So impressed with my worms

hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)July 9, 2012

So here's the story. We've been a little busy for the past year and I let the worm bin in the basement go neglected. It's been over a year since I last fed them. After about six months, I assumed they were dead... it was a small bin with just a three or four inch layer of shredded paper on the bottom. Since we were looking for a new house anyway, I figured I'd wait until we were settled and clean out the bin, start over. So... been over a year since they were fed, been sitting in the basement, I open up the box to empty and clean it and...the bottom has a bunch of worms wiggling around.

I will survive

I will survive

Oh, as long as I know how to wiggle

I know I'll stay alive

My worms are impossible to kill. They are SUPERWORMS!

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Nice.....were they all there, or just some of them?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 7:06PM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Just some, not nearly as many as before. But more than enough to start again.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 10:45PM
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dowbright(z6 in Missouri)

Well, I killed my Euros. Still have some red wrigglers. I have a husband who doesn't want them indoors, so they're on our covered, screened in porch. But I just couldn't keep it damp enough. The bedding on top dried out.

I am a murderer! I'm seriously thinking of quietly moving them down to the furnace room (which is cool) and letting the chips fall where they may. If he dumps them, he dumps them. I can't continue to torture them as I inadvertently did.

Another option would be to spray the bedding on top with water many times a day. But what if I'm out? I think it's just not sustainable. Terribly bummed out by my crime. They were so fat and happy just a few weeks ago! Yet now they're gone. I can't find a one.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 12:24AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

I have mine under the laundry folding table in a tote with holes punched in the top.

I'm not even sure my family is aware they are there.

I mean, they know the wormbox exists. They are just incredibly unobservant.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:40PM
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dowbright(z6 in Missouri)

Hamiltongardener: In this particular case, "incredibly unobservant" is a GOOD thing! The pseudo-husband is violently against worms in the house. I do admit that last time, 5 or 6 years ago, I overdid it. I brought this on myself! :D

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 12:51AM
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hamiltongardener I love the rhyme! Superworms indeed. They are truly amazing tough tiny organisms that can take a lot. You probably have many cocoons which will hatch very soon now that bin conditions are right.

Dowbright don't be so hard on yourself. Even if they die off I think I would keep the bin as there are probably cocoons waiting for cooler days. Have you tried any bin toppers, such as multiple layers of wet burlap or old carpet?. It would help keep things damp and provide some evaporative cooling. I have used both to keep my bins dark, damp, and secure.Also when you get that new shredder put a DEEP layer of damp cardboard on top. Wet straw or hay also helps.Frozen water bottles are also used by some.

Good luck

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 12:53AM
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dowbright(z6 in Missouri)

mendopete: Thanks for the kindness. I didn't think carpet would be enough aeration. What kind would I need?

Burlap makes sense. How many layers do you suggest? Oh, for SURE I'll keep the bin! No way I'd let it go. I thought I'd have to wait for next spring, but maybe not. Maybe if I can keep it damp enough.

It's just been so d@(# hot here in Missouri. Yet I've read about people in Texas who manage to keep their worms alive. I bought a Worm Factory, and shouldn't have. Should have gone with deeper bins.

Thanks for the booster shot of hope. I just hate how they suffered. But--I can't grieve forever or life will stink! I'll get over it. Unfortunately, they don't have a chance to. :(

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:51AM
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Any carpet works that is free and destined for the dump;) Air exchange is good and worms like it and slowly decompose it.
Burlap is by far the best topper I have used. I use coffee-bean bags I get free from a local roaster. The more layers the better. You will find worms hanging out in between layers like they are at a singles bar. I once stuffed a burlap sack with hay and soaked it overnight. It held the moisture for quite awhile topping my outdoor full-sun worm cage.

BTW it is not very hot where I am at, so these are only suggestions. In the high humidity of Mo. this may not cool as effectively, but should help keep things damp.

I would consider the frozen water bottle. Maybe rotate a couple every day.

Good luck and be cool! Pete

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 9:01PM
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