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What’s the difference between Red Wigglers, Euros and Blues

What’sthe difference between Red Wigglers, Euros and Blues

Eiseniafetida (Also known as the red worm, red wiggler, manure worm, tiger worm,brandling worm) This is the most common variety sold and used for homevermicomposting. While it can be (and is) used for fishing, often bait dealers(and fishermen) prefer its larger cousin…

Eiseniahortensis (“European Nightcrawler”)

Thisvariety can be used for worm composting as well, but as mentioned due to itslarger size it is often raised for use as a bait (or feeder) worm.

To answerthe question about co-habitation, both E. fetida and E. hortensis or E. hortensis and Perionyxexcavatus  can easily occupy the same worm bed, in fact they can makealmost ideal companions since the former tends to live very close to thesurface while the latter tends to prefer the increased moisture levels in thelower regions.

Eisenia fetida (older spelling: foetida),known under various common names suchas manure worm,[2] redwormbrandlingwormpanfish wormtrout wormtiger wormredwiggler worm, etc., is a species of earthworm adaptedto decaying organic material.These worms thrive in rotting vegetation, compost, and manure. Theyare epigean, rarely found in soil. Inthis trait, they resemble Lumbricus rubellus.

Red wigglers are reddish-brown in color, have small ringsaround their body and have a yellowish tail.[3] They have groups of bristles (called setae) on

The European nightcrawler (Eiseniahortensis or Dendrobaena veneta) is a medium-small earthworm averagingabout 1.5 g when fully grown. Generally blueish, pink-grey (cf. Latin veneta meaning"sea-blue") in color with a banded or striped appearance, the tips oftheir tails are often cream or pale yellow. When the species has not beenfeeding, it is pale pink. The species is usually found in deep woodland litterand garden soils that are rich in organic matter inEuropean countries. E. hortensis is sold primarily as a baitworm, but its popularity as a composting worm is increasing.[1]

Perionyx excavatus is a commerciallyproduced earthworm. Popular names for thisspecies include composting wormsblues, or Indianblues. This species is marketed for its ability to create fine wormcastings quickly. It has recently become more popular in North America for composting purposes.

This species belongs to the genus Perionyx. It may have its origins in the Himalayan mountains. This species is suited for vermicomposting in tropical and subtropical regions.[1]

How long will my OLLA last?©

Your OLLA will last for years, with a little TLC. If leaves or light things fall into the olla, fill the olla with water and as the item floats up, swish it out. If you find a lot of dirt has accidentally gotten in the OLLA (it happens), dig the OLLA up, tilt in on its side and spray the inside with your hose until the dirt washes out. You can clean your OLLA with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water if your water is full of minerals. Pour one gallon of water AND one gallon of vinegar in your OLLA and let it sit for a few hours. Use a scrub brush for removing debris on the outside. First, remove the OLLA from the ground if using a vinegar cleaning.

Do I need to water my new plants/seeds?

Yes, when seeds or young plants are put into the ground, they will need topical water until the roots are established enough to draw from the OLLA. After that, the OLLA will do all the work.


Why does the OLLA need a lid?

The lid prevents evaporation and keeps out mosquitoes, frogs,slugs, dirt, leaves, etc.

Do I need to dig up my OLLAS every winter?

We say No, if you do a few preparations.  Our ollas havevery thick walls which help keep them stable.

Our XLarge 11 liter/2.9 gallon olla has withstood manyconsecutive winters in the ground in southern Canada, as well as in Maryland,Virginia, Utah, and Peninsula, to name a few states. But every area isdifferent, so we say error on the side of personal experience and common sense.We are testing ollas all the time.


FIRST, 14 days BEFORE your last frost, make sure the ollas areempty, no water should be in them.

SECOND, Cover the lid. Some straw and an inverted bucket willdo.

THIRD, Pay attention to your particular location. If your areais prone to heavy rains quickly followed by freezing tempertures, we suggestyou dig up your ollas for the winter and store them in a dry place. (Be on thewatch for a Youtube on“How to Easily Dig up a Dripping Springs Olla”.)

