How often and how much to feed? How often to srapy with water?

natureregenerator(7)April 14, 2014

My 10 pound tote has 500 red wigglers in there. Can anyone tell me how often to feed and how much? Someone told me that 500 red wigglers was about 1/2 pound and would require around 4 oz of food, but they didn't say how often... Does that sound about right? Also, would that be once a week? Every day? I'm thinking I should just spray with water when it looks dry in there. Please let me know if I am wrong.

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chuckiebtoo

Welcome, natureregenerator, to the best damned worm composting place to regenerate answers to regenerated posts on the planet.

I say that because the same...oh about 35 questions are asked over and over, and more amazingly, answered over and over by answer regenerators here.

I would suggest that you go to the "search" function at the top of the page and....Search thousands of these questions and answers.

An answer to "how often should I feed them"? At the same approximate rate that they eat it. This will require a little observation on your part. Not trying to be any more obnoxious than necessary, but it REALLY is a good way to find out stuff.

Again, welcome. And don't take much of anything I say here that has no basis in wormin' seriously.

Chuckiebtoo

Oops....about the water. You're right on with that.

This post was edited by chuckiebtoo on Mon, Apr 14, 14 at 17:58

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 5:47PM
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chazz1100

I had a small worm tote roughly 6" x18" x 24" and I had to spray it 3 times a week. Now I have a two 5 gallon bucket stackable system that I haven't watered in 2 months. You'll figure it out damp not soaking wet. It's simple

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 9:14PM
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equinoxequinox

If it truly was the "best damned worm composting place" we would not be unpaid slaves working to fill somebody else's pockets with traffic for ad money. But other than that I agree.

There is a tribe somewhere where when the men come back from hunting they do not walk into camp noisy and triumphantly. They sit around the outside of the camp a bit away for a day or so observing. Then when they are back in the rhythm of the camp and know they would not be disturbing it they quietly return.

Possibly it is enthusiasm that stops this procedure of looking around for a couple of minutes before bursting with excitement for the topic.

I'd say growing into the name is still a work in progress.

"1/2 pound and would require around 4 oz of food, but they didn't say how often" is a play on "worms eat their weight in food a day". But with a bit of tempering because that figure is under optimal conditions. It also fails to mention or consider bedding which is of equal or really more importance. Does the 4 oz include bedding which the worms also eat? Please ask the source of that information for me because I have always been confused.

With out knowing anything about your bin or even seeing it I can categorically say add half the amount of food you are presently and tripple the bedding. Time is your friend. The worms will work for you, (as we do for this site), just sit back and let the multiply and in time collect your easily gained vermicastings or worm babies. *horrified face at worm babies.

Worms just happen to be where we ply our trade. We could do this with dust bunnies.

This post was edited by equinoxequinox on Mon, Apr 14, 14 at 23:52

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 11:49PM
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sbryce_gw

I think one of the reasons why worms don't appear to eat as much as we think they should is that they eat both "food" and "bedding."

"Food" and "bedding" are distinctions we make that the worms don't make. To them it is all food.

So, if we measure out a pound of food, and watch to see how long it takes the worms to eat it, we forget that to the worms, the pound of food they are eating includes bedding. So they don't have to eat all of our "food" to eat a pound of food.

And there is also that optimum conditions thing.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 1:24AM
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jasdip

Right on, CB2 and Sbryce.

Oh, the search at the bottom of the page works the best, not the one at the top :)

To answer your question, put a little bit of food in the corner of the bin, cover it with shredded paper and check on it again in a couple of days. If you see worms gleefully in the food chowing down, put another little bit of food in another corner. By the time the first pile is gone, the second pile will be ready for consummation.

Observe and love these little guys. I kept copious notes when I first started. I wrote how much, what I fed, and when I fed and when I fed again.

Spraying shouldn't be necessary as there is always moisture in food. But without seeing your bin, that's just a generalization.

Welcome, NR!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 3:41PM
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hummersteve

I most likely will be repeating a lot of what has already been said. Too it pays to have a little knowledge of the process of the worm bin and that can play a big part as to when to feed.

Worms tend to feed first from the bottom and work their way up. Meaning if you put a pile of food in a corner of the bin you will first notice them working on the bottom of that pile, when they move to the top of the pile or when you can observe a good quantity of worms on top of that pile working away that is a good time[or at least when I do] to go ahead and put some food in the next corner. By putting that food in the next corner when there are no worms there gives the bacteria time to start breaking down that food , and that which is mainly what the worms eat anyway. Ever look at a pile of food that may be in your bin a couple of days and if you look closely you can see the tiny bacteria/microbes etc all over that pile of food , then that pile is primed and ready for the worms if they are not already there. Ever heard the phrase "teaming with microbes" that is whats going on and the best I can explain it.

As for the wetting down it has been said to mist down the bin each time you add food and maybe even add some more shredded paper. It should be obvious by now that not all wormers do it the same , I doubt there is any right or wrong way provided you are having success. Some people will have their bins so wet that they will have leachate/drainage daily. Personally I dont have any ever. A lot can depend on whether you are using plastic, wood, or rubberized type bins. So for whatever reason you are into vermicomposting I wish you total success.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 4:26PM
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BluButterfly323(8)

If you want to see your worms eat up and fast, then puree their food. Why throw in scraps that take days to break down. Remember worms don't have teeth. Puree your scraps and pour them into the bin. Cover with some bedding. Mine are usually gone by the next day.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 12:57AM
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hummersteve

My method is not puree but pulpee as I run my scraps thru a juicer. I find that within a day or at most two worms are on that recently added food works for me.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:58AM
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natureregenerator(7)

Thanks to all. Great and helpful comments!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 5:05PM
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