9

I actually just started looking into vermicomposting myself over the last summer and got mine set up. Unfortunately, you won't be able to collect worms from the vacant lot next door. The reason is because the type of earthworms you're going to find in the ground are not composting worms. They're a type that likes to live a solitary life, running around ...


8

You can print out page 9 of this pdf http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/23949/em9034.pdf and stick it near your bin. Just a list alone is not so useful as it won't give the reasons. Food that is okay. Fruit and vegetable scraps and peels. Potatoes peels are okay, but worms tend to avoid them (figure 14). • Eggshells or other ...


8

There's no conflict between your data. Worms clearly eat animal manure, and the bacteria and fungi that comes with it. But it's recommended that you use aged (horse) manure to avoid heating up the worm bin when the manure starts to compost.


8

If you have a hard time buying them, you could try attracting "the right sort" (rather than digging up the wrong sort) by building an outside compost pile and letting it stew for a while. If you have any local worms that might work, they would occupy the pile.


8

How should it look like? It should look like very fine, dark-brown earth. And there should be no worm or very few in it: worms climb up your pile where fresh material is added. Usually, this is what you will get at the bottom of your pile. You can't have your whole batch turn into compost entirely, since constantly have to add new nutriments on top ...


7

Paper is just cellulose pulp. Woody stems are largely cellulose also. So putting scratch paper in you compost should be okay. Just as it is better to have small pieces of compostables, paper will compost faster if you can shred it or tear it into smaller pieces. But, even if you don't, it will be okay.


7

I haven't ever worried about it. Here are my general guidelines YES best to chop up or dry out fresh veggies, because many will just start growing and never get eaten. add ground up egg shells, they provide calcium and a buffer against organic acid buildup. make sure you have plenty of air, and not too much water, drain holes in the bottom are a must. ...


7

Yes. Decomposition smell comes from anaerobic decomposition. Keeping your compost oxygenated should eliminate odors. For my normal compost I do this by flipping it regularly, more at first (every 2 weeks) tapering off to every other month. Slimy sections are an indicator of anaerobic decomposition. Aerobic decomposition should produce no (low) smell, ...


6

Yes, it is possible. The kind I use in the house (for cooked food, which worms eat better than raw) is called 'The Worm Factory®'. It is a good prototype. The worms start in the bottom tray, and you add food on top until the tray is nearly full of worms, compost, and bedding, then you add the next tray with bedding and some food. By the time the top tray is ...


6

The only real limit to "too deep" is how difficult it's going to be to work with it. Municipal composters make rather large heaps or windrows, but they've got heavy machinery at their disposal. I have had a compost pile of horse+chicken manure+bedding as well as kitchen scraps that has been as big as 2-3m wide x 1-2m tall x 1-2m deep, but I turned it with ...


6

The aim of creating worm compost is to create something useful for your plants from kitchen waste. Most dust is dirt blown in from the street etc, with a small amount of dead skin cells. So, we have a not very nutritious mixture which won't kill your worms, but won't help them much either. Ground up egg shells are a better form of grit to use for the worms.


6

Ask any kid who grew up on a small ranch or dairy who's kicked apart the cow pats. They're mostly grass, the nitrogen has mostly been extracted by the digestive process (Go Ruminants!). And the red worms take over the cow pats pretty quickly after a week or two and go to town. If you're getting cow pen waste, it's a different matter as the urine content ...


6

Composting requires a series of temperatures rises to grow the right type of bacteria in order for composting to occur in a timely fashion. Therefore most sites will tell you that you need a sufficient volume of plant material in order to generate and retain the heat, and this minimum volume is 1 cubic metre. Below this your pile will not sustain the ...


6

It is likely you are feeding them incorrectly based on your previous question. African night crawlers are surface feeders but you've been placing food below the surface. They feed on the surface and drag decaying food into their burrows. For this reason you should not disturb the bin as you'll destroy their burrows. And you should only feed as much as ...


6

There was a study conducted by the Norwegian government that concluded that worms do not feel pain but exhibit reflex avoidance behaviour. They simply do not have the nerve density to feel pain as we do. That being said they can still learn avoidance behaviour. The worm nervous system shows that nerves are concentrated around the head so it seems logical to ...


