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Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Posted by Drewet88 9 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 21, 13 at 22:38

Hello vermiculture world.
I've recently started a worm bin out of an old styrofoam cooler and used shredded junk mail and some cardboard for the bedding. I went to my local bait shop for red wigglers but they only had the European nightcrawlers which I read still work but they only had 30.

I also read that they would live with red wigglers and they would work together in the bin so I ordered a lb. of them and they should be here in 3-4 days. Will they really cohab without a problem or should I take out the European nightcrawlers and throw them in my garden?

I also have been seeing pill bugs in my garden that I've been removing by hand and someone told me to add them to my worm bin instead of tossing them in my yard waste bin. Does that seem like a good idea?

Thnx in advance
~drew~


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

I suspect you have not had a reply to your question in a number of days because potential posters feel they would need to write a vermicomposting 101 to get you up to speed. May I suggest reading either a basic book on vermicomposting or spending a few days reading back posts to get up to speed. Then perhaps your questions would be more able to be answered with the talent we have here. Many of us here have spent months reading information filled back posts. They answer more questions than we even knew to ask.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Your two worm varieties will live together. One of them will eventually overtake the bin and crowd the other out. My money is on the EFs, since they reproduce faster, but it really depends on which one likes the bin conditions best.

Unless your garden is heavily mulched with organic mulch, the euros will not survive there for very long.

Pill bugs, AKA wood lice, are excellent composters. They make short work of OM with lots of cellulose, such as leaves and small twigs, or even cardboard. Their downside is their passion for travel. You think they would be happy in the ideal conditions we provide for them, but, alas, their desire to see the world gets the best of them, and they can be found dead on the floor yards from the bin. I would encourage them in an outdoor bin, but I would not bring them inside. Let them eat your yard waste.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Thnx for the reply, I've done more reading on the subject than I care to admit but it seems every other forum/blog/magazine article contradicts itself on many things. So far my worm bin seems healthy, no runners, dead worms, or foul smells.

Pill bugs love to gather under my bin but I guess that's because they can't find a way in. I left the EH in there for now they seem to be enjoying themselves and my EFs don't arrive until tomorrow (the place I ordered from had a shipping delay) so the bin is ready and waiting for them.

edit: my new worm buddies didn't arrive today like they were supposed too, which means tomorrow. That will make it 4 days in transit, hopefully they're ok.

This post was edited by Drewet88 on Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 17:43


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

If your EH have been in the bin long enough, you may not be able to remove them. If they have had a chance to lay eggs, there will always be more hatching. Move ahead as planned. You should be fine.

The reason the various sources seem to contradict each other is that worming is as much an art as it is a science. You may manage your bin differently than I do, and we can both have success. Sometimes I think the worms laugh at how hard we work to make conditions in the bin just so, and they don't really care one way or the other.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

The EH have been in the bin for almost 2 wks. There is still to much bedding in the bin for me to see if there are any cocoons. I'm okay if they share a bin as long as they'll be okay with it. I'm not to excited that the fact that the EFs will eventually overtake the box but I guess I can start a EH box later if I end up missing them that much.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

What size are the cocoons? I have red wigglers and I've never seen one.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Yay they finally came today, I just added them to the bin, and it didn't take long for them to start working their way to the foods that's been waiting for them. There was 1 tiny white bug with a brownish/reddish head but it didn't make it into the bin because I couldn't figure out what it was.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Cocoons are about the size of a flattened BB & transparently light brown that get darker as they fill up with little wormies prior to hatching.

The pic is of an emerging hatchling. To give you an idea of the size: The white thing is a cloth napkin & those patterns are threads.

Chuckiebtoo


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Here are two Red wiggler eggs/cocoons on a penny. You can see they are small.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

This is some poop and cocoons. The little round yellow balls are the cocoons. Near the top, center, to the left, and lower right.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Nice amount of cocoons there. Is that kitchen scraps and corrugated cardboard? Is this the top surface of the bin when you look in or after a scoop full? Some nice looking material there. Was taken during harvesting? Does the material look just about ready to be harvested and the worm separated out? Was this produced in a in or a flow through system?

