Worm composting....

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Morning Dove, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. Morning Dove

    Morning Dove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Eastern Shore MD
    I put together a home made worm composting bin, and got some red wrigglers from a friend. They are in dampened shreded newspaper, and I feed them most of my veggie scraps. Anyone else do worm composting?
     
  2. fatguyaz

    fatguyaz Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    i compost mostly yard waste...grass, leaves, garden scraps. the chickens get the food waste. That also cuts down on rodents in my heap. I just made a heap on the ground in my yard. Working awesome, so far!! It's great in the winter, when you stir it up you can see it steam! I didn't add any worms, but a good bunch have come up outta the ground to munch away. I have to keep it covered when the chickens are ranging because they try to eat all the good worms.
     
  3. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    I was just going to ask that very thing, if anyone had done worm composting in a container in their basement and how it had worked out...pros and cons. It gets too cold here to keep it outside in the winter.
     
  4. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    My worm bin is just a rubber maid bin with holes drilled into the sides for ventilation, I just used the largest drill bit I had. Err on the side of too many, the worms if they are happy will not try to escape (they do not like light). If they do try to escape your bin has some kind of problem......

    Some people make a worm bin out of 2 – 5 gallon pails that can fit into each other. Drill holes in sides again, so that when they are nested the align up. The top bucket also gets holes drilled into the bottom so the leachate can drain into the bottom one. You still need the lid.


    The bottom layer I just have non-biodegradable packing peanuts (the biodegradable dissolve in water) round 3-4 inches worth. This is the area where the leachate will collect – do NOT mistake this for TEA – tea is different. Then you add the layer of bedding = shredded paper soaked in water then “squeezed dry – or just spray with water for the same “dampened” affect. Then you just start tossing in.

    Bedding is where they will ALL congregate if they do not like if they do not like their environment. Its natural to see some there but just some – not all.

    You would want to set this up a week or 2 before you get your worms. Remember that they do not eat what you throw in there – they eat what grows on what you throw in. So if you throw in an apple and you see them on the apple they are not eating apple but what is growing on it.

    Worm Favorites include: Banana (whole or just the peel) & cornmeal – from what I have observed I think the cornmeal is some kind of aphrodisiac – don’t ask.....OK fine...usually they mate “normally” but I have witnessed what can only be explained as an orgy & I truly do attribute this to the cornmeal. I got them before I got chickens and was obsessed with them. I tackle life one obsession @ a time. If you fish you can make a small bin and feed them predominately garlic & you will have some killer garlic verm’s.

    Dislikes: Same as chickens – citrus & salt

    Then throw in the worms and put on the lid. Its very easy to over feed to begin with – wait till they move into the “newest” area before you add more. Your population has not established itself yet. When you do go to add more do the same thing – bedding & ?.....you know whatever, you will find yourself slowing adding more and more @ a faster rate as your population increases.

    A healthy bin should smell kind earthy.

    Some people make a worm bin out of 2 – 5 gallon pails that can fit into each other. Drill holes in sides again, so that when they are nested the align up. The top bucket also gets holes drilled into the bottom so the leachate can drain into the bottom one. You still need the lid.

    Problems:

    Bin smells funny – either its too wet or overstocked with food. If too wet then add in dry shredded paper to absorb. If overstocked – then remove extra food preferably anything with no mold on it yet and add more “bedding”.

    Fruit Fly Infestation: Is very common, too avoid I freeze any & all uncooked veggies & fruits first then throw in the bin, I think this also helps speed up the decomposition process.
    If you get an infestation in you bin, put Apple Cider Vinegar in a saucer & put in the bin – they will be drawn to it & then drown.

    HTH
    N

    (copied & pasted from previous posts so if you think you have read this before .....)
     
  5. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    Wow, thanks for taking the time to share such specific and helpful info! It's great hearing from someone who enjoyed the experience. Sounds like the only real expense is buying the red worms. This might be a dumb question, but is it possible or advisable to use worms from our outside compost area? What about worms from a bait store?
     
  6. sdshoars

    sdshoars Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2008
    Texas
    yeah, me too! i have a compost bin outside, with lots of chicken bedding and veggie scraps and old bread and stuff like that... can i just add worms to the compost, or will they not like it? i need to find a way to add worms to our soil, i live in the desert, and the only organic matter in the soil is what i add to it, so there arent many worms here.
     
  7. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    For Vermicomposting you want red wigglers not night crawlers. Red wrigglers could be found on your property where ever you have a lot organic moist material. They do not tunnel deep like the night crawlers do. The bait store carries both kinds but should have them labeled. The most common mistake is over feeding to begin with let the population build.

    Night crawlers are long & brown, red wrigglers are well....red & no where near as long...

    Compost piles when done correctly will get too hot, the worms will migrate away from the heat but will come back when it cools back down......So depending what stage your compost pile is at will depend on availability /quantity of worms - try looking around the edges not so much in the middle if it is "hot". All through if its cold they could be "all over it"!

    Re: NIGHT CRAWLERS in your soil -
    You already have worms in your soil, you just need to feed them to bring their numbers back up, I like to compost lasagna style to bring the numbers up in a large areas at once....just throw down some cardboard (uncoated not "glossy" or "waxy") or layers of newspaper then add a layer of "greens" (leaves, grass clipping, weeds - not good idea if they have gone to seed) - rinse, repeat.

    If you feed them they will come & stay & have a nice big family till they start to overcrowd & hence they migration process will begin....
     
  8. imaleomom

    imaleomom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    SC
    We vermicompost, and love it. You can absolutely make your own set up or you can cheat and order some.
    You can check out unclejimswormfarm for some extra info.

    If you can, I would add in some dirt with your newspaper.

    We have a stacked worm composting house. We put all appropriate kitchen scraps (no meat or other fatty/oily things), paper towels/napkins, cupcake wrappers, tea bags, and some of our shredded documents in there for our worms.

    And yes, sometimes a red wriggler or two gets sacraficed to the chicks.
     
  9. Morning Dove

    Morning Dove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Eastern Shore MD
    Quote:That's my issue too, my worms are in the kitchen... no basement here... so far so good... Just some fruit flies....

    Dove
     
  10. Morning Dove

    Morning Dove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Eastern Shore MD
    Quote:Thanks! That was my next question!

    Dove
     

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