What plants can I use with the OLLA?

You can use the OLLA with any plant: vegetables and flowers, of course, but also trees and shrubs. Putting an OLLA by a new tree or shrub will help get the plant through that first year. If you feel the root system is well developed after one year, dig the OLLA up and use it somewhere else. Your local nursery would know more about normal tree and shrub root growth. Keep in mind that woody roots from fast growing trees and shrubs are very strong and over 3 or more years could wrap around the OLLA and eventually crack it. Wisely use the OLLA to get these plants established, however long that takes, and then move the OLLA to use on another plant.

Click here for ideas!

How deep do I bury my OLLAS?

Bury the OLLA with enough of the neck exposed so that soil and mulch do not wash into the pot.

Leaving 2 inches showing above ground will usually do the trick.

How often should the OLLAS be refilled?

This is determined by a few variables

·        how much water your plants use

·        soil type

·        temperature

·        rainfall

Also, the OLLAS are hand crafted so there may be some minorvariation among pots.

On a conservative side, fill the OLLAS 2 times weekly. If yourarea gets around 30 inches of rain annually, you may be able to go for 5-7 dayswithout filling the OLLA.

If mulch is used as a cover, and your area gets a little rainmonthly, it is possible to go up to 10 days without refilling. You’ll find thepattern for your area with a little observation and common sense!

What are the sizes of your OLLAS?

The Large OLLA is 13” from the bottom to the lid and 12” indiameter. It holds 2.9 gallons/11 liters of water.

OurMedium Happy Face OLLA is 9″ tall is about 5″ across. It holds 1 quart/liter ofwater.

Do I plant inside the OLLA?

No. The OLLA is buried neck deep and filled with water. PlantOUTSIDE and AROUND the OLLA pot.

How do I use my OLLA?

Ollas can be used for vegetable gardens, flower gardens, tree saplings, berry bushes, just about anything that needs water to grow. The OLLA spacing will depend on plant selection, soil type, and temperature. As a general rule, plant 18 – 24 inches from the center of the Largest OLLA, and 10-12 inches from the center of the Medium Happy Face OLLA. This space will equal a 36”-48″ diameter circle around the Larges OLLA, and a 20″-24″ diameter circle around the Medium Happy Face OLLA.

Optimum plant spacing and distance will also be influenced by the root system and size of the plant. For instance, tomatoes are a large plant with an aggressive root system, so placing them at the edge of the wetting area will allow ample room for growth. The smaller plants can be planted right up to the neck of the OLLA. Some helpful diagrams for the largest ollas are below. A little experimentation and common sense will serve you well when deciding.

Why do I need an OLLA?

Conserving water is a stellar reason to use an OLLA. But, there are many other reasons to use an OLLA:

1.   If your water use is restricted.

2.   If you want to save time by watering less often.

3.   If you container garden.

4.   If you have a small area which is difficult to irrigate or getssun all day.

5.   If you cannot water your plants on a regular basis (travel,work, summer home, life gets busy!, etc.)

6.   If you don’t like to weed since water in an OLLA doesn’t watertopside weed seeds.

7.   If you want healthier plants and better vegetable productionsince water is delivered at the root level.

8.   If you are gardening at a school or in a community garden withlimited water access.

9.   If you want a smaller carbon footprint.

How does an OLLA work?

The OLLAS are made of unglazed, porous clay. When an OLLA isfilled with water, the water is pulled out through the wall of the pot, due toSoil Moisture Tension. Roots of the plants help create a suction by absorbingavailable water, drying out the soil and causing tension in the soil, againstthe water in the olla, (think dry paper towel and water on a counter).

When the soil is dry, water is pulled out of the OLLA, when thesoil is moist, the water is not pulled out of the OLLA. This creates a directsupply and demand system. The roots will eventual grow toward and around theOLLA, allowing even and consistent watering.

Plants are never over or under watered. If the OLLA is onlypartially filled, and there is a lot of rain, water will go back into the OLLAby way of gravity, decreasing the splitting of succulent fruits such astomatoes and melons.

