Aquaponic Gardening

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I am running out of food for my growing worm beds. So far I have found the following to be very good feeds: Overripe Avacodo's, Banana peels, Algae(Green) & Aloevera.

Do any of you have any other readily available feeds?    

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A friend of mind calls herself a lazy gardener. I have to say, I'm the same. I don't worry much about my worms. Indoors I feed kitchen scraps...pretty much everything, though I'm careful not to overload the coffee, tea, & citrus, and I take care to balance the wet and dryer foods so they don't get too dry or too wet.

Outdoors they get garden scraps; anything we normally put into our thermal composters also goes in with the worms. I take care not to overload them with acidic foods, but they get all the garden greens that don't go to the cow/chickens/goat/fish, grass clippings, leaves, etc. I also throw extra kombucha cultures in there. (kombucha = fermented tea w/lots of probiotics in it).

My problem is that with a six person household, we don't generate enough scraps to keep the worms multiplying.



Sheri Schmeckpeper said:

A friend of mind calls herself a lazy gardener. I have to say, I'm the same. I don't worry much about my worms. Indoors I feed kitchen scraps...pretty much everything, though I'm careful not to overload the coffee, tea, & citrus, and I take care to balance the wet and dryer foods so they don't get too dry or too wet.

Outdoors they get garden scraps; anything we normally put into our thermal composters also goes in with the worms. I take care not to overload them with acidic foods, but they get all the garden greens that don't go to the cow/chickens/goat/fish, grass clippings, leaves, etc. I also throw extra kombucha cultures in there. (kombucha = fermented tea w/lots of probiotics in it).

An apple and a banana everyday for six people! Thats more than enough for worms.

I should have about 16000 now

David Schwinghamer said:

An apple and a banana everyday for six people! Thats more than enough for worms.

Can you get lawn & garden clippings from neighbors?

Too obvious! Why didn't I think of that? As a kid in Connecticut I grew earthworms in a bed of leaves.

I will have a chat with the landscape mtce. folks at Point Tapatio, You my have found my solution. Thanks again 

FWIW be very cautious using grass clippings from neighbors. Make sure they are NOT using Round-Up or any other toxic chemicals on their lawns. Your compost should be organic from the get go.

On another note we are down to a 2 person household as the kids are all grown up, and we generate plenty of raw material. However I grind it all using our Mac grinder that I finally converted to electric which is far more suitable to a process that tends to load up the power source than gas could ever be and the results are fantastic. No more stalled motor with the accompanying horror clean up to restart. (when you load a gas motor it looses power at an alarming rate BUT when you load up an electric motor it gains power at an alarming rate, a no brainer and no cold starts). Your organics will go a lot further if you take the time to grind and blend it all up (EVERYTHING from meat and bones to cardboard to garden and AP scraps including dead fish). Also spread a little of that ground material in a bed in a shady corner of your yard and cover it with boards, cardboard, etc, and you will have more earth worms move in than you know what to do with. Well maybe not in the desert You might have to seed it with worms from away. Never lived in a d...

Don't forget to grind up leaves, egg shells, chicken manure, horse manure, cow manure, hair from your barber, everything organic. You couldn't possibly run out if you look around. Be careful of woodchips as they tend to tie up the nitrogen fixing bacteria. Better to use sawdust or paper. Woodchips do make a good cover but don't mix them in.

Thanks for the caution! I had forgotten that issue.

Jim Fisk said:

FWIW be very cautious using grass clippings from neighbors. Make sure they are NOT using Round-Up or any other toxic chemicals on their lawns. Your compost should be organic from the get go.

On another note we are down to a 2 person household as the kids are all grown up, and we generate plenty of raw material. However I grind it all using our Mac grinder that I finally converted to electric which is far more suitable to a process that tends to load up the power source than gas could ever be and the results are fantastic. No more stalled motor with the accompanying horror clean up to restart. (when you load a gas motor it looses power at an alarming rate BUT when you load up an electric motor it gains power at an alarming rate, a no brainer and no cold starts). Your organics will go a lot further if you take the time to grind and blend it all up (EVERYTHING from meat and bones to cardboard to garden and AP scraps including dead fish). Also spread a little of that ground material in a bed in a shady corner of your yard and cover it with boards, cardboard, etc, and you will have more earth worms move in than you know what to do with. Well maybe not in the desert You might have to seed it with worms from away. Never lived in a d...

Don't forget to grind up leaves, egg shells, chicken manure, horse manure, cow manure, hair from your barber, everything organic. You couldn't possibly run out if you look around. Be careful of woodchips as they tend to tie up the nitrogen fixing bacteria. Better to use sawdust or paper. Woodchips do make a good cover but don't mix them in.

Great points, Jim.  You do need to know what your neighbors do to their yards. :) 

Your grinding comments made me laugh, because Bob just got a long-wanted chipper. Now everything gets chipped, from mulch (needs to be re-chipped smaller) to cow pies. It's great, and it does make composting faster!

Our garden has naturally attracted earthworms (not compost worms). A good environment, even here in the desert, should bring them in without seeding. Our compost worms have been making their way from one composter to another. Once things get rolling...



Jim Fisk said:

FWIW be very cautious using grass clippings from neighbors. Make sure they are NOT using Round-Up or any other toxic chemicals on their lawns. Your compost should be organic from the get go.

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