Some observatoins on my flow through systems
I run two smallish flow through systems in my basement. One is a worm inn and the other is a wood sided unit with a cross section of about 2 square feet. Somewhere around June I divided a nearly full worm inn in half to create the wooden FT.
Over the summer we moved the kitchen scrap box from the counter to the freezer in attempts to control fruit flies. Now most of the worm feedings are freeze thaw. I also tend to run a knife through the veg scraps before they go into the bin. By no means are the scraps blended but they are chopped fine-ish.
Lately, say since August, I have had more more veg scraps than these two units could easily handle. So I was marginally over feeding the bins each week.
About the same time as I built the new bin I tried switching by typical bedding material from crosscut shredded newspaper to mix of cardboard egg cartons and corrugated cardboard torn up to about 10 cm x 10 cm pieces or slightly smaller. I had been mixing new food scraps with shredded newspaper when adding to the bin but with the card board I would only add a few new pieces.
Over two or so months after switching beddings I started having trouble with the bins and not acting "stable" like the worm inn had been for about a year. They didn't seem evenly wet/moist or hold water well - remember these are flow through systems - and there was a massive mite explosion. I also mix the food / bedding into the first few inches of bin each time I add to it. During this time I also ceased to see worms in the top 6 or 8 inches of the bin.
In the last week I have switched back to shredded newspaper and added at least 10 cm of it to the top of each bin. I also held off on feeding the bins for almost two weeks.
I am starting to wonder about the use of large bits of corrugated as many people preach. Then again I can see how shredded newspaper will mat up quickly especially in a box type bin.
I am also wondering how I will be able to catch up to my food scrap production and frozen back log, let alone the two pumpkins next to the front door.
On a side note I put in two full ears of corn that sat too long in the fridge (uncooked). Well an full ear of corn that has started to sprout is among the most alien things I have seen recently.