I began the Square Foot Gardening method this year after 3 failed traditional gardens. While searching for a method to compost quickly to feed my garden, I found vermicomposting. I started with a bucket in my kitchen and a few red wigglers and have recently made a stacking system from plastic containers to house my new workers.
Welcome Dolcie, so sorry you did not find out about UJ before you ordered from him, we have countless complaints on this forum about him. First you probably will not get red wigglers (EF's) from him but a different species PE's. Second the worms are small and he claims you have to add water for them to swell up, not true, and the orders are usually far less then what he says you will receive.
The negative characteristics of pe's are they prefer warmth and not tolerate of cold, love to wander. They are good composters, i personally have a bunch of them and i like them, but for most the EF's are preferred. Two pounds of red wigglers is about 2000 worms. If you are buying worms grown specifically for fishing they are fed special formulas and given a lot of space to size up. What you receive from most growers are a lot smaller. There are several videos of what a pound of worms look like on this site.
Looks like you have put a lot of thought into you new project. You can research out leachete and worm tea; they are not the same. Leachette CAN be toxic to your plants and worms so be careful with it. If handled correctly it is ok.
Welcome to the forum.
Welcome aboard, Dulcie. Nice write-up on your blog. As Rich has already pointed out (I'll comment on your blog later), "worm juice" aka leachate can sometimes be toxic to plants. I agree with Guru's suggestion to document (video or photos) the shipment you receive from U.Jim's. Be sure to weigh the entire bag.
If you really want to see the worms without the bedding, do a "worm pile light harvest" (search if you don't know what this is). If the worms leave the pile despite a light shining on them, you immediately know those are NOT red wigglers. The size of your final worm harvest pile will tell you how many worms you have. Post a photo with a quarter next to the pile of worms for reference and we can tell you what you got.
The MO seems to be to send customers a short order and count on the fact that at least 90% don't know what 1,000 or 1 lbs. of worms looks like. If you call or email to complain that you did not get enough worms, they usually send you another batch. The photo/video documentation will help your case.
But as Rich points out, that will not change the fact that you probably will get a large percentage of blue worms (P. excavatus) instead of red wigglers (E. fetida). You will definitely want to keep a light shining down on your new worm bin for a week or so to discourage the blues from wandering out. They may (or maybe not) settle down after a while, but could break out of the bin en masse for any number of reasons.
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