This post was edited by equinoxequinox on Sat, Jul 13, 13 at 22:10


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Update: I think I finally figured out what my worms like, unfortunately the EFs I bought seem to be a little small for mating but that hasn't stopped them from eating. The EHs that were there first are still thriving and hopefully mating.

At one point I thought I killed them off by over feeding but I added some more bedding, waited a week and boom they were all there eating the pumpkin. I can tell it will be a while before they can eat the amount of waste my family creates and I've been debating grabbing another 500-1000 for a second bin or just waiting for the EFs to age enough to mate.

*i didn't think I needed to start a new thread for my rambles*


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Just keep doing what you're doing. When you get them "animated"....nothing but eating and mating.....you'll expand pretty quickly.

If you've got good worm grub not needed right now, freeze it if possible or compost it in a pile of stuff.

Chuckiebtoo


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

I can happily say that's its been over a month and I haven't killed off my worms and I think I'm starting to see more of them. I finally dont check them daily and only check during feedings (2x a week)I fed them a small almost rotting pumpkin a few weeks ago and now I have about 20 seedlings (that I saved the rest got flipped upside down back in the bin to become worm food again). I have a small squash I've been saving for the worms, will the same thing happen with a bunch of squash plants?

This is an addicting hobby, I may need to start a small observation bin or something to keep me occupied. Plus I feel I may be moving to quickly in the big bin and may cause future problems with my unnecessary harassment.

Just an update now I'm off to do some research on growing pumpkins since I suddenly have so many of them.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Looks to me like you are doing great. There are so many good posts on here it is sometimes hard to figure out where to chime in. I have been going at it for 7 mos now and like you find it quite addicting. Currently I have a WF 360 and a 18 GAL RM tote. I like the WF 360 but for the money the totes are hard to beat. It is amazing how fast you can increase the herd when they are happy. Right now I am playing with a combination of shredded cardboard,coffee grounds and aged horse manure along with crushed egg shell and ground river rock topped with shredded paper. They run to it just like a cow would if you were beating a bucket. Anyway enjoyed your post as well as the others I have been following good luck to you and all.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

I wish I could get my hands on free fresh manure but the closest livestock to me is over an hr drive 1 way. I hope to eventually upgrade to a bigger/better home for my worms but I'll wait until my first harvest to see how much they multiplied.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

As good as they are at composting, I'd vote against adding pill bugs/rollie pollies to your worm bin. If you get your moisture level out of wack, the pills reproducei insanely fast.

My first bins were started with free worms that I found on freecycle. Once I had more bugs than worms, I purchased a pound of wigglers. I'm much happier now that I don't have wandering pill bugs in my bathroom. :)


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

I didn't add any pill bugs to the bin but they do seem to like hanging out under my bin. My worms have been happily eating my garbage, still no where near what my house produces but I'm sure eventually they will catch up. I wish my family would be ok with a compost pile but that will never happen.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

MMMMM. I thought this site was for those who knew more to help those who know less. Not to tell them to read a book. Disappointed in the poster who said this.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Those of us who know more know that the book is the best place for people new to the activity to go for information on the subject.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Well said sbryce.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

I can see while some thought the "read a book" post was meant to be rude but it is actually good information. I wouldn't believe there would be enough information out there to need a book on the subject but there definitely is.

I still haven't found a book to read but that's only because there's over 60 pages of old postings I could learn from and I've been reading a lot of them.

I just wish the best stuff was stickied at the top of the forum so noobs could have a vermiculture 101 section or something similar. If there already is something like that around I would love it if someone posted a link.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

I don't see the name of the book mentioned in this thread, so here is your link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Worms Eat my Garbage


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

The "read the book" post wasn't identified by Mr Zackey in his sarcastic little attention-getting first entry into our little wormery, but I kinda think it could be one of mine because I....like a lot of us....reference the book a lot.

Suffice to say that reading the book should be more than enough hint that "the book" might mean a lot.

