Techniques for adding food

gmreevesJune 18, 2009

My bins have been going for almost a month. They are located in my garage that stays about 70 degrees and so far they are undetectable by my wifes superior olfactory senses. They are all doing great and I have a lot of worms that are really working over our scraps. I made three OSCR jr. bins and I divided the bin into six sections, three down each long side. Each Sunday I add food to the next location moving clockwise around the bin. So far I have only been putting about a pound of food in each bin each Sunday. That has been a pretty good mix of fruit, veggies, coffee, and filters. Last night while doing something in the Garage, I noticed one of my workers crawling across the floor. I picked him up and threw him back in the bin. I decided I would take a look at the three bins to see how they were making progress on the food from Sunday. When I moved the bedding back, I saw just what I suspected. A pile of decomposing food with a lot of worms surrounding it. There wasn't much of a smell after I moved the bedding. I got to thinking that some people don't add more food until the last food is all gone while others will add more food when the last food is almost gone, and some maybe sooner. I was kind of hoping to start adding food twice a week but after looking at the amount of food left last night, I don't think it is a wise move. The pound of food was maybe two inches deep when I put it in on sunday.

I guess I have a few questions regarding my scenario.

1. Should I continue like I'm doing and not mess with something that seems like it is successful?

2. Should I feed twice a week but in smaller portions so I only put down about an inch of food?

3. Should I break the bin up into 4 larger sections instead of 6 smaller sections and feed the same amount allowing me to spread it in a thinner layer?

I guess either way really doesn't matter. I'm just board at work and was thinking about my worms and thought I would pose the question. What would you do?

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folly_grows(10 SF by the Bay)

How big are your bins?
How many worms did you start with?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 6:47PM
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gmreeves

My bins are the 10 gallon rubbermaid totes from the OSCR jr. plans. I started with about a pound of worms in each bin.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 9:20AM
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susanfromhawaii

You're right that it probably doesn't matter. The OSCR Jr. is an excellent design! I've got a similar set up but not nearly as nicely built. I've found that my worms don't get anywhere near eating the suggested 'half their body weight per day'. I do the 'wait until it's almost done' to add more and I actually just split the bin in half, not 4 or 6 quadrants and spread the food thinly about half way down the bedding. I work different days of the week (inc. weekends) each week, so I don't have a schedule like 'feeding them on Sundays'. I guess I feed them about every 5 days, but I don't measure the weight.

I don't know if that's helpful, but that's what I do. I'd estimate I have about a pound of worms in each of the bins and give them a pound of food every 5-6 days, but that's a very rough estimate. I certainly can't give 3 1/2 pounds a week as some suggest they should be able to do. Maybe one of these days I'll get a scale and keep better records. It seems like a lot of work for a hobby one can ignore so easily and still get good results!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 4:34AM
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wormnelly(Hawaii)

Susan:
I don't think our Hawaii worms can process their weight every other day. . . plus, don't we have to wait for food breakdown? Mine get "fed" once a week. I have a 1/2 gallon milk carton near the sink & stuff gets tossed in there. When it's full, they get fed.
Wow - you have a pound in each bin. . . I have no idea what my weight is. The last time I did the harvest (I did the dump everything on the table and scoop the top til there were only worms on the bottom) I would put the worms back in the bin as I separated & couldn't even guess.

Oh well, I'm going to harvest in a few weeks. . .

And I just dump the food in a corner & cover it with bedding.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 11:21AM
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