babysitting a worm bin

Lisa_H(7)May 9, 2012

I am taking care of a worm bin for the summer for a friend of mine.

I have some theoretical knowledge of worm bins, but I have never had one. Anyone have any advice?

Lisa

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OklaMoni

don't over feed, nor stir it up!

Moni

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:13PM
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macmex

I know I could do a good deal more work on this document. One the other hand, it may have more than you want to know. Still, you'll find some basics, things like, don't feed them more than they can consume in a day or two; plus some items which serve as worm food.

George
Tahlequah, OK

Here is a link that might be useful: Basic Redworm Instructions

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 1:19PM
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biradarcm(7b)

George,

Thanks for sharing dummies guide on Redworms cultivation.

I just wounder is that ok to introduce redworms to compost pit. I built 4x8ft compost pit for the recycling the garden waste. Right now, compost pit is holding two years garden waste of the fall and spring clean up of mostly garden vegetable plants. I usually chapped or cut large plants (Okra, Eggplants, Corn, etc) into small pieces before adding to compost pit. We also add lawn clippings and some plant based kitchen waste in to the pit.

Indeed I bought 15 Amp Chipper Shredder (1-1/4" Capacity) from Harbor Freight tools, but it is good for Okra like plants but not works for non-woody plants and climbers. I need to get it rid off it.

I not turn compost materials often, because it is hard to turn. They are taking loner time to decompose. I am exploring the possibility of adding red-worms to work on it. But as they won't have grinding teeth, how they will help in breaking the plant woody materials?

As our garden keep expanding and my thirst for the planting more and more types and varieties going up. I am just afraid of the garden waste at the end of the season. That is one of the biggest problem gardening in the city. I yet to find better solution soon.

I look forward to hear more advice from the folks!

Thanks -Chandra

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 1:57PM
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Lisa_H(7)

Thanks, George! That helps a lot!

I was wondering about releasing adults on my compost pile as well. It sounds like it is okay.

Lisa

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 2:25PM
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macmex

Yes, I can't see any problem with putting them into a compost pile. I need to get around to "inoculating" a manure pile with them.

By the way, they really do reproduce at a prodigious rate. Back in January 1993, when our family was in Ohio and planning to return to Mexico, I put 7 worms into a butter tub with some peat moss and shredded newspapers. I fed them table scraps. By June, when we headed back, those worms numbered in the thousands and had to be carried in a 24X20" plastic box. When we got where we were going I placed them in a 3X3' planter, with nothing more than some soil and manure, adding scraps as able. They came to number in the MILLIONS, which was a good thing. Many Mexican agronomy friends of mine were wanting red worms and had not found a Mexican source for them; and this, in spite of the government paying someone to travel around and give seminars on them. So, I "broke the blockade" and handed them out, in quantity!

George

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 10:46AM
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biradarcm(7b)

George,

Thanks. Ok final question, could you please recommend best source to buy good red worms? if you are selling, let me know and I am very happy to buy from you.

I just searched online, there are tons many sellers, with mixed results and varying price.

-Chandra

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:26AM
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owiebrain(5 MO)

We tried vermicomposting last year and bombed at it. I'm sure it must have been our inexperience. Thanks for the article, George! I'll have to read it and see where we went wrong.

Diane

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 7:26AM
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macmex

Chandra,

I emailed you through GW. If you don't get the e-mail, let me know. I received my latest start from Jo Ellen, a member of this group. Last summer was so hot that my red worms, stored in the shade, in one of our out buildings, perished; every last one of them!

George

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:06AM
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biradarcm(7b)

George,

Thanks a lot, i have replied to both of your emails.
I hope they will like our compost pit.

-Chandra

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 11:04PM
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Lisa_H(7)

George, I added peat moss and more paper to the bin because it seemed quite moist. And then I added more water because I was afraid it was too dry on the side with the peat moss. :)

The bin came to me with banana peels in it and I have added some cucumber and today I added some coffee grounds and a little bit of lettuce. I've noticed a very steady increase of insects within the bin. Do I need to do anything? Dig out the old food? Set the bin outside for a few days?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 11:34PM
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macmex

Yes, I'd dig out the uneaten food. The problem is, once you get insects breeding in there, it's very hard to get them out. I once had a type of wasp start laying eggs in my worm bins. The eggs hatched out as maggots. They didn't hurt anything. But I sure didn't like it.

Add water cautiously. I don't understand the dynamic, but I rarely have to add water. Perhaps, as they break down their food, they produce some moisture?

As a rule of thumb I recommend that one only add enough scraps to their bin that the worms can finish them within two or three days.

Also, I forget if I mentioned it. But it really seems to help to dampen a section (several pages together) of newspaper and lay that on top of the bedding. The worms will love working right underneath the paper. Any, when they run out of other food, they'll eat the newspaper.

George

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 1:45AM
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