of beneficial soil microbiology.

This opportunity allows us to partner with our Texas farmers and ranchers in a way that helps us meet your demand, while helping you determine the best way to use our product to your farm’s health and bottom line benefit.

 ***We can also help you partner with Texas’ best applicators of soil biology inoculate field spraying***

Here is information about our product and what we hope to help you accomplish.

Feed your soil, naturally, with Texas Worm Ranch Premium Worm Castings and experience the profit and performance benefit from improving your soil ecosystem through our high quality worm castings or worm casting tea applications.

Test results:  “Above expected levels of bacteria and fungi, great diversity (of protozoa) – good for soil functioning in all conditions, good inoculums of both bacteria and fungi.  Nitrogen Cycling Potential:  300 lbs/acre”– Earthfort Labs

 Want more info?  Contact:  info@txwormranch.com

 Why buy Texas Worm Ranch Premium Worm Castings?

Our Goal is to ensure that our castings are the premium standard for the industry, in both nutrient value and soil biology.  Texas Worm Ranch is committed to a quality product that will greatly improve your soil health and production, increasing your profit potential.

  • Unlike other casting producers, our worms are never fed peat moss (an unsustainable and antimicrobial food source) or just one food source of any kind. 
  • We custom feed a diverse mix of natural vegetative waste to produce a premium standard of abundant biomass of beneficial soil organisms and nutrients.
  • Our castings are tested by a SoilFoodWeb and Dr. Elaine Ingram approved laboratory for diversity and mass of soil biology and nutrient cycling potential.
  • We use our castings in our own organic yard and tree treatments and vegetable production.  We require the highest quality for our purposes and pass that quality on for our customers’ success.
  • Our castings are harvested weekly and kept moist and alive to ensure you get the highest quality and diversity of biological life when applied to your property or clients’ property.
  • We also partner with two other TOFGA members who are widely regarded as the state’s best applicators of organic treatments.  If you are within their service regions, we will be able to connect you with them to apply Texas Worm Ranch casting product on your property.

Most regions in Texas will experience their last freeze date in Mid-March.  If you would like to benefit most from our early order discount, the time to order is before January 10th!  Email us today and we will get you started for success in 2013.

Info @txwormranch.com

 

 

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Don’t judge the bookworm by it’s cover


I often have customers tell me they have bought worm castings from a retail nursery and not really noticed any improvement from the application.  There is a good reason or two for that.  1)  If castings are dried and sealed in a clear, airtight container–there is no chance for beneficial soil microbes to be alive.  2)  Often, the retail castings are produced from straight peat moss.  Peat moss harvesting is destructive to the habitats they come from. Peat is also known to be antimicrobial, which defeats the soil microbe building purpose of worm castings.  The reason the producers use Peat Moss?  It looks a lot like worm castings, so that when screened, the customer doesn’t know the difference and just believes it is all a uniform product.  I call it the McDonald’s effect–the urge for consistency, even if it is an inferior product.

Our castings may not look entirely uniform.  We do screen at a 1/8 inch size screening, so the vast majority of the material will be straight castings.  Any other material is great food for the living microbes in the castings to continue feeding on and activating your soil with.  I love picking up and holding our freshly harvested castings.  It almost feels like a high dollar spa treatment in your hands–cool, earthy, moist and smelling of forest floor.  We harvest weekly to get our customers the freshest castings possible.  Our castings are packaged in breathable bags to maintain microbe life.  We also sell in bulk, and maintain that same level of quality whether you buy 2 lbs or 2,000.

Why buy Texas Worm Ranch Castings?

  • Unlike other casting producers, our worms are never fed peat moss (an unsustainable and antimicrobial food source) or just one food source of any kind. 
  • We custom feed a diverse mix of natural vegetative waste to produce a premium standard of abundant biomass of beneficial soil organisms and nutrients.
  • We use our castings in our own organic yard and tree treatments and vegetable production.  We require the highest quality for our purposes, and pass that quality on for our customers’ success.
  • Our castings are harvested weekly and kept moist and alive to ensure you get the highest quality and mass of biological life when applied to your property.
  • We monitor by microscope for diverse and abundant beneficial microbes and will soon have test results from a SoilFoodWeb and Dr. Elaine Ingram approved laboratory for diversity and mass of soil biology and nutrient cycling potential.

Our Goal is to ensure that our castings are the premium standard for the industry, in both nutrient value and soil biology.  Texas Worm Ranch commits to quality and our mission is to:

Reduce the local waste stream

Create beautiful and safe landscapes, gardens, and farms

Promote the use and enjoyment of local, sustainable and organic agriculture

We appreciate your support of this mission and sincerely appreciate your business.

Happy Growing!