help with vermicompost starting

CelbriseSeptember 11, 2012

i want to start vermicomposting maybe next month but i have a few questions i am unsure of.

1. do worms only eat fruit and vegetable scraps? i mean can i feed them my dried up leaves as food? or newspaper?

2. what should NOT be in vermicompost because it will kill your worms. i have an indoor compost i had going for about a month and i used about half of it and the rest i made a new batch using newspaper as my carbon. this compost contains a lot of coffee grounds. and i know it has a single worm in it as i saw it the other day but i mean i no longer see the worm so im thinking it died from the acidity. what should i keep out of this compost pile to ensure good worms? after all i have to buy the worms and they are not cheap here.

3. does it matter what type of worms you get? i mean is their any level of difficulty for keeping certain worms alive? or are they all typically the same to care for.

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colin3

Paper and (especially) corrugated cardboard are great, coffee grounds are also worm favorites.

If you search the forum you will find a lot about worm varieties and where to buy them.

On general issues, there are some good worm guides out there. Two I like are

http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/h-164.pdf

http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/redwormsedit.htm

Happy composting!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 1:36PM
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sbryce_gw

1) Worms eat a variety of organic materials. If it was once alive, worms will eat it. While technically, worms will eat any organic material we put in the bin, we usually divide organic material into two categories, bedding and food. Bedding is high carbon material. Food is high nitrogen material. Paper and dry leaves are bedding. Worms will eat dry leaves and paper, but if you rely on them as food, your bin will process slowly.

2) Most of the things we do not feed the worms are avoided not for the worms, but for ourselves. They usually create conditions in the bin that are undesirable for us. Oil, meat, dairy, and eggs will stink as they decompose. Grains should be used moderately, as they can heat up and cause a lot of mold. Salt is not good for worms. Some worms dislike onions, garlic and spicy foods. Some people suggest avoiding citrus, as the peel contain a chemical that is toxic to worms. That chemical will break down in the bin, and then the worms will feast on the citrus. Manures that are too fresh may stink and heat up.

3) Different worms have different characteristics that make for slight differences in how they are cared for. In general, Eisenia Foetida (red wigglers) are the preferred species, but there are other species that are also good composters.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 10:17AM
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gd2356

I think this video is a good explanation of the worm casting production process and will give you some insight into what's involved. I found it through eewormcastings.com http://youtu.be/53pT99iXOtk

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Empowered Earth Worm Castings

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:20PM
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gd2356

I think this video is a good explanation of the worm casting production process and will give you some insight into what's involved. I found it through http://youtu.be/53pT99iXOtk

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:26PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

They should have shredded newspaper in the bottom for bedding.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:22PM
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