Just ordered a Worm Factory 360 and 2000 worms!

abzzybee(9/10 S. Florida)October 26, 2013

I'm very exited about this next step in my gardening journey. I'm also a teeny bit scared! There's my adult son and I, we eat lots of fruits and veggies so should be able to produce enough scraps for them, maybe even too much at first. I do have 3 regular compost bins that I got from the county several years ago and are used year round so nothing that I can help l let go to waste. Here's my question, given our moderate season approaches I'd like to start it out outside, in a shady spot, somewhat protected from any rain under a fairly densely crowned tree. If this works, will I need to move it indoors when the hot temps return? Or, should I just pick an indoor spot (garage) not cooled though or inside where there is a/c at about 77 degrees. Any of you vermicomposters in Florida, specifically South who have experience and can offer tips, do's and don't' would be very welcome and appreciated.
I'm enjoying reading this forum and hope that some of the experiences will help me make my worms happy, fat and very productive.

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Hi welcome to vermicomposting. If you still haven't recieved you bin and worms yet go ahead and start up some bedding material. Not mandatory but if I had a do over thats what I would do. I would think you will be ok outside this time of year. Make sure it stays shaded. Ideal bedding temps are bettween 60-80 F. Except for the coldest fronts I would think you will be ok. I live in SE Texas and we see some pretty warm summers. I have seen some local spots with large live oaks that I think a bin could make it outside but unfortunately its not in my yard. Depending on your summer temps and the actual spot you have you may be ok year round. I keep mine inside and have been good with it. If you freeze some of your scraps it does help with the break down and management of excess and like you say you always have your other compost bins. Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 4:30PM
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abzzybee(9/10 S. Florida)

Petrock 1963, thank you for responding. I have not received the factory or worms yet, just sent an email inquiry to the seller for status. I've decided to keep them indoors when they get here, I bought a Sunday paper for extra newspaper for bedding too. I'd hoped they'd been shipped to arrive today, bummer. Yes, I have 3 other compost bins for kitchen waste so I won't overwhelm them starting out. The consensus seems to be to mist newspaper strips to dampness without soaking it and to be generous with it when building the bedding. The setup is supposed to come with coir, paper etc to get started so I will follow directions and start them with easy food, well blended and will freeze some to mix up the next batch of food.
I'll update when they arrive!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Hey grab and chomp up whatever cardboard you can get hold of. You will be ok with what they send but trust me get a jump on it. Mix up something in a 5 gallon bucket or something just get ahead some. When your WF gets there you will be prepared just a little better your worms will likely be there the next day. When it comes to bedding the more the better.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:35PM
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abzzybee(9/10 S. Florida)

Hi petrock 1963, already collected about 3 large refrigerator type cardboard box pieces and used a sharp box cutter to shred them into bits. I'll wet them down and mix with moist, fluffed newspaper for bedding to start with. Should I mix a little seasoned compost, like a cup or 2 on one side of a bin with some of the food scraps?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 7:46PM
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I cut up used egg cartons as the card board material mixed in with shredded paper. If you can have some food scraps build up some bacteria before the worms arrive would help. Plus when the worms arrive leave the lid off and a light on them as they will be out of sorts when they first arrive . Leave that light on them so they will get used to the new surroundings at least over night.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 1:43AM
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"I bought a Sunday paper for extra newspaper for bedding too." Tell me you read the newspaper too and did not spend money on bedding.

In New England I mostly use my indoor vermicompost bin so I do not have to go outside during an ice storm or blizzard to dump kitchen scraps. In Florida possibly in August you will want to avoid leaving air conditioning to venture to the compost pile thus the indoor bin will be handy.

In the world those with the most toys win.
In vermicomposting those who spend the least win.

Thus we try to avoid any expense such as freezing for or incurred by bedding or food for the bin.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 3:20AM
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abzzybee(9/10 S. Florida)

Just wanted to shout: "Eureka, they live and multiply"!!!!

This, of course due to the many awesome tips, tricks and all that knowledge that lives in these pages of threads on this forum; all dispensed freely, mostly empirically tested and I am so grateful for it.

I'm the proud owner of now 2 bins chock full of happy, sassy worms and will be adding a third bin tomorrow night, too lazy to do it now, lol.

Hummersteve, I mostly followed the directions that came with the factory but added much more shredded paper and cardboard, a really cushy, deep layer. I save the mush from juicing, all eggshells, all other veggie scraps minus onions and garlic as well as most fruit scraps in a bin in the fridge and blend it with a little water when it looks like they need more food.
I also grab a good handful of good dirt from my outdoor compost and add once a week or so in addition to misting every third day, so far so good. The worms live in my kitchen, no odor, no other (undesirable) bugs that I've noticed.

Equinox, yes I do read the Sunday paper, now I have co-workers bringing me theirs on Mondays, so lots of nice bedding for the worm's pleasure for free and plenty of food, too. Yeah, I paid $ for the setup but it was worth it as it takes up little space, no mess, no fuss and it is a great conversation starter, too and I get to sort people out in the process...the squeamish either are too horrified to want to know me better or they embrace the experience and widen their horizons just a little, lol.

I'll take some photos this weekend to show the progress thus far and again, thank you to all here and especially all of you who took the time to respond!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 9:03PM
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When the bin is well established, you can start tossing in the onions and garlic. Start with small amounts to see how the worms respond.

I assume you are tossing in compost from the compost pile, and not actual dirt. Compost is wonderful stuff in the bin. Dirt isn't.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 10:57PM
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I would think you would want to do your factory 360 inside theres no reason not to that I can think of. A lot of people who have a basement do it there but I do mine in a large closet inside.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 11:15PM
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"In the world those with the most toys win.
In vermicomposting those who spend the least win."

I somehow missed seeing this when first posted. Best advice ever put up here. Says it all.

It almost always takes time to fully understand, but the worms will teach the wormer if he or she is curious and open-minded.


    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 8:57AM
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