6

Yes of course you can fertilize them after you put all those pesticide on them. But next time, you must fertilize them before anything bad happen to them! I know and am sorry it is too late. In fact, most plants get diseases and attract pests because they are not healthy enough. To avoid having to treat your plants, you should choose plants adapted to ...


5

A little finished compost is a beneficial addition to the compost pile, as it aids in the decomposition (introduces large amounts of microbes that make things speed up considerably). When using worms, more is helpful. Worms prefer the finished compost (where they hang out) at the bottom, and the new material (the food) at the top. In any case, I don't see ...


5

What you're doing is a high tech form of potholing. Using a post hole digger, go down 18", fill with kitchen compost and cover. The post hole digger means you just place them any old place near the plant's root system as nutrient packages for the worms in the soil which will live mostly in the material, converting it to worm castings. It's not how far the ...


5

You shouldn't trouble yourself too much to add worms - red wigglers, called brandlings in the UK, are primarily a worm you find in compost heaps and mostly not in containers with plants; earthworms will arrive all on their own in containers if conditions are right. If the conditions aren't right, adding them means they'll be on the next bus out anyway, or ...


4

So, some design questions are: What would make a good mesh? Chicken wire with 1/4" squares? Large chicken wire + large-mesh burlap? I would say that mesh would adequately hold the soil from caving in; small mesh would be best (worms can move in and out of pretty small places!). You could use a nursery pot to form a "mesh pot" and place the mesh pot in ...


4

If you're talking about leachate (worm castings steeped in water), some gardeners say that this tea will have approximately the same benefit to plant growth as the pure composted worm castings themselves. But studies have shown that, in the long run, using the castings directly in the soil will produce better plant growth, often far better, than does ...


3

You don't need to turn it - that's the worms' job, to the extent that it gets turned at all. Mostly you add worm food, the worms eat it, you add more food, eventually you dump the whole thing, grab a few buckets of worms and start over from the bottom. Stock reaction would be to drill the bottom full of holes, but if you want to collect the worm-juice/...


3

I think it doesn't really matter. Both are full of nutrients and micro-organisms (beneficial bacteria). Pick the one that feels most natural to you or what suits best for your way of gardening.


3

I stumbled upon this scientific paper in which they say that different earthworm species are impacted differently by C-to-N ratio and feed mixture type. For the Eisenia fetida (tiger worm) the result of their study was: A C-to-N ratio of 25 resulted in the highest stability of the product, the best fertilizer-value of the product, and also a ...


3

If there is just a little water in the bottom, then the next time you moisten your worm bin you should be able to just pour it back over the top. Wikipedia says: The dark brown waste liquid, or leachate, that drains into the bottom of some vermicomposting systems as water-rich foods break down, is best applied back to the bin when added moisture is ...


3

You could try sprinkling food grade diatomaceous earth around the garden area where they frequent, but it requires reapplication once it gets wet. It will desiccate the insect's exoskeleton (it doesn't discriminate the good from the bad). Roaches tend to clean themselves frequently so they should get it on them. I would mix in a ratio of powdered sugar or ...


3

Unless I'm misinterpreting what you're saying, you want your worms to produce more compost so you can use it for plants. Without any other type of soil, is that correct? Assuming that's what you're intending, you need to know that vermicompost should be used in roughly a 1 to 3 ratio to other potting mediums or soil, or comprise 20% of a soil mix, rather ...


3

You don't need to do anything fancy at all unless you want to. (Some people compost quite successfully by throwing the scraps into a pit right in the garden, for example). Screening / filtering is optional unless the seedlings are tiny. Short of serious chemical contamination, any humus is good humus. Homogeneous doesn't need even to be a goal. Go ahead ...


2

In addition to lack of oxygen and over feeding as already noted, unpleasant odor can also a result of too much nitrogen or too much moisture. If does start smelling, turn it and add some carbon to it (dry shredded newspaper as an example). Composting is sometimes a balancing act between carbon and nitrogen, and some experimentation may be in order. Good luck!...


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