What is an OLLA?

An OLLA is a clay pot used for irrigation. Itis buried in the ground or container neck deep and filled with water to supplywater to surrounding plants. The roots will grow towards and around the pot.The process works by soil moisture tension: when the soil is dry, the water ispulled out, when the soil is moist, water stays in the OLLA. OLLA irrigationhas been used for thousands of years.

Why AGSIL 16H Potassium Silicate

A major mineral is missing in many soils and most soil tests do not even monitor its presence. This mineral can increase stress resistance, boost photosynthesis and chlorophyll content, improve drought resistance, salt tolerance and soil fertility and prevent lodging. It can also reduce insect pressure, frost damage and destructive disease while lowering irrigation rates, neutralising heavy metal toxicity and countering the negative effects of excess sodium. Read the full benefits of Potassium Silicate here

How do I use AGSIL 16H

Use 1.5 Grams (Just under 1/2 teaspoon) Per Gallon of Water for Foliar Spray or Soil Drench.

How to use this powder dry with your Neem Oil: Mix 1.5 grams (Just under 1/2 Teaspoon) AgSil 16H with 1/2 Ounce Pure Neem Oil to emulsify the oil. Then mix this emulsified oil with one gallon final volume spray solution. Spray every other week covering all plant surfaces (top and bottom of leaves) until it runs off.

Liquid Recipe

Make your own nutrient bottle! Here is a recipe to make a liquid version of a Silica Nutrient.

Just follow the mixing recipe below.

If you don't have a scale: Use 3 Tablespoons of Agsil16H for every 8 ounces water.

Do I need to use a special potting mix?

You can use any potting mix with Rain Science grow bags®. We recommend something you are familiar with.  Because of the extra aeration, your soil may dry out faster and  you might wish to adjust your watering schedule or growing medium depending on the moisture requirements of specific plants

Are Rain Science Growbags Reusable? How do I clean them?

Yes, Rain Science Grow bags® can be reused over and over again. You can wash them with dish soap and warm water. If you need to sterilize your bags they can be soaked in a solution of H2o2 and water. They are also washing machine safe, so feel free to throw them in with the laundry.

What is air pruning?

Air pruning is a natural process that happens as plant roots come in contact with fresh air near the walls of the growbag, the root tip stops growing, essentially pruning itself, this causes the rest of the root to branch off with many tiny feeder roots, instead of a few circling roots. These new roots will continue to colonize bag, allowing the plant to maximize uptake of both water and nutrients.

Are Rain Science Growbags® Good for organic Gardening

Yes, Rain Science Grow bags® meet the requirements of the CA Department of Public Health “Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions.We leach nothing to the soil and exchange nothing with the environment. If the rest of your grow is organic you can feel confident using Rain Science.

Why are Rain Science Grow Bags® better than Traditional plastic containers?

Rain Science grow bags aerate your root zone and plastic containers do not. Root  Aeration stops root circling by Air pruning, helping your plant build a stronger root structure. Better roots means higher resistance to pests and disease, and a faster growing healthier plant. Old School plant pots also hold a lot of heat, which can lead to a whole new set of problems. Rain Science Bags actually dissipate heat keeping your roots at an optimal temperature.

Why not just use Plastic pots?

When your roots grow, they will quickly reach the container walls. With Old School plastic containers, these roots immediately start circling and continue to circle. If you look at the root structure from a plant in a plastic pot you find a few large roots growing in circles with very little side branching, the roots will soon bind upon themselves, restricting nutrient uptake and eventually lead to root bound plants and death.

How do they work?

The problem with fabric Grow pots are mold build up and root rot from the fabric staying wet.. Mold, Mildew and algae can rob your plants of valuable nutrients and oxygen. The Wet material does not allow air to pass very freely. Our special mesh allows for better drainage than traditional grow bags.  Rain Science Grow bags provide More stable root zone temperatures, Greatly improved drainage through the entire growbag and extra oxygen to the soil because of  improved air flow through the fabric. This air flow facilitates a process called air root pruning, where the plant creates a bunch of tiny feeder roots which are better at absorbing nutirents,  this in turn leads to increased plant growth.

