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compost worms


Distaff

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Placed an order for 1000 red wiggler type (Uncle Jim's Worm Farm). 

 

Several years ago, I had some, but wasn't able to make a success of it.  My compost piles will dry out if they aren't watered nearly as often as the plants.  Anyway, there is much better information on line now about vermiculture. 

 

What struck me was how differently the worms are raised, depending on the purpose.  The people who raise them for fishing bait or aquariums, just use smaller tubs, and feed sparingly food that is already mashed up, finely ground, or blended.   No one on those videos is just dumping spoiled cabbage heads, bananna peals, whole egg shells, and half eaten ham sandwiches into the bin.  The worms are fed carefully, and strict attention is paid to the moisture content of the bedding.  They are not draining out the bottom for compost tea, because the bedding is kept barely damp, not soaking wet.  In the best video I watched, the guy had holes on the bottom of his inner bins only for air exchange.  He wasn't using the bottom bin spigots he had installed as a newbie.

 

No one I found is using it, but I think a scrap of Mattala (sp.?) filter might be a beneficial addition to the bottom.  I'm going to cut a piece to fit my single bin, and cover it with a sheet of felted blanket material (like many people use on the top of the substrate), to keep the bedding from clogging it.  It will help with aeration from the bottom up, and any fallen worms can crawl back up into the bedding.  The bin I purchased is clear Sterilite, so I should also be able to see excess moisture problems from the outside.  Also, since worms don't like light, maybe this will keep them from crawling up the sides.

 

If the fish don't like these, the chickens will.  :)

Edited by Distaff
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I was a newbie to composting, but really threw myself into it the first year I tried it. I created a step-by-step web page with photos. The worms just invited themselves over for coffee (grounds). I don't feed my fish worms, but carefully welcome them in my garden.

 

Here's the compost link

Edited by mysterygirl
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Fun link.   Thanks. 

 

Worms didn't come show up in the mail yesterday, Saturday, so I'll just have to wait 'till Monday.  The bin is ready for them. 

 

In a small bin, they will be just as easy to harvest as the housefly grubs (Yeah, maggots - chickens love them, and the goldies eat them too) that I raise in tubs by the back fence. 

 

I've also been looking at black soldier fly videos - Living Web Farms, Garden Pond, and NW Red Worms have good videos on raising these.  Establishing a BSF colony is a little more involved, and the bin is different, but I may still have time this summer, before the season is out.

 

I was watching a BSF Living Web Farms video yesterday, and ...he was using Mattala type filter material on the bottom.  The he suggested a piece of weed block, or burlap over that to block the substrate from falling in - just like I have set up for the vermiculture (was pleased a pie to see a pro *copy* my idea).   This sort of setup - maintaining an inch or two for drainage on the bottom is a basic principle in building a successful vivarium, which is why I originally thought it might be a good way to build it.

Edited by Distaff
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