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Rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden

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Rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden

Post  Theresa on Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:47 pm

So what does rabbit manure, red wiggler worms and your garden have in common?
Rabbit manure is one of the best things you can give your garden, and it can go directly in the garden you do not have to compost it first. If you use straw or hay as bedding and it has mixed with the rabbit droppings, you might want to compost it first before you use it to kill out any seeds that may be in the straw or hay.

What about the red wiggler worms? You've got two things for the price of one with the red wiggler worms, they like manure, especially rabbit manure, they also like decaying left over foods and leaves. The worm castings (poop) are excellent for the garden, even if you provide all the nutrients your garden needs for good growth, studies from the University of Ohio show that using worm castings have increased the plants growth.

You will often find red wiggler worms in compost piles, and in the rabbit manure. They are a surface worm and can tolerate higher temperatures, they don't tunnel down into the earth like an earthworm. They are smaller in size and often a darker red color.

Josh has a unique way of having red wiggler worms in his raised bed garden. The worms travel about the garden leaving behind worm casting, in return feeding the plants. He has a worm tube in the garden that he uses to feed the worms. He adds food scraps, and rabbit manure and at times water to the tube for the red wiggler worms. The raised bed garden will support the life of a red wiggler worm if it is able to support the life of your plants. Our raised bed contains peat moss, and vermiculite or perlite, these are excellent bedding materials for red wiggler worms, because they all retain water providing the worms with moist bedding.

I have had people say, the worms could not live in the raised gardens, but Josh has been very successful for several years at having them in his raised gardens.
Some people have said it was 105 temperature outside and it hadn't rained in months, so the worms could not survive. A plant couldn't survive under those conditions in a raised bed either! A person has to water a raised bed to keep it from drying out for the plants to survive, and same for the red wiggler worms.

Here is a picture of Josh and his raised garden, he painted his worm tube a camouflage last year. He also adds rabbit manure before he plants. He is showing his black radishes he grew in his raised garden with the worm tube.






I have more things to share with you about rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your gardens!

Theresa

Posts: 159
Join date: 2011-09-20
Age: 60
Location: Illinois

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Re: Rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden

Post  Theresa on Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:37 am

Our temperatures have been cold lately, last weekend we had a pretty nice warm day or two and we decided to do some clean up in the yard and the rabbit area. Three days before there was snow on the ground, and it has been cold every since. I've got so much to do outside I hope it gets warmer soon so I can get some work done. Very Happy

I wanted to show you more about the rabbit manure that collects under the rabbit cages. Rabbits like to use the same area in their cage to poop and pee, that's why it is so easy to house break a rabbit to use a litter box. During cold months the rabbit manure piles up under the cages, we usually only put straw in the rabbits house box, but this time we did add straw to the wire cage bottom, so straw is mixed in with the rabbit manure, so this manure will go directly to the compost pile. We will stop using the straw as it warms up, and then when we clean under the cages that manure will go directly in the gardens.

So here is a picture of the pile of rabbit manure under the cage from last fall to last week.




Once we started to move the rabbit manure, straw, (both soaked with rabbit urine), and don't forget it was still cold, we had snow three days before and temps below freezing each day.
Guess what we found, worms. anyone want to go fishing? Razz


Last edited by Theresa on Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:22 pm; edited 3 times in total

Theresa

Posts: 159
Join date: 2011-09-20
Age: 60
Location: Illinois

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Re: Rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden

Post  Theresa on Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:51 am

Here is a picture of some of our past results from using rabbit manure, and worm castings (poop) in our gardens. We don't use anything else, no miracle grow, no other fertilizers, no cow, horse, sheep or any other manure, only our own home made compost from food scraps, leaves, straw, dead plants, rabbit manure, and then we add worm castings and rabbit manure directly to the garden soil mix.
Rabbit manure and red wiggler worms working together to give your plants what they need to grow and produce beautifully!


I've got more to tell you about rabbit manure, worm castings, and our raised gardens.

Theresa

Posts: 159
Join date: 2011-09-20
Age: 60
Location: Illinois

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Re: Rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden

Post  Theresa on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:05 pm

Now that you see what kind of gardens we have grown using rabbit manure, worm castings, and our home made compost, does that mean everyone who uses those three ingredients will get the same results? The answer is NO. The reason is because every garden is unique and every gardener is unique, no two are exactly the same. Weather plays a big part of the success and failures of a garden. Our neighbor down the road uses a raised garden, they have stopped by and asked me how I get mine to grow so good when theirs fail. Watering a raised garden is very important, as with all container gardens they must be watered properly, you can not rely on just when it rains to water the raised garden, and that is what the neighbor tries to do, go without watering the raised garden enough to meet the needs of the plants, plus the nutrients are different in their garden as compared to mine because they buy different composted manures, and add other ingredients in their soil mix,(or lack of ingredients), different than what we use.

What region you live in will made a big difference, you may live where it's colder longer, you may need to adjust for that and grow crops that will grow well in your region. You may live in the hot dry desert area, you will need to adjust for your area as well. You local Extension office can advise you as to what crops will grow well for you, and what times to plant.

But on the basics, if you give a plant what it needs, it will grow. I certainly can't plant a tropical plant out in my raised garden and expect it to grow in cold weather, but if I adjust my raised garden to fit the needs of the plant I too can grow a tropical plant. So with that in mind, rabbit manure and worm castings are two things that can provide a plant with some of the things that it needs to grow.

