Wishing I could keep the lids closed.

jennijenjen(z9b FL)August 27, 2012

With my first bin, I used mainly peat moss and was able to keep it closed. It had a thriving population of eggs, babies, & adults when I harvested it after only 2 months.

Then I tried using shredded newspaper but the worms would try to escape if I kept it closed for a few hours. It kept drying out because of this & I'd have to water it down every night.

After 3 months, I still had some shredded newspaper in it but harvested it anyway and found that my worm population decreased severely. I split up the worms I had left into 2 bins that I had filled with a mixture of peat moss, shredded newspaper & cardboard, sand, shredded leaves, rabbit manure, coffee grounds, and a little eggshell.

I was hoping this would be a good mixture for them, but I still have the same problem of having to leave the lids open. They're rubbermaid bins with holes drilled all over them and we've been keeping them in an unused bathtub inside since the weather's been too hot.

Do I have to just go back to peat moss? I'm on a severely limited budget but any advice would be very much appreciated.

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mendopete

Hi jennijenjen. Did you harvest everything but worms?Did you see eggs when harvesting? I always leave a little VC from the old bin when starting anew. Also I find thick cardboard much more worm-friendly than shredded paper. All other foods are good.
I have never bought peat or coir for my worms.Thick damp cardboard, leaves or aged horse manure are excellent free bedding.

Good luck, Pete

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 10:10PM
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11otis

IMO, when harvesting a bin where peat moss is used, it can be very misleading thinking that it is all VC. All the while all the peatmoss is still there. It's just hard to see because of the colour.
I also have a RM bin and this is what I did with the lid. I removed most of the material of the lid leaving only about 1/2" from the edge. I used 2 sided adh. tape to tape weed cloth (on the inside)to close the hole. This way it keeps insects in/out but still lets a lot of air movement. I use a lot of shredded newspaper in my bins and no problems in my case. Once my bin is established (after ca. 10 months with a worm population of about 1 lb.) my harvest rate is about once every 4 mths. and I get about 4-5 gal. VC. However, the worm population grew VERY slow. So, I have been separating the biggest worms out of there and breed them in a separate smaller bin.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 10:38PM
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jennijenjen(z9b FL)

Pete - No, I didn't see ANY eggs this last time and next time I'll be sure to save some VC for the next bin, thanks. I added alot of soaked cardboard from cereal boxes this time & it's staying moist better.

Otis - I did notice how difficult it was to tell the difference between VC and peat moss. I think I was in too much of a rush to amend my garden sand! That's a great idea with the lid, I think I can do something like that, thanks!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 11:04AM
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3DinAz

I was just mentioning in another post that my bedding is comprised of shredded paper some composted chicken manure and carboard. I add varying amounts of the following;

Greensand - I use as a soil amendment but I found out that it takes forever to break down in soil so I give it to the worms for grit to aid in digestion.

Alfalfa/kelp meal mix - small amounts because the alfalfa will cook the worms.

Fruits and veggies - the moisture in these foods is usually enough to keep the bedding moist as well. Foods like water melon and cantalope have a high water content as is and my worms absolutely love it!! They eat melon including the rind in only a few days. I dont get any run off but thats a good thing for me since I dont use it.

Aside from that, I mist the bed once a week if needed. My bin is an indoor one in totes...so it works pretty good for me.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:24PM
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equinoxequinox

Where do you purchase the greensand? I would like to find it at a store nearby. Is all greensand the same? Is there a name brand I should look for. Puting it in my vermicompost bin would be great because where ever my vermicompost goes in my yard is where I want the best bit of soil to be.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 8:32PM
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3DinAz

Sorry to follow up so late. I been offline for a few days. Greensand you could get under many brands I suppose. I get the Espoma brand which is pretty good IMO. I get if from home depot.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 9:25PM
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