Slow Vermicomposting

chandlerpaulApril 21, 2014

Hello,
I bought an EarthMachine one year ago and have been composting with worms laid on a concrete slab and while they are decomposing the waste, the process is super slow. Does anyone have tips to speed up the worms? They have plenty of waste to eat - there's probably 2,000 worms in the bin. The lowest layer is about 60% worm castings but they don't seem to want to move up into the rest of the pile. I have something to stir the pile and arate the bottom layer. I water the bin about once a week. I need help! I read reports that you can have usable compost in 2-4 months and I don't have anything in over a year.

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hummersteve

IM probably the wrong one to offer any advice only been doing this for a year now. But If you not getting any compost Im thinking theres something bad wrong in the bin. It sounds like its some kind of flow thru jobbie. Do you have any live worms in there , if so there would have to finished compost if you have 2000 or more for over a year. Without knowing I would venture a guess there is a combinations of bad things going on , like too much food, too wet , and not enough air. Just a guess

Youve been putting gunk in there for a year , you say plenty of worms yet no compost. If it was me Id be dumping the whole thing just to see whats going on in there. Like I say Im as new as you are.

But I do have 3 plastic bins stacked and worms are going thru the food like crazy so it seems I have nice system going even though its plastic which a lot of people have problems with. I also have a factory 360 going , its doing ok just not as good as the plastic. Im sure others can give you better advice .

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 1:01AM
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mendopete

From what I just read, EM is an expensive open-bottom plastic compost container?? Maybe you can help us answer if you describe how often and what you are currently feeding, what kind of bedding used , sun or shade, how did you start up the bin, and how many worms you started with. Tell us how you manage this E machine as a worm bin. We need details!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 12:41AM
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equinoxequinox

You have had two excellent replies so far. My only question is is this system in the sun? Temperatures worms can live in are similar to ours. A bin in the sun is like a car in the sun. Second part of only one question is what are you using for bedding? Are you tossing in your egg cartons that are cardboard not plastic or foam and are you tossing in your paper towel rolls to make bedding? Have you spent time hanging out with the worms, sitting down and viewing them? You can be your own doctor this way and diagnose the system.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 12:59AM
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11otis

""laid on a concrete slab"" So, when you water it, or just from decomposing food, where does the run off go?
I'm also asking what kind of bedding you used.
""The lowest layer is about 60% worm castings"" How deep is this?
""they don't seem to want to move up into the rest of the pile"" Sitting on a concrete slab, I suspect the bottom must be sort of wet and that's where worms hang out.
""I water the bin about once a week."" Did the bin need watering because the top felt dry or you watered it routinely? How dry was the bottom? Are you sure you got composting worms?
""I don't have anything in over a year."" Even without worms, after over a year you should have compost from all the stuff you throw into the EM. Given enough time, everything will turn into compost.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 2:46AM
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