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First escape!

Posted by Joyousfree 6a (My Page) on
Wed, May 14, 14 at 20:46

It was a dark and stormy night... I'm not sure if the little feller had actually escaped, or whether I knocked him off the edge when I removed the lid. But there he was, on the floor next to the bin. A couple dozen, at least, of his friends were clustered near the top of the bin in small groups. I think mass exodus was in the planning stages.

There are a ton of them under the area I fed the other day, moisture seemed just right, smelled earthy, temperatures back down around 70... I have no idea why two dozen of them would pick today to venture out and see the world. Before today, 2 or 3 was the most I have seen on the bin walls.

We have rain and storms today. I hope that's not it - we get rain and storms frequently.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: First escape!

It could be.....they are sensitive to atmospheric changes.
Having said that, I'm in my office tonite where my bins reside. We had loud thunder and lightning and rain.

I hadn't heard any squealing or panic or seen any sign of unrest. Hopefully yours are just more curious than mine.


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RE: First escape!

Strong low-pressure weather pattern make worms crawl and roam. Instincts kick in, as they normally live in the ground and don't want to drown.


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RE: First escape!

That makes sense that they would respond like that to low pressure. But given the forecast, it's not great news. They were happier when it was crazy hot earlier this week!


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RE: First escape!

Mine have wandered on rainy days as well-- and became worm jerky as a result. :( That is precisely why I have recently moved my worms to the soil instead of the concrete-- if they decide to wander on a rainy day, at least they won't die now.


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RE: First escape!

Awww. I don't have soil... They're in my living room. I hope they stay put while I'm at work today.


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RE: First escape!

I also have my bins inside I have a three tier plastic and a factory 360 side by side in a 6' walk in closet. In the first few weeks I would from time to time find dead worms on the floor. The only time that might happen now is when checking things out moving a tray onto the other bin I might accidently lose one. Other than that they stay put. I dont mind if I see a lot of worms on the lid as long as they dont exit the bin. By leaving the lid cracked on the plastic moisture can escape and the worms are happier in my opinion because of it and are not as apt to congregate on the lid. But it does seem worms are curious and like to roam at times. Other trains of thought might be when the herd grows they might not be comfortable in a smallish bin but you will be alerted to that by a change in their actions. Any change such as a lot of worms on the lid or exits should be at least investigated.

I mainly feed my worms fruit and veggie scraps run thru my juicer. By placing food in a corner I judge how fast they are eating it. Since worms first start eating from the bottom of the pile first[some may not agree] then when I see a lot of worms on top of the pile I go ahead and place the same amount of food in the next corner so it can be ready in a day or two about the same time they will be finishing the previous corner. Good and bad that is the my current method of feeding, seems to be working.


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RE: First escape!

I've never thought of how the worms eat, Steve. From the bottom up, or just dive in. I always assumed that when it was ready, they dived in.

There's nothing more satisfying, gratifying and thrilling to see a squirm all over something that I fed them.

Right now, they're in the ends of my toilet paper rolls that are stuffed with food that I ground in my processor.


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I like to stuff apple cores, banana peels and such into the TP tubes. Traps air nice. A worm burrito! :)


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Worm burritos! Perfect! I'm going to focus on adding mostly bedding for the next little while - there's a ton of coffee grounds and finely diced veggie scraps in there already. How do you tell if they've finished eating the coffee grounds? They look just like the end product to me...


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RE: First escape!

LOL Joyous. When people exclaim how much their worms love grounds I always ask myself........how do they know???

Mine don't care for them....they turn their little snouts up, spin about and go find something else that tempts them.

A couple of times I carefully placed a filter of grounds in a corner and watched....nothing. I put grounds in half of a grapefruit shell....nothing, until the shell turned blue with grounds.

So I don't bother, the grounds are good for the lawn and flowerbeds and the city green bin.


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RE: First escape!

I dont find that my worms love grounds either . I do add them sometimes but I like to add cornmeal more or a blend of cornmeal and oats.

As I mentioned in the above post yesterday I ran the food scraps I had saved thru my juicer and added some to both bins and today I find they are already on top of the new piles of food. That is surprising as you might not think the food could break down that quickly. But Im assuming the food was already breaking down in the ziplock bags before I ever ran them thru my juicer, they had been in the bags for a good week and some of it longer than that.


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RE: First escape!

My worms don't seem to be interested in coffee grounds either, didn't matter how long I let it sit with other rotting stuff. I could still feel the coffee grit. I wonder how long it takes for coffee grounds to break down. Once mixed with compost, it's very hard to identify but they're still there.


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RE: First escape!

Well even if they don't 'eat' the grounds... if they're good for the "lawn and flowerbeds", they can't be bad for the garden or whatever else you use the castings for. ;)


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I am glad you all think the coffee grounds are at least harmless or beneficial. I live alone and have two jobs and school - coffee grounds are about half my compostable wastes by volume!


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I've read that too many can make it acidic, but also that if they're post-brewed, most of the acid is gone. Either way, you can apparently balance the mixture with crushed eggshells (if you can fit any eggs into your schedule - LOL), and I add pretty much whatever I have (usually a pot a day) into my bin consistently.


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RE: First escape!

Here is what I remember reading about and what I have experienced with grinds.

Used coffee grounds (UCG) should be considered food for worms that is high in nitrogen. 50% of your waste being UCG is a lot for a worm bin. UCG take quite awhile to break down. UCG can cause heat, not good for a new small wormbin. UCG is generally not considered too acidic. UCG can be used straight in the garden or lawn.

When I first started composting, I went to coffee houses and collected hundreds of pounds of UCG. When it was added to compost piles, mixed with straw and horse manure, it goy real hot. After it cooled, "free agent" wigglers would invade the pile.
I used quite a bit of UCG in a open bottom bins and it added heat. Good for my wormbins, but it would have been bad in a new small enclosed wormbin.

It is fine to use UCG and filters, but use them with caution.

Good luck!


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RE: First escape!

Good info, thanks! I definitely need to find a bigger container to keep my "UCG" in then. I'm producing it quite a bit faster than I'm willing to use it. So far, though, the bin is quite cool.

But on the topic of nitrogen, doesn't all the bedding we also add count as the "carbon" portion that balances that? I thought all kitchen wastes (veggie scraps etc) were considered nitrogens for compost purposes.


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RE: First escape!

All worm food is not the same.
Kitchen scraps are considered nitrogens for compost purposes, to be balanced out with carbons. UCG is very high in nitrogen. I think something about the brewing process, and it's small wet particles causes more heating than most worm foods.
Decomposition creates some heat. Some compostables, such as UCG, manure, and fresh lawn clippings create more heat. Heat in a wormbin can be beneficial or disasterous. Smaller bins are more susceptible to overheating.


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