I have more to tell you about rabbit manure, worm castings, & your garden.

Theresa

Posts: 159
Join date: 2011-09-20
Age: 60
Location: Illinois

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Re: Rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden

Post  Theresa on Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:25 am



Here is a look at last years garden, did everything we plant turn out great, no, but for various reasons not every single plant or seed will grow up beautifully and produce, things happen! So don't be discourage if you try and fail, try to evaluate the situation and learn from the failure.

So what if you don't have rabbits or red wiggler worms, what do you do then? Well you can buy a rabbit or two Very Happy or you can search around in your area or county and find a rabbit breeder and most rabbit breeders will be happy to just give you some rabbit manure. You could also check with your county Extension office, many 4-H members raise rabbits to show at the fair. Come over to my house, I'll give you some! Wink

Ok so what about the red wiggler worm castings? The best thing for you to do there is start your own worm bin. Go to the store and buy a plastic tote, add some shredded damp newspapers, go to the bait shop and buy some red wiggler worms, put them in the tote and feed them left over food scraps. Get it started today, don't wait! Keep them inside if it's cold outside, if it's really hot outside keep them in the shade. Try not to fuss over them, they don't need any special care, don't drown them in water and don't overfeed them.
Be careful if you try to buy worm casting commercially or even if worm castings are listed as an ingredient in the bag of compost, it might be good, and it might not. If it's been dried out or becomes dried, it will then kill off many of the beneficial microbes. It's best to buy fresh from someone who raises worms, or better yet raise your own.
If you haven't read Josh's post about making a cheap worm bin, then take a look at that post, he can give you some easy steps in making a worm bin.

Making a cheap worm bin

I have more to tell you about rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden.

Theresa

Posts: 159
Join date: 2011-09-20
Age: 60
Location: Illinois

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Re: Rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden

Post  Theresa on Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:48 pm

So what else makes up the soil mix in our gardens besides worm castings, and rabbit manure? Our own homemade compost, and perlite or vermiculite, peat moss, or we now use fine chopped leaves as a substitute for the peat moss.

The first year we made our raised gardens, we didn't have any homemade compost so we bought it at the store, it worked, the plants grew, but nothing as good as our own homemade compost. Some times people just don't have the room, or time to make their own compost and have to buy it, but if you have even a little bit of room you can make your own compost.

We just started a compost pile on top of the ground, we placed cement blocks around it to keep it in it's place, but that's not necessary. Some people build a compost bin from wood, and that method is good too. You can just dig a hole and fill it with compost material. We have a compost barrel we bought from the store and we have one we made from a food grade plastic 55 gal barrel. All these methods will work.



The end results of this compost barrel


This is our compost pile under the rabbit cage, we add to the rabbit manure to make the compost.


And this is the 55 gal food grade barrel with a banded lid that we use to make compost with.


Here is a picture of the finished compost pile, Josh has sifted it getting out any bigger pieces, when he is done it's a nice fluffy compost to add to the garden!




I have more to tell you about rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden!

Theresa

Posts: 159
Join date: 2011-09-20
Age: 60
Location: Illinois

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Re: Rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden

Post  Theresa on Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:17 am

There is a long list of what can go in the compost pile, here are some
of the things we put in our compost pile to use in our raised garden
soil mix that we make.

Grass clippings
rabbit manure
leaves from the trees
food scraps but not meat or grease
straw
plants, but not weeds or plants that have seeds on them
coffee grounds
when we clean fish, we add the fish waist, we put them deep into the compost
pile to eliminate the smell, be cautious of the fish bones.
shredded newspaper

Don't put plants in the compost that have had pesticides used on them or if they are diseased don't use them.

There are many other things you can add like chicken manure, cow manure, and others but we don't use those in ours.


Last edited by Theresa on Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:30 pm; edited 2 times in total

Theresa

Posts: 159
Join date: 2011-09-20
Age: 60
Location: Illinois

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Re: Rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden

Post  Theresa on Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:05 pm

Instead of using peat moss we use leaves in our soil mix. We put the leaves in the compost pile also. We have a lawnmower that mulches and has a bag, but it's hard to get in and around trees, fences, bushes, flowers, all kinds of obstacles in the yard Very Happy We received from the garden club that I belong to a leaf blower and vacuum/mulch and it works fantastic! You can blow or vacuum the leaves in those hard to get to places and save yourself having to get the rake out. When you vacuum up the leaves it chops them up. I add some of the chopped leaves directly in the garden, and add the rest to the compost pile. They help retain moister in the soil, and go on to decompose while in the garden.

Last fall:







I put some of the chopped leaves in a leaf bag and kept them all winter to add to the soil mix this spring.

I have more to tell you about rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden.



Theresa

Posts: 159
Join date: 2011-09-20
Age: 60
Location: Illinois

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Re: Rabbit manure, red wiggler worms & your garden

Post  Theresa on Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:24 pm


And this is our harvest for today, 7-27-13 all grown in the mix of rabbit manure, worm compost, dried leaves and our own vegetable compost, and occasionally sprayed with Josh's worm tea.

Theresa

Posts: 159
Join date: 2011-09-20
Age: 60
Location: Illinois

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