That said, all of us give a lot of our interpretations of our own experiences worming. They all aren't always the same. They are almost never the same. They always create thought and open-mindedness.

Come discuss your worming experiences with us Mr Zackey.

Chuckiebtoo

Moderation, Diversity, Patience


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Being new to this board, but not to worms in general, composting or gardening, I was a bit put off by the "read a book" comment also.
I come to the garden web forums for information. Most other boards have a FAQ at the top that I usually reference before asking a lot of question, but I don't see one here.
Often, on the composting board, when a newbie asks basic questions, they are offered a link to basic information on composting, which is very helpful to start out. I don't see that here.
I personally am happy to go to the library and check out a book to see if I want to pursue this as, yet another obses....I mean hobby in my new retirement, but would like to learn the basics to see if it's something I want to follow through on.
Many people don't have the time to get out to the library, with jobs, kids, gardens, to tend to.
maybe some of you experts should start up a FAQ for us NOOBS. What say you? Nancy


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

The FAQ has already been written by Mary Appelhof. You can find it in print form under the name Worms Eat My Garbage.

Honestly, there isn't a better source of information for someone new to the activity.

If you REALLY WANT TO, I suppose you can ask questions until you have all the information, but reading the book will be a lot less effort.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

Sorry my reply to another poster has you a first time poster to this board disappointed in me zackey.

"MMMMM." Those who know more are telling those who know less to read a book. That is exactly and specifically how we who know more got to know more. That and reading the archives. And observing our own bins. Do that first and all our knowledge belongs to you. We will answer questions until the cows come home.

3 Thousand Served. 3 Thousand Happy. One observer unhappy. Sounds like a complement to me. The reason for the read a book comment was due to the lack of responses the original poster received in a time frame when they should have had several generous, interesting parties ripe with responses. Zero responses at that point in time was due to lack of enough basic knowledge of the subject on the part of the poster to ask a good question. Before purchasing a puppy, kitten, fish, worm most people do a bit of research. Usually or sometimes posters to this board get multiple replies with in moments 24/7/365 even and especially on holidays. See time responses on this, the same post, in the last few hours. Sometimes we even post replies when we really should be attending to other things, but we leave our kids waiting a bit longer and are compelled to give a post request a shot. My post was an attempt to assist him in asking a better question. At that point his problem was not the worms but his inability to post a question worthy of even a single response from very responsive replyers. A question somebody might be compelled to take time out of their day to bother to answer. He had not yet been successful at this, for good reason. He had not asked a question we could help him with rather than retyping out a basic vermicomposting 101. I stand by the information given in my original post. It may have been snottier than 2,992 of my other posts on the same exact subject. zackey, as I am obviously no longer qualified please take over for me and reply to the next 3,000 posters as to why their generous feeding schedules and less generous bedding schedules are resulting in unhappy worms. And be cheerful about it.


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RE: Vermiculture noob saying hello w/ a question

There's always the search option for THIS forum specifically (in the lower part of the first page of the verm forum before you get to the section to type in your message)
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/verm/
That's what I did for about a month before I got my first worm (I'm a slow reader). Tons of posts were added to what I found in the past 5 years and I guess people just got overwhelmed or didn't feel like sorting through tons of stuff that got re-hashed, repeated, re-posted, linked and re-linked and repeated, again and again and again.
All the above just makes it harder to get to the core of what we want to know.
Now, if one doesn't want to spend the time to search using the search box, one could ask for directions, nothing wrong with that and it is a specific question that will be answered pretty soon I'm sure.

And talking about time, IMHO, nobody has enough time for everything, but always found time for the important things.So, if it's not important, then I guess it doesn't matter if one doesn't find/get the answer to ones question AT THE SNAP OF ONE'S FINGER.

""Not to tell them to read a book."". I re-read the start of this discussion and I didn't see where it said "Go read a book" or just simply "Read a book"!
It was suggested....... ("May I suggest reading either a basic book......") ......politely.

On the other hand, if some one or some people get disappointed, oh well, that's life. Can't please every body. Life goes on.


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