worms at bottom of tray

psyversonJune 11, 2011

Okay, so I live in New Orleans, and am new to vermicomposting.

I have my can-o-worms in a shady area, but the temps will easily reach

90+ all summer long... seems when I check on the worms, they've all gone to the bottom empty tray where the worm tea spout is. It smells awful in this bottom bin, whereas the top 3 bins have newspaper, leaves, the tops of strawberries, etc... some good veggie waste, and even a few worms crawling around in the tray(s)... so what is going wrong? The heat? My friend has one, and keeps it in shade and it seems to do fine... I don't want to waste more $$ getting more worms, have about 2,000 already... thoughts? Why do they crawl to the bottom tray? Is this problematic?


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Hi Pete

Scroll down to a thread labeled "Fallacies" and see if you find any useful information there. At least you will find my personal experiences with this problem. And maybe it isn't a problem but an alternate way of doing things.

Dave Nelson

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 9:02AM
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Thanks Dave, I did check that out, so I went ahead, tore up some newspaper and laid it in the bottom of the tray, to either offer up food for the worms, OR at the very least to suck up some moisture and smell. I wonder if some cypress mulch would hurt? Question, will my tea spout get all blocked?


    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 12:57PM
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plumiebear(z9? CA)

Pete, as long as the bin is in full shade, the ambient air temp should not be a problem. I personally quit using the leachate try to collect that stinky stuff. I fill it halfway with slightly damp cardboard and egg carton chunks. Dump all that (along with any worms) into the top tray once every month or so and replace with new cardboard.

If you're getting a lot of leachate, you need to adjust something in the upper trays. Maybe add more dry bedding or limit the amount of high moisture content food scraps. The C.O.W. is known for moisture control problems, so you'll have to tweak things to get it working just right.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 2:08PM
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How does air get into the COW's? Oxygen is just as needed by the worms as food and there does not seem to be a provision for it.

The shady area may not give shade in the morning or late afternoon. Can you put a thermometer temporarily in the bin to see what is going on?

I think I remember reading that some with COWs or Worm Factorys have the bin above the catch pan filled with dry egg carton, cardboard, newspaper shreds. This is monthly or so moved on up when a fresh tray of dry material is added.

Also maybe the trays should be set a bit tilted to let in air.

What did the instructions that came with the kit say?
I would think the sellers would be familiar with their product and be able to answer any questions. It would be interesting to hear their answer.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 6:44PM
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