Monday, May 18, 2009

Getting the worms out of the worm castings.

Kitchen scraps at the end of the day. I'm going to place them in nylon net bags saved from onion purchases.

Then both bags will be placed into the worm bin that is beginning to be more castings than bedding and can be harvested. You can do this anywhere from 3 to 6 months from the time you began the bin or last harvested, depending on the amount of food scraps fed to the worms. They also eat the shredded newspapper bedding and can survive quite well for many weeks if you can not feed them for awhile.

I'm using two bags but you can use as many as will fit if you want. The worms will crawl inside these bags and be a glob of writhing wormness in just a few days, easy to extract from the castings by lifting out and placing in another bin. Then leave the lid off of the bin where the worms have been removed and allow the castings to dry out. Sifting the castings through a screen will remove any leftover bedding clumps and worms that were missed. You might even find a few egg cases to put back with the worms.

If you are having problems with too much moisture adding a layer of DRY shredded newspaper to the top of the bin will catch condensation and absorb moisture from the bedding beneath. You can add more as often as necessary. The contents, like compost, shrink as it decomposes.

If the bin is really soggy and you want to quickly sop up the moisture, try this. Dump contents of bin onto plastic bag. Add a layer of DRY shredded newspaper(however thick you want it, but a few inches to the bottom of the bin will do) return worms and wet bedding to the bin. Then add another layer of DRY shredded newspaper to the top. This will absorb all that extra moisture and keep fruit flies from being a problem.
I like the worm bins, it has been a fun project.

Other compost and worm bin information


Anonymous MrBrownThumb said...

Good tip about the newspaper. I helped a friend build a worm compost bin recently and we put down a layer of twigs at the bottom and on top of that some garden fabric then on top of the fabric all the worms and composting materials.

24/5/09 6:13 PM  
Blogger garden girl said...

Hi Gloria, I enjoyed reading your worm bin tips! I've been thinking about making a worm bin, and these hints will come in very handy.

Sorry about the deleted comment - I had too many windows open and lost track of who I was visiting! It's wonderful having some time to catch up on blog reading now that Spring Fling is done.

2/6/09 11:03 AM  

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