Gardeners and Worm Composting

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Doberluv, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    (It will be interesting to see if there are more than 1 or 2 responses to this thread.):rofl1:

    I was looking at the pre-made worm composting, 5 tray systems and they're about $100.00. Then I decided to see how to make a worm composting system cheaply and here is what I found.http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/easywormbin.htm Pretty neat. Good garden soil isn't cheap. So, if you need good soil for potted plants or even your garden, here's a neat way to make it.

    I'm wondering though....most of these instructions, videos, etc say to use red worms. I think it would be cool to grow night crawlers for fishing...even sell them. I haven't come across yet, a reason why they couldn't be grown in this. Of course, I haven't researched too much yet. Does anyone know about that? Why are the red worms better?

    Anyhow, I'm totally thinking of doing this with plastic bins. Does anyone here do composting? The only other thing....I might have too much stuff to put in the bins...like clippings from garden plants, like when you cut things back or cut off dead flowers, grass clippings etc. Most of the time I mulch my grass, but sometimes need to pick up the clippings and it would probably be too much for these bins unless I had several of them. But for kitchen waste, like vegetable clippings, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, it would be great and fun to watch turn into wonderful soil. The water that drips out of the bottom makes the best liquid fertilizer too!

    If it's done correctly, there should be no smell and no flies hanging around. (very important or I'll dismantle the whole thing. lol.)

    I use to have one that was just a wooden, slatted thing that the previous owners built. I just threw stuff from my yard in there, but didn't turn it or do anything. I couldn't dare put in kitchen vegetable waste or the bears would be attracted to it. I don't have to worry about that here.

    Gosh, how can someone get so excited over worms and compost for gardens? LOL. :p
     
  2. TuffStuff

    TuffStuff Twin 1

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    I did something very similar to the link you posted, but I used large buckets. I had a three bucket system. When they filled up the first bucket until it was about 3-4 inches to the top, I put the second bucket on top of it and started dumping stuff in there. They gradually moved through the holes in the bottom into the second bucket. Once that started getting full, I did the same with the third bucket. And when I did that, I took the first bucket off the bottom, dumped the dirt in a large tub or used it if I needed it right then, and then that bucket went on top when it was time. I just kept rotating the buckets as they filled them.

    I wouldn't worry too much about having too much stuff. Just fill the bins as much as you can. If you keep a bunch of food for them, you'll find they...multiply quite quickly. lol I had a TON of worms. I started a second three bucket system, and I also released a lot of the worms into my flower beds.

    As far as the type of worm, I used red worms. I couldn't begin to tell you why that's what is recommended. That's just what I was given when I started. Oh, and I never had a problem with flies or a bad smell or anything.

    ETA: Not sure how true it is, but I heard they hate citrus things like orange peels, so I never tried that with mine. But I noticed it wasn't listed on the page you linked to, so you might try just a little of that if you were planning on feeding that to them.
     
  3. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    One thing to watch . . . make sure it doesn't get too warm and your worms get baked ;)
     
  4. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Yes, they don't like it too hot. I have lots of good shady spots in my back yard and even on the side of the house.

    Thanks Tuffstuff...good to hear from someone who has done it and just what you did. It sounds just like what they advise on these instruction sites.

    I know my Dad always had a compost heap and great vegetable gardens. I think he just did it in the open and turned the stuff over with a pitch fork. He'd put grass clippings in between the rows in the vegetable garden. My yard is too small to make a messy spot like a big pile of stuff. Every part of my yard is to look good. (eventually) lol. It's still a work in progress.
     
  5. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    We have had worms for about 5 years now I guess? Just use a big Rubbermaid tote with holes drilled in the top.

    From what I remember the red worms are better at composting f and that's why they are used?
     
  6. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    I have both a regular compost heap and two vermicomposting bins. The regular heap is outside and for yard trimmings, rabbit/chicken droppings, etc. The vermicomposting bins handle kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, stripped paper and cardboard, etc. The first one started off in the laundry room but there wasn't space. They moved out to the garage for the summer, and just late week I harvested finished compost and moved the bins to the basement for the winter.

    At least with my bins, if I'm getting water draining from the bottom then I added too much water and the substrate is going to be too wet and I'm setting myself up for a mite population explosion or a smell. IME, they should be very damp but not truly wet.

    I use red wrigglers. Supposedly nightcrawlers don't do well in a normal vermicomposting setup.

    I just made my own bins. There's a thread with a picture of my first bin. The second bin is similar:
    http://www.chazhound.com/forums/showthread.php?t=151315&highlight=worms
     
  7. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Guy I used to date who had run a successful nursery and had a degree in horticulture just used a worm stick and snagged worms from his yard to put in the compost ;)
     
  8. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Worm stick? Is that like a dowsing rod for invertebrates? :p
     
  9. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I like how one guy in one video I watched puts a whole bin for the drippings and puts a spacer in between that and the next one up. Then two bins after that one.

    Yeah, Renee...in some of the instruction sites I viewed, they did say that was one way to do it...get some from your existing gardens. But if you want a whole bunch right away, it might be easier to buy them.

    Ah-ha! Well, that must be it. I'm going to look around online though and see what I can spy about that.
     
  10. TuffStuff

    TuffStuff Twin 1

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    If you know of anyone that's doing it, you might ask if they can spare some? I know I got two people started up with some of my extras.
     
  11. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    ^This. I started up with a couple handfuls from a friend.
     
  12. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Good idea!
     
  13. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I just read that night crawlers or the earth worms we find most commonly in our gardens like to go deep into the soil, while the red wigglers used most often for compost bins like it just 6" below the surface and they also live in places where there are a lot of fall leaves that drop down, just down a little ways below. So, maybe that's why the red wigglers do better for composting bins. But I saw somewhere (gotta find it again) where night crawlers can also be good for composting. Maybe you do it a little differently...or deeper. Haven't read that much yet on that.
     
  14. Miakoda

    Miakoda New Member

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    I've got free horse poop if anyone wants it for composting. Lol. Oh, and my horses are grain-free, which makes it that much better. ;)
     
  15. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Sort of, lol.

    It puts out a mild electric charge.
     

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