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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old June 15, 2010   #16
tweetybaby2005
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Thanks to one of our wonderful tomato seedling customers, Cheryl, we have a complete set up...she gave us the bins and some worms, and they are now living in our downstairs powder room on the floor (or on the dryer!). It is remarkable to actually hear them eating! The worms are growing rapidly (as is the amount of castings).
I have been vermicomposting since April of last year. Graduated from an 18 gallon Rubbermaid roughneck bin and now they live in the huge trash can (I think it is about 64 gallon or more) that my handy husband turned into a flow through. I kept them in the bin through winter in the garage then move them out under a shade tree in the summer. The red wigglers reproduced like crazy in the winter as well since I kept the bin in the high 60s to low 70s range.

I tried the trench thing a week ago and it was a disaster. We have clay soil and about 5.5" of rain in 2 days so a lot of them drowned. I rescued the rest and they are now back in the bin.

DH said I'm addicted to worms but I can say the same thing to him about sports so we are even.

Kuan
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Old June 17, 2010   #17
dice
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Old school vermiculture (just fyi stuff):
http://journeytoforever.org/farm_lib...oliverToC.html

I find that decaying leaf piles tend to be full of redworms,
with a lot more of those than any other kind of earthworm.

The advice that I once read to not put tomato and pepper
seeds in worm bins turned out to be wise (the result of
including unscreened tomato and pepper debris in the
worm food is volunteers from hell when you finally use
the earthworm castings, ie weeds in your containers that
never seem to stop sprouting until frost). I have not seen
any negative effects from including crushed egg shells in
their feed stock (advice that I also ignored).
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Old July 9, 2010   #18
bmerryman
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Dropped a few pieces of leftover watermelon and some rines into my bin a few days ago. The worms are in heaven. I searched a few sites and it seems melons are one of their favorite snacks.
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Old August 9, 2010   #19
Gerris2
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Is there a vendor that markets a basic vermicomposter for less than the going rate of $99+shipping? If you know would you PM their web site to me, please? Thanks much.

Joseph
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Old August 9, 2010   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerris2 View Post
Is there a vendor that markets a basic vermicomposter for less than the going rate of $99+shipping? If you know would you PM their web site to me, please? Thanks much.Joseph
A couple of Rubbermade totes from Wally World, drill a few holes and you've got it. Cost in Canada about $20. Far more satisfying.
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Old August 9, 2010   #21
dice
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The Rubbermaid tote worm bin:
http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/Easywormbin.htm

Plans for a homemade wooden one:
http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/wormbins.htm
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Old August 10, 2010   #22
Gerris2
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Oh...WOW I love the Rubbermaid tote worm bin idea. Is it easy to decant off the worm juice that collects over time? I am so indebted to you, beeman and dice! Thanks so much!
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Old August 10, 2010   #23
dice
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I set it up on a pair of 4"x4" blocks about 16" long, with the blocks
under the ends of the Rubbermaid worm bin, and that makes it
easy to slide a shallow cake pan (for making those rectangular
spice cakes, or cornbread, etc) or a shallow Tupperware container
about the right size and shape underneath it. The leachate
simply drains out through the drain holes in the bottom of the
worm bin into the container underneath it, making it easy to
check it every so often and empty it as necessary.

You get a few worms crawling out the bottom through the drain
holes, too, but not in big numbers. I just scoop them out of the
leachate and drop them in the garden, compost pile, a nearby
container for a plant, or back into the worm bin.
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Old August 10, 2010   #24
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I have the platic tote setup and have been raising worms for 2 years with no problems. I have mine set up on concrete blocks, like dice said, it is no problem to empty and it is very easy to check the worms, moisture level etc. It is very hot in Texas so I have mine in the shade, this last winter it was 9 degrees for 2 days so my DH took a dolly and moved it into the shop until the weather warmed up. Great hobby.

good luck,

Neva
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Old August 10, 2010   #25
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This is so fascinating, I look forward to starting one up. How many redworms is recommended for one bin the size as described in the referenced article, based on your experiences? I am sure they described this in the article but I wanted to get your thoughts. Thanks!
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Old August 10, 2010   #26
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Quote:
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How many redworms is recommended for one bin the size as described in the referenced article, based on your experiences?
I started out with just half a pound, in my case I got more bedding than worms. It's a con game with a lot of worm sellers, so be careful.
It doesn't take long for your herd to build, just don't overfeed in the first few months, much better to be on the light side.
Leachate is a bad thing in my opinion, much too wet, which can cause problems. Use a good amount of shredded newspapers will keep the wet under control and prevent any fruit flies getting at the food.
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Old August 10, 2010   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nctomatoman View Post
Thanks to one of our wonderful tomato seedling customers, Cheryl, we have a complete set up...she gave us the bins and some worms, and they are now living in our downstairs powder room on the floor (or on the dryer!). It is remarkable to actually hear them eating! The worms are growing rapidly (as is the amount of castings).
Scream. I would never sleep. Eeeek. Shiver.

I think I've watched too much "Monsters Inside Me" and studied too much parisitology.

Seriously, other than the location, it does sound really interesting though. It's the best fertilizer, right? I have a friend who loves to compost, I'll have to show this to mer.

Me - Maybe in the basement. Where I could NOT hear them!
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Old August 11, 2010   #28
Gerris2
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In graduate school, we had a wood boring beetle colony in the lab, and at night when it was quiet, you could also hear them munching. LOL way cool.
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Old August 11, 2010   #29
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We had carpenter ants once (not so desirable). It was wierd sitting in the living room, hearing the walls go "munch... munch... munch..."
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Old August 12, 2010   #30
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I take my Rubbermaid wormies outdoors during the day in good weather. Open the end of the lid to let more air circulate in this heat and humidity.
But I can't leave them out overnight. The coons couldn't figure out how to get the lid off to dine like they can on my composter? So instead, they took the easiest route available and just stuck their paws through the 1" holes we drilled on the sides for ventilation, and scooped out everything they could. I lost all except 2 wormies. Months later, I have the makings of a decent colony again, but it was very discouraging.
I bought my vermicomposter to help with composting kitchen scraps in winter. Kids are grown and the composters out back fill up quickly then freeze. I needed something to make use of compostables as I refuse to put them out with the garbage. We do have a compost collection program but for some reason, they kept refusing to take mine when I first set it out? Even the municipal works people couldn't figure out why? So I gave up trying to put it out and bought a worm kit instead.
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