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Here we go!

Posted by melenkolee (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 11, 09 at 11:54

I posted a month or so ago about setting up a simple vermipost bin for my son's Scout project, and received a lot of great advice. Due to summer craziness, things kind of got pushed to the side, but we are ready to rock and roll now! About a week after my post we got a rubbermaid tote and drilled holes in the bottom and along the top edge, and placed inside an un-drilled tote for a catch-tray. This has been sitting in the kitchen collecting shredded paper and cardboard. At the same time we purchased a plastic garbage can and drilled holes in the bottom and top edge - this has been collecting kitchen waste, lawn clippings, and more paper and cardboard that has started decomposing so we can feed our worms with it. Flash forward to today - it's FINALLY time to add some worms! With vacations and the insane summer schedule I figured we should hold off getting the worms until we knew we'd be home for a couple weeks to make sure they get settled, so since school started yesterday, it's time! Yes, i'm more excited about this than the boy, but he will only be tending to it for 90 days for his merit badge and after that it becomes my "free turtle food factory". Last week we started a "slug and pill bug" factory so our Sheldon should be eating well all winter :)

I'll keep you updated on our progress, and will more than likely be back with questions. Thanks guys!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Here we go!

Hey, "Good luck" and "Welcome to the group!" Keep us informed of your progress, ok?

RE: Here we go!

Well, the wormies are in their home. Bedding is shredded cardboard and newspaper soaked and wrung out like a sponge, and i have a toilet paper roll in one corner with previously frozen fruits and veggies. We're starting smallish, with only about 100 worms from a bait shop, and if they seem happy we'll add some more. Koby helped put them in last night and we kept the lid off and the light on hoping to encourage them to head south. This morning I couldn't resist a peek, and it looks like the majority of them are pretty much where we left them in the middle, but have burrowed down some. I guess I expected them to "disappear" faster, and nobody's headed over to the food corner yet. Being a bit of a "picker" I nudged a couple that were nearest the surface and they wiggled healthily and disappeared. Now to resist the temptation of checking for a couple days...or should I keep a closer eye on them until we're sure they're happy?

Between the worms and slug farm, my boyfriend is positive I've lost my mind...

RE: Here we go!

You'll eventually find that the worms tend to do best when left alone but good luck with that. I don't think you'll find many on this forum that can resist opening up their bins for a looksee. For now I'd say opening it up for a look even once a day wouldn't hurt, especially when starting out, at least to check on moisture, other critters, other problems, etc.

RE: Here we go!

So far it looks like we're on the right track! Koby (and I, cuz I can't STAND not knowing, lol) have been peeking at our worms once in the evenings. Last night we discovered a nice population of them happily munching away in the food corner, and signs of that all-too-valuable wormie poo! It seemed a little dry on top, so he gave them a light misting and we've resolved to not touch them for the weekend. We got our worms from Wally-World and only got about 100 in case something went horribly wrong, but I think we may add another 100 in the next few days and then, other than checking for proper moisture and to see if they need more food every few days, leave em alone. This is way too easy! Cross your fingers our slug, pillbug and waxworm projects go as smoothly :) At this point it feels like there's more creepy crawlies in the house than outside, lol...

RE: Here we go!

Sounds like a great start. I haven't composted in a few years due to lack of space etc. But when I did, I went over to a pile of old leaves my DH dumped close to the woods and saw what I thought was compost. So I grabbed my cart and screen and sifted through the leaves. What I thought was just plain compost, turned out to be tons of worm poop and worms of all sizes. I fed all 6 of my gardens with the poop and worms and they really loved it.

My DH recently reminded me about a place behind a small pond where all of the neighbors dump their grass clippings and leaves. I think I'll be checking this out soon, as the soil in the tiny garden I have now really needs to be built up.

So for those who want worms and their poop, check out your neighborhood dumping place. You might also find compost already started or at least the ingredients for your pile.


RE: Here we go!

Great to hear you are off to a successful start. 100 worms will not need much food so fight the urge to give them too much.
What do you plan to do with the bin when the project is done? If you plan to keep it I might recommend purchasing more worms.
Either way poking in on them daily is something we all can't help doing and it will not hurt anything.
Good luck and have fun.

RE: Here we go!

We planned to start small and add once we were sure everything was set up right - since these guys seem to be happy, we're planning to add more soon. We gave them about a handful of pre-frozen fruit and veggie scraps in a toilet paper tube when we first started, and won't give anything else until that's broken down. Once the scout project part is over, we will continue to maintain the bin, part for composting but mostly to have a continuous supply of worms for our box turtle, Sheldon. We're experimenting with several continuous food supplies for him right now (taking advantage of "free turtle food" season) and have a slug tank, a pill bug box and a jar of wax worms who will hopefully all reproduce and keep Sheldon full of protein all winter :)

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