How long will harvested castings keep in an open tub?

rom.calgary.ab(3a)July 2, 2009

I am far off from harvesting castings from my week old worm factory but have been trying to read up on how I want to proceed.

I shouldn't have any problem separating out the worms but what about unhatched cocoons? I was thinking about dumping the harvested castings into a separate tub and let them hatch naturally. I could then pull those new worms out after they hatch and use the castings without loosing any worms.

If I was to do this ...

(1) How long would I have to wait until the last (or most of the last) of the cocoons have hatched? I'd hate to wait so long that the first batch start laying more cocoons.

(2) How long will the beneficial organisms in the castings remain viable in an open tub for use on my lawn, trees and flowers? Would you spray it with water to keep it from drying out?

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My wife and I pulled over a hundred baby worms out of the castings for two (2) months following a harvest. We used Black Kow brand cow manure from Lowe's on a screen laid on the castings and misted with water. The babies come to the top and we collected them. Try not to wet the castings in the tub, they will start to stink. Don't know about viable.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 3:54PM
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Wow, 2 months! I guess I have to make a decision between using the VC or maximizing my worm population.

I guess that's OK; this growing season is a wash for me. From what I've been reading it will take about 3 months before I have finished VC in my first bin. We could have snow in Calgary by then.

I may just use this year to build up my worm colony. Do you think I could increase the number of worms by starting a second bin or is it better to stay the course and keep them all in one bin?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 11:53PM
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Keep them all in one bin until they get crowded. The only reason to start a second bin is to give them more space.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 1:26AM
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