The Sweet Spot of Vermicomposting

equinoxequinoxOctober 21, 2013

The best of the rock stars of Vermicomposting may be able to get the entire top of their bed rocking with worm activity.

Others of us are rocking the bed with a bit less activity. Our job is to get things happening to the best of our abilities while having a large area of safe material for worms to escape to while we perform our various hocus pocus composting activities.

Newbies are best served by having a large area of safety for worms to escape to while various incantations of the worm bin work their magic.

This post was edited by equinoxequinox on Mon, Oct 21, 13 at 23:48

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chuckiebtoo

Fifty Shades of vermiGrey.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Boukmn(10b)

I can recommend Chuciebtoo's earlier suggestion for newbies and oldies alike: Source horse manure! Keep it handy to add to your bin if something goes wrong with some new food addition and the worms start Hussain Bolting out the bin.

Worm really love horse manure as a balanced food/bedding combination.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 8:59PM
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abzzybee(9/10 S. Florida)

But for an indoor bin? Horse apples? Really? Id guess it would have to well aged as I can envision an invasion of undesirable flies with fresh manure. I do have carnivorous plants but I doubt they'd be able to handle a swarm...

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 9:14PM
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Boukmn(10b)

I thought the same thing too...at first. Strangely, flies are not an issue with horse "apples" (I like :-) quite the opposite. There is a horse fly or two once in a while but I would get these from sifted compost too. Never a swarm! That was the reason I went for the horse apples and sifted compost over veggie scraps because I could not stand the swarms of sugar flies that always was a veggie scraps problem.

Let the apples compost for a few weeks before adding them to the bin...not because of anything obvious. You should do this as a precaution lest the horse was recently DE-wormed. I read somewhere that those remnant meds in your apples can nuke your entire bin in a night. Thankfully, this has never happened to me. But I now know to ask my apple source if her horses were recently treated.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 11:22PM
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sbryce_gw

I have used horse manure, both aged and fresh, in indoor bins with great success.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 12:19AM
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Boukmn(10b)

I agree with sbryce; once you have a safe, reliable source of horse manure, creating and maintaining a stable, fast production vermiculture becomes a no-brainer. Whether fresh or composted, indoors or outdoors.

Horse apples have no odor even when fresh and its easily "handled". Once you get over the "But...eeeww...its poo..." hangup, you'll be a quick convert.

Nowadays, I send all my veggie scraps to my outdoor compost bin and use the finished compost and horse manure on my indoor worms. Since going this route, my bins never become unstable and I never have to fight fruit flies.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 8:00AM
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equinoxequinox

Long ago I added one "apple," mule, and just that seemed to make the tiny bin start being productive.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 10:55AM
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chuckiebtoo

God designed horses as he did to produce manure for vermicomposting.

Chuckiebtoo

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 1:06PM
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sdelafuente(9)

Will cow manure work? Our ranch doesn't have any horses anymore?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 12:45PM
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chuckiebtoo

Cow manure won't work, IMHO.

I've never tried it, but I HAVE stepped in it.

Again, cow manure WON'T work.

Chuckiebtoo

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 2:19PM
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mendopete

Horse manure is great because it passes quickly through the horse leaving plenty of nutrients. Cows have a 4 chamber stomach which uses up much more of the nutrients.

Cow manure does work for vermicomposting, but it must be composted first. Search "Sonoma worm Farm" . This is a LARGE commercial operation that uses dairy manure.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 5:47PM
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jasdip

I don't have a supply of horse "apples" but I can get rabbit pellets. I think I read that those are great for the worms as well!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 1:11PM
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equinoxequinox

Perhaps there could be a great debate here.

Which is better for compost worms

Horse Manure vs Rabbit Manure.

It is probably impossible to loose either way.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 10:36PM
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chuckiebtoo

EQ2: "It is probably impossible to loose either way."

I have little to no knowledge about the comparative looseness properties of horse versus bunny bowel movements, but I do know rabbit's habits usually involve lots of nervous hopping around taking tiny nibbles all the while twitching those little pink noses acting anxious to hop aboard that cute bunny twitching hers suggestively at him.

Not good for digestion.

Meanwhile, horses stand there sedately munching oats while not feeling them at the time. Seems like equine priorities are fine.

I don't know how many rabbits it would take to produce as much horse manure as my supply nag supplies, but it would surely be hundreds, just extrapolating.

Smell? Well, horse don't.

Chuckiebtoo

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 9:02AM
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jasdip

I just picked up some rabbit poo. It's mixed with shavings, so I might have to sort it. OTOH I could put a small amount of shavings and pellets in a corner and see how the lads take to it.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 3:14PM
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sbryce_gw

Put it all in and see how it goes, unless the shavings are cedar or redwood or there are large chunks of wood in the shavings.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 4:36PM
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hummersteve

Ive read that some people use rabbit manure dried with good success.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 4:49PM
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jasdip

I just checked, after giving them some bunny poo and shavings a couple of weeks ago. They've got it pretty much used up, so I feel comfortable in giving them more. I have a kitty litter bucket full.

I quit using a large amount of cardboard in my bins as a few years ago the mites had a heyday. I despise mites, especially a large number.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 2:21PM
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pskvorc(3)

With respect to using various forms of manure for vermiculture:

Manual of On-Farm Vermicomposting and Vermiculture
By Glenn Munroe
Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada

Discusses in depth, with experimental results, the efficacy of various manures including horse, cow, and chicken.

Paul

I have the pdf of the document but couldn't figure out how to post it.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:24PM
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