What is PreBiotech

PreBiotech™ is a preferred food source for beneficial microbes on plant surfaces including those associated with plant growth promotion and biological suppression of plant disease. A unique blend of crustacean shell that has been micronized to allow for a rapid reaction time with microbes, PreBiotech creates new application opportunities for crops including vegetables, fruit trees, ornamentals, row crops and hemp.

  • Effective. easy to use formulation
  • Non-toxic and food safe
  • Natural and organic (OMRI and CDFA OIM approved)
  • Safe for the environment
  • Versatile and economical

Do you ship your products?

Yes, we offer shipping for those who need it. Simply fill out the order form and specify that you would like it shipped and we will determine the cost and contact you with a total price for your order. If everything looks good, we will take your payment and ship it directly to your door!

How do you take payments?

We take Cash, Check, Credit Cards, and Cashapp. After filling out an order form, we will contact you to determine your preferred payment method. If we are delivering product to you, we will take your payment upon delivery. Definitely feel free to contact us if you have any questions; you can use the chat on our website or fill out our contact form.

What is IPM (Integrated Pest Management)?

Fundamentally IPM is creating a complete management system for indoor/outdoor growing                                      

UC Davis Defines IPM as:

“Integrated pest management (IPM) is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are made with the goal o removing only the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial organisms, and the environment.”

If your interested in implementing this in your garden, be sure to check out our comprehensive instructions.

How do I make the Clackamas Coot Soil Mix?

The Clackamas Coot Mix

Here is the recipe for my personal potting soil mix and this will make 1 cubic foot (which is just a little over 7 gallons).

You'll need a 5-gallon bucket, like the ones you can get at Home Depot. We’ll use this to measure out our base ingredients, which isn’t a long list. This was created for new gardeners so there’s nothing o worry about - it’s easy! 

  1. Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss (CSPM). Think of this as the frame on your car. This material is standard in the nursery industry and we can get this at Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Lowe’s and other stores. This material is compressed, so we’ll want to break it apart so that it’s loose and you can move your fingers through it easily. We want 1/2 bucket which is about 2.5 gallons.
  2. Vermicompost. A good alternative is 80% compost and 20% worm castings. If CSPM is the frame for this project, the vermicompost is the entire drive-train. I cannot stress enough the importance of sourcing the finest vermicompost that you can find in your area. Measure out 1/2 bucket and add to the CSPM. I’m going to switch gears a bit and we’ll add the amendments to this combination and it’s only 6 items so nothing to worry about. 
  3. 2 cups of malted grains from a home-brew store. Have them grind it for you at the store. Try to get it ground to as close to whole-heat flour as possible.
  4. 1 cup limestone (I.e. Calcium Carbonate - CaCO3). You do not want to use Dolomite Lime which will have 10% or so of Magnesium. We want to use limestone only.
  5. 2 cups of granite rock dust. Almost every retail and even commercial potting soil lacks this all-important item. Soil at it’s basic level is rotted plant and animal material and shattered rock. For the microbialhealth in the soil as well as other reasons we want to add either basalt rock dust(West Coast) or granite on the East Coast. Please avoid Azomite, Bentonite,Zeolite because all are alumina-silicate compounds and the last thing that wewant in our soil is aluminum especially at the levels found in these colloidalminerals. 
  6. 1 cup Gypsum (Calcium and Sulfur)
  7. 1 cup Crustacean Meal (Crab and/or Shrimp Meal) (Calcium, Nitrogen and Chitin along with other benefits)
  8. 1 cup kelp meal (North Atlantic) to our developing soil mix. No other plant has the array of nutrients, compounds and such as kelp meal.
  9. 3/4 cup of Karanja Meal
  10. 3/4 cup Neem Meal
  11. Now, water this mix and let it soak for a few hours to make sure that we have good hydration in all of the material. 
  12. 1/2 bucket of perlite or rice hulls for aeration. Use a pitch fork or hoe and thoroughly mix everything together. So, you will see your potting soil coming together. 

