can worms eat cactus?

jadeite(6/7)September 11, 2013

We have a lot of dying cactus around the house. I have found that cactus can be composted, but can I add them to the worm bins? I can find nothing about whether the cactus will appeal to the worms, or whether it will harm them as it breaks down. People who have composted cactus say that it oozes a lot of liquid which can be smelly in a compost bin. DH is convinced that cactus needles are immortal and will stay in the bin forever.

Thanks,
Cheryl

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chuckiebtoo

Cacti? Si !
Needles? No

Carlosbtoo

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 8:11PM
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armoured

Try it and let us know!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 10:40PM
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jadeite(6/7)

I put a piece of cactus into a worm bin yesterday. It was aggressively spiky, so this will be a good test.

Cheryl

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 11:05PM
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chuckiebtoo

Long after putting teabags into bins, I find those little staples from the bags. The wormies just will not eat them.

UnLike aggressively spikey cactus spines, uneaten tea bag staples are few and far between, are a brightly shiny metallic with a relatively dull point not prone to prick the fingers of the worm herder poking around in there doing worm herders' chores, and easily removed from further finger-pricking potential during subsequent excursions into the bin.

Anything that goes into the bin that remains uneaten, well, remains....or rots....or in the rare exceptions, petrifies. None of those possibilities are conducive to optimal bedding environs.

Chuckiebtoo

BTW...On the other hand, some things in bins that are solid.....like twigs or corn cobs (my favorite)....are helpful, and used as "rubbing poles" when worms want to scrape those cocoons off their neck areas at the moment of "birth?".

Ain't nature grand!!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 7:43AM
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armoured

Yeah, the worms just don't seem to want to eat metal!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Niivek

This reminds me of when I put a few handfuls of dog hair from my barking turd factory over the winter. When I harvested this summer, there were all these hard spikey gigeresque things throughout the bin. Kind of the consistancy of a finger nail. They were pretty easy to pick out, but kind of nasty. Dunno if I'll go back to feeding the worms dog hair.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:38PM
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PCinDC(7)

I think Chuckiebtoo makes a great point: the cactus will disappear, but I'm fairly certain that the spiky needles will remain to prick your fingers when you have occasion to put your hands in the bin (feeding, adding bedding, harvesting, checking the worms out, etc.). If I were you I would take the cactus out, pull out the spikes with pliers, dispose of them in the trash (or maybe they'll burn), and put the spikeless cactus back in the bin. You don't want to be pulling spikes out of your fingers for years! Just my thought.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:49AM
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armoured

I say wait and see! Maybe the spikes will decompose - just be careful and give it a bit longer.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:13PM
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chuckiebtoo

The spikes will decompose....but not in a "bit" longer. Actually a LOT longer. This is based on observances of similarly structured denser objects...like pumpkin stems, or twigs in horse manure, or chopped up corncobs.

It's lots easier and more practical to have decomposition and edibility progress at similar rates.

Contrary to that old erroneous wormers' holy grail, I spend a lot of time rummaging around in bins, experimenting, observing stuff, and continuing to be more and more positive that the wormies could care less if I'm "bothering" them. I haven't had a mass evacuation in about 15 years....no matter what horrible impositions I put them thru.

Matter of fact, the easiest way to correct that malady when the worms become lethargic and begin to stagnate in the bottom of a bin that's too-wet down there? Stir it all up with your WONDERSTICKtm. The wormies will snap out of it and get back to work.

Anyway, because I DO spend lots of time with worm poop on my hands, I would not put stuff capable of pricking those fingers into the mix. For the same reasons, I don't put dog poop, or cow, or human in them, or stinky, slimy, or otherwise disgusting stuff in there either.

Chuckiebtoo

wonderstick:

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 5:47PM
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