The Alabama Jumper is the worm for you if your soil is in need of aeration and/or you need to compost "brown" organic material such as dried leaf and grass mulch. You can introduce them to many types of soils – loam, chalk, peat, and they are especially beneficial to silt or clay soils. Heavy clay and silt soils are often very compact and void of passages for water to enter. Due to its compactness, water will remain on top, run off, or evaporate before ever making its way down into the soil which often creates drought conditions. Alabama Jumpers create channels and networks of tunnels that allow rainwater to saturate the soil.In addition to creating water channels, Alabama Jumpers are fantastic at developing water stability with the castings they leave behind as they burrow through the soil. Water stability is the property of soil that allows it to remain loose, accept, and hold moisture. Without water stability, the soil will remain compact and cannot absorb water. An example of why worm castings are the best way to encourage water stability is what would happen if you were to mechanically till the soil. The soil will seem “refreshed” and will hold water quite well for a short time. However, this process disrupts root growth in the soil, and it will begin to clump together and form hard lumps. This happens through the process of becoming wet and then drying out. Mechanically tilled soil will eventually repel water absorption and make it unfriendly to healthy root growth once it becomes compact again. Adding Alabama Jumpers to your soil will aid in your soil's ability to retain water, as well as allow for healthy root growth. These worms are constantly creating new channels in the soil, so it never has the chance to become compact again; the growth of roots-- which aid in maintaining water stability as well-- are also allowed to progress undisturbed by mechanical tilling.
5000 Alabama Jumpers populates approximately 1700 - 2000 square feet yard or garden.
Distribution RecommendationsUse these recommendations as guidelines to give your soil project a good start. Keep in mind that the denser the worm population, the greater the propagation rate.
- Soil distribution - add 1000 worms per 350-400 sq ft
- Loosen the top 2-3 inches of soil before introducing; it will help the worms to burrow more quickly and lessen the danger of losing too much moisture
- Visualize an imaginary grid and try to evenly disperse groups of worms into each sector of the grid
- Do not release the worms in direct sunlight; try waiting until late afternoon when the Sun is low on the horizon
Habitat RecommendationsAlabama Jumpers are not typically raised in enclosed habitats. However, given the right environment you should be able to successfully raise them in a container.
- Three 50 gallon storage totes -- divided equally per tote
- Minimum container dimensions: 42" L x 22" W x 18" H
- Two 50 gallon drum, halved lengthwise -- divided equally
- Freezer or bathtub
- Manure pile
- Mulch pile
Bedding RecommendationsThese recommendations refer to raising Alabama Jumpers in a habitat. You can mix and match at your convenience:
- Top Soil
- *Composted manure
- Coconut coir
- Mushroom compost
- Peat Moss
*Horse and cow manure MUST be thoroughly composted before
using, at least 4-6 weeks. If using rabbit manure be sure to hose down
thoroughly if you are sourcing from directly under rabbit hutches due to
possible high urine saturation.
Feeding TipsYour Alabama Jumpers will consume mostly "brown" organic, such as:
- Dried and chopped leaf and/or grass mulch
- Composted manure
- Peanut shells
- Formulated Grain Feed
What amount of leaf/grass mulch, manure, or peanut shells should you feed 5000 Alabama Jumpers?
- Mulch. Add 3-5 inches of moistened mulch to the top of the bedding. The worms will come up to feed on the decomposing mulch. If it remains dry they will not be interested
- Manure. Add 3 inches of composted manure to the top of your bedding. Add 1 inch of manure every 3-4 weeks
- Peanut shells. Soak the shells in water for 24 hours then add a thick enough layer to hide the bedding underneath. Keep shells moist
How much specially formulated grain feed should you feed 5000 Alabama Jumpers?
There are two feeding methods for grain feeding; 1) top feeding and 2) total mix feeding.
For top feeding,
begin with 1 cup of grain even sprinkle on the top of the bedding,
then mist with water to soften the feed. Do not feed again until ALL of
the grain has been consumed. This will take anywhere between 12 to 36
hours. If the feed is consumed in less than 12 hours you can increase
the amount. If it takes longer than 36 hours, decrease the amount.
For total mix feeding, add 1/4 cup of feed per 1 gallon of
bedding and thoroughly mix. Make extra bedding/feed mix to continue
feeding when the worms have consumed the grain. The mixed-in feed
should satisfy the worms for about 3 weeks. After 3 weeks, add 1 inch
of the extra bedding/feed mix to the top of your habitat bedding.
Good to Know's
- When your garden is spent in the fall you can add a thick layer of mulch to winterize and feed the worms
- Alabama Jumpers will stay where they can get the easy meal; adding leaf mulch or manure to the top of your garden will continue to feed your worms all year long