You’ll notice that the soil has a very rich smell like the floor in a forest - humus! 

This exact recipe has been used by hundreds and hundreds around the USA and it grows in popularity every year as friends tell friends about what it did for their gardens. 

"This mix is perfect for starting seeds or for planting seedlings or transplants that you buy at shows." -Clackamas Coot

Why are our worm castings premium?

Together with our soil biologist we came up a Worm diet that consists of: North Atlantic Sea Kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum), Malted Barley Grains, Karanja Cake, Granite Dust, Alfalfa, Corn, in a bed of Florida Peat, and composted aged Horse manure.

Are all earthworm castings the same?

It’s true all earthworm castings come out of the body of the earthworm. However, depending what the earthworm is fed will determine the quality of the castings. For example, if worms are fed only one ingredient, say lettuce, they can only process the nutrients and minerals that are found in lettuce. This is as opposed to worms that are fed a complete, well-balanced diet.

Bottom line: what goes in, is necessarily what comes out.

Can I put worms in my garden and accomplish the same thing?

Compost worms spend the majority of their lives above the soil in organic matter that falls on top of the soil. This leaves them very vulnerable to weather and predators.

This means you'll have to meet certain environmental conditions for these worms to survive.

Deep mulching works to attract all types of native earthworms. It also provides the best chance of having compost worms survive (at least the temperate months) in your garden. BUT there's no need to go out and add a whole bunch of worms to your garden. Once you have a thick mulch layer and are using castings in your garden worms will appear if they're able to survive. You see it's almost impossible to remove every egg capsule and baby when we harvest your castings. If the garden is hospitable then they will grow up and reproduce.

How Do I Use earthworm Castings?

Earthworm castings are easy to use. This makes an excellent potting mix or mix to plant in the ground: 25% earthworm castings mixed with 75% soil is a common mix.

PuttingWorm Castings To Use


Potting mixes/seed flatsMix 1 part worm castings to 3 parts potting mix. 

Flower beds, shrubs, roses, vegetables—Top dress with 1 to 3 inches of worm castings and

incorporate into the soil with a fork or spade. 

House Plants—Spread 1 /2 to 1 inch of castings around established plants and scratch into the soil, every 2-3 months. 

New Lawns—Apply 10 pounds to 100 square feet. Work lightly into the topsoil. 

Established Lawns and Greens—Top dress at 4 pounds to 100 square feet. 

Perennials—Top dress 1 to 3 inches in spring, early summer, and fall. 

All plants and vegetables—Apply every 30 days. 

New plants in pots—Mix 10% worm castings with any potting soil, then add %" layer on top before planting. 

Plants already in pots—Scratch the top of the soil. Add ½ inch layer of worm castings on top and water thoroughly. 

Worm Tea—Soak 1 part worm castings in 3 parts of water for 24 hours or more - mixing several times. Use immediately.

Apply one - 8 ounce cup of tea per plant every 30 days or add 4 ounces of tea to 1 gallon of water for use as a foliar spray. Apply every 30-60 days.

Why Should I Use Earthworm Castings?

Except for water and sunlight, nothing could be more natural for your garden than earthworm castings. Not steer manure, not chicken manure, not even fish emulsion is as natural for your garden as earthworm castings! After all, when digging in your garden have you ever found a live cow, chicken, or fish? No, what you do find are live worms. Mother Nature created the mighty worm about 570 million years ago to care for her plant life by caring for the soil. As the earthworm eats its way through the soil, it takes in bits of soil and rotting or decaying plants (organic matter).

And what comes out is the richest food your plants will ever find yet will not burn a plant! Earthworms have the unique ability to increase the amount of nutrients and minerals in the soil by as much as 10 times the value of the plant debris there. These minerals and nutrients are properly conditioned for the best root growth and lush plant growth – plus it’s odor free!

What are earthworm castings?

Earthworm castings are the material deposited by the earthworm after the material passes through the digestive track of
the worm (worm manure)