tobytubNovember 19, 2009

I don't like the idea of having bacteria in my worm farm - can't you disinfect the composting?

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I don't recommend disinfecting the compost bin, because worms do feed on bacteria that break down organic matter. If it is fungi then recommend you get a new container to move the worms while you clean the container, because the fungi may or may not kill them.
Fungi(mushrooms)===>could kill soft bodied worms

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 6:44PM
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That would be sorta like driving your car without the gasoline. It is the bacteria that do the real composting in a worm bin.

You will also have plenty of fungus. It may not be big enough to see it, but it will be there.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 9:21PM
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You First.

The human body contains 20 times more microbes than it does cells.

"A normal human being hosts about 1.2 kilograms of bacteria."

"The average human female carries nine pounds of bacteria on her skin or within her intestines."

It would be sort of like wanting a pretty dress and not realizing or even appreciating the child slave labor abet from a far away country that went into it.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 12:12AM
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If you don't like the idea of having bacteria in a worm farm the only solution is to not have a worm farm. Is the question worded wrong somehow? I mean, surely one can't possibly have read much at all on worming or composting without realizing that bacteria exists in rotting material. You definitely can't read much on worming without discovering that one of the benefits of castings for soil is the load of bacteria in them.

I'm also not getting this "Fungi could kill soft bodied worms". Certain fungi can. Just as certain bacteria can (hence the use of antibiotics in commercial farms). Worms eat fungi and bacteria. If fungi in general were a problem, we wouldn't be able to put a vast majority of table scraps in the bin. They nearly all develop a fungus. I mean, have you seriously never put a piece of fruit in a bin to see mold on it a day or so later? Bread? And those are the fungi you can see. There are lots of fungi present we can't with the naked eye.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 7:48AM
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Yeugh equinoxequinox !!!!! Thanks for sharing that with us.

Tobytub - kill the bacteria - kill your worm farm! Look up the following ezine article to get the low down on micro-organisms (aka bacteria)-

Here is a link that might be useful: The Importance of Microbes

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 9:07AM
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tobytub: please be more specific what you mean with bacteria, if you can, because I was thinking along the same line as joejr. that you probably meant something different than what we understand as bacteria which in itself is pretty specific already. IMHO.

Forestelves: most of my pumpkin "collection" have turned moldy and "fungusy" (is this a word?). So, if I were to follow your advice, I shouldn't feed them to the worms. Pumpkin btw. is one of their favourite chow.

I know mushrooms, but when is something called fungus and when is it called mold? Sorry, I left school a long time ago.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 4:55PM
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Generally, we just think of molds as the fungi that don't produce a fruiting body but still produce a colony. A mushroom is just a fruiting body of a (usually) much larger system. Mold is a common term that refers to certain fungi, but it is also used to describe other organisms like slime mold which are not fungi. I'm not a mycologist in any sense of the word, but that is how I and others I know differentiate between mold type fungi and mushroom type fungi. And even then we could go one step further and say that most people only think of a colony of those fungi when they think of a mold. I mean, we don't normally think of the fungi that get on/in plants (like anthracnose) as molds because they don't make a recognizable mass (colony) like the mold on the pumpkin you mentioned. We just think of them as bad fungi. You also have the single celled yeast fungi. Neither mold or mushroom.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 9:37AM
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joe,jr: thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 1:42PM
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I am not a scientist, but this is a subject that interests me.

You don't want pathogenic fungi or bacteria, but if you somehow disinfect the composting then you will lose all of the beneficial strains. This would open the door for pathogens because the beneficial bacteria work to keep the pathogens down. There are many strains of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria in soil. Growers and farmers use bacteria(bacillus subtilis) against fungal pathogens and there are some products that contain this bacteria that are actually registered with the EPA as a fungicide.

Also, every time you eat yogurt you are eating a form of bacillus bacteria that is beneficial to your digestive system.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 7:20PM
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