Worms LOVE cantaloupe and it is funny but they will eat everything but the webbing on the rind. I find the webbing remains that look like bits of lace in the bin - usually within 24 hours, they really devour melons quickly.
Tropicalnut777 - What is the purpose of using a microwave on your melon rinds after chopping them up? I'm curious because I have never heard of doing that. It does sound like a winner for your worms. This is the season for cantaloupe and watermelon so your worms probably do sing; play the banjo too. Smile.
Soon my Minnesota Midget Cantaloupe will be producing a continuous harvest and I want my red worms to be happy like yours. Midgets are small; about 1 - 1.5 pounds each, very sweet, juicy, a fast grower, very prolific, and the perfect size for one person. Because they are small, approx. the size of my fist, they are easily trained on a trellis and continue to produce these little melons until a killer frost stops them. Since I live in southeast Georgia such a frost is many months from now, so I will be sharing my abundance with the neighbors and also drinking lot's freshly cantaloupe juice.
My worms stay outside and during the cold months they weren't very active. I imagine grinding and pre cooking would be a good thing then. Right now, in our part of the country when it is so hot, I do not even chop the food into small pieces, they are eating like little pigs. Even the coir bedding seems to disappear.
ok..i have to take time to post here..wow summer is gone..sigh..LOL
reason i micro most of my worm food is to get it broke down some..
i know many worm enthusiasts make a slurry of their food .. gets it boke down for the
worms and they i guess eat it easier/faster..
im doing same with my left over pumpkins too.. rind and inside..i chop up..
micro for a few minutes.. i let it set for couple days..then off to the worm bins..
they love pumpkin too..
great to catch up with ya all!!!!
Cantalope is on the list of favorite foods for worms. I am assuming you-all are talking about Eisenia fetida- red wigglers, or Perionyx spenceriella--blue worms. Both popular composting worms. The reason I threw out the latin names is because there is so much confusion with the many common names of worms.
I have found that worms are tolerant of even "experimental" foods, like coffee grounds, citrus, and bread. As long as you do not over do it. To counteract the acidity of those particular experimental foods I save all of my egg shells, then grind them up in the kitchen blender with water to make a slurry. I will put that in the compost bucket prior to adding the compost to the worm bin to give the calcium time to integrate with the coffee etc.. The kitchen blender does not grind some of the shell particles fine enough to pass through the gut of the worms, but they end up in the finished castings--oh well. Perhaps a savage blender like a Vita-mix would be better. If you do not mind trashing the blades of an electric coffee grinder those will grind dry shells into a powder, but only a little at a time.
One thing to remember about worm food is that their food is actually the microbes that start the process of breaking down the composting materials.
I use the melon rinds to trap the worms when I want to move them to a new bin so I can harvest the castings. I put in a small slice at one end and as soon as its cover with worms I pick the whole thing up and put it in the new bin. By the time I go through a whole cantaloupe rind there are very few worms left in the old bin.
Pumpkins will do the same thing in the Northeast...however the action will be more related to the spring warm up. Our soil is down and often below fifty degrees by the time our pumpkins are ready for trashing to the compost piles. The frost on the pumpkin patches is a real time event here in the Northeast.
I have been adding egg shells and coffee grounds to my blended worm food for several years based on comments and recommendations in DG. I am not convinced that the worms really benefit from either, but they both seem to add to the value of using the spent media for germination and potting mixes. I no longer purchase germination mixes for my seedlings and the seedlings do fantastic in just the media I remove from the surface of each worm bin prior to feeding. All I do is grate this material through a 1/4-inch screen to make it a little easier to handle. Next season I WILL get around to making worm compost tea using this material as well.
i too use a fair amout of coffee grounds in worm bins.. i save what egg shells i come by for the outside compost..
ive been using my plentiful amount of castings in planting up the small tropicals i brought inside for overwintering..with
compost,castings,perlite.. the plants sure seem to respond well to this mix..
also added a fair amount of castings to my amaryllis bulb pots this yr..and they are enjoying the enriched soil!!!
got our 1st good in the valley snow today.. sigh.. winter is here.. sigh.. LOL
happy T day to all!!!! eat hardy
I read that you can wash pumpkins with a 10% bleach solution to prevent mold and store them in the basement over winter. Since we don't have basements here I haven't tried it but next year when they are giving away truckloads of pumpkins after Halloween I am going to try to store some in the garage for worm food.
I just purchased (for the first time) some of the red wrigglers and put them into my outdoor composter. This is where I dump all organic waste .. coffee grounds, veggie and fruit scraps, and shredded newspaper. After reading some of the posts, I am wondering if the worms will do ok in this environment. Anyone have any info to offer me? Thanks.
joyceb, they should do great outdoors. My red wiggler culture came from a neighbor's outdoor leaf compost pile some forty plus years ago and I have done unimaginable things to them and they keep on kickin! I have four indoor bins or tubs which I use for kitchen scraps. Media is exclusively peat moss which is used primarily for germination of seeds. The outdoor bins one of which is a dug down raised bed contain horse and cow manure. The dug down raised bed has the cow manure and several kinds of night crawlers. I use this bin for garden scraps as well: squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc., which didn't make the freeze cut, or were not suitable in some way for harvest. These composted manures are great for potting up, container and raised bed gardening. It sounds like you are adding some grass clippings (as long as you don't treat your lawn with chemicals), and mowed up leaves as well. I blend my worm food for the indoor bins and add egg shells to the mix.
I'm not as good a composter as you all are. I just take the kitchen vegetable scraps (less onion/garlic) out to my little pile of redworm castings and decayed vegetation. It is on the top of the ground and I try to remember to water it every other day or so. When I put new stuff in I notice there are redworms but not as many as in the Spring when it's cooler. Don't know if they hide at the bottom or just perish in the Summer heat, but they will be back in the Fall.