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Red Worm Composting – Welcome!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Bentley (“Compost Guy”) Christie and I’ve been a crazed worm composting fanatic (or “vermiholic” if you prefer) for more than 15 yrs now. I started this website back in 2007 with the simple intention of sharing my passion with the world. So far so good! Things have certainly progressed since the early days, though, and the website has provided me with an amazing opportunity to get to know a LOT of other “worm heads” from across North America and around the world!

(more…)

Written by Bentley on March 11th, 2010 with comments disabled.
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Worm Inn Mega Reboot – 11-28-16

It’s been a LONG time coming, but I am very excited to announce that I have finally decided to get a Worm Inn Mega set up down in my basement again!

As some of you may recall, I ended up having to take down my last Mega system (probably a couple of years ago) since it was taking up room and we were about to get some work done down in the basement. I have had an outdoor Regular Worm Inn project (links to last post in that series) since that time, but it’s just not the same!

When I finally tracked down the old Mega in my shed this morning, I discovered that (more…)

Written by Bentley on November 28th, 2016 with 1 comment.
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Crazy Q&A Podcasts – Session #15


crazy-qa-small

Continuing on with questions and topics submitted by RWC email list subscribers.

Hope you find this session helpful!

[NOTE: If you would like to download the mp3 file, simply click the download (downward arrow) icon sitting below the audio player]

Topics Covered

- Vermicomposting in Florida heat
- How to feed (more…)

Written by Bentley on November 11th, 2016 with 2 comments.
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Crazy Q&A Podcasts – Session #14


I know things have been extremely quiet on the blog this year, but I want to make it clear that I haven’t “moved on” from Red Worm Composting (and certainly not from worm composting in general). I’ve simply been busy with other (related and unrelated) projects…and good ol’ life in general!

And what better way to (hopefully) get back into the swing of things than with a “Crazy Q&A Podcast”?

As some of you will know, I started up a brand new email list, and I asked subscribers to submit questions and topic suggestions.

I decided on the podcast format for my responses since they are (more…)

Written by Bentley on October 25th, 2016 with 4 comments.
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New to Vermicomposting Trenches

Question from Alicia:

I am a newbie, but have had a great time with my container worm farm.
This season means more organic materials for me, specifically watermelons which I did not like in my bin.

So, I dug a hole, put down a ton of bedding, dumped in the rinds, and added a couple of handfulls of material and worms to the mix after your inspirational trench farm method.

However, after re reading the post, I am worried that my worms will need follow up feeding.

Have I just sentenced my worms to death?

Thanks for the great info.


Hi Alicia,

Your methods sound pretty good to me, especially if you made sure that the bedding materials were nice and moist. Food wastes like watermelon rinds are a great choice since they will help to maintain moisture levels – something that can be a challenge during summer months.

Based on your wording, I get the impression that you (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 18th, 2016 with no comments.
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Garden Worm Help

Question from Abbie:

Hi. I have an indoor garden/greenhouse where turtles and frogs roam
freely through a small vegetable garden. I need worms for the soil.
When I planted this spring I realized that I have no worms in my soil
and it is hard and compacted so I would like to add worms. Any
recommendations or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Abbie,

You are certainly not alone in wondering about this topic. It is widely known that earthworms can mix and enrich the soil, so naturally a LOT of people feel the urge to stock their own soil with gobs of worms.

Unfortunately, this is a “chicken/egg” problem that most people get backwards.

Earthworms don’t magically turn any soil into black gold. In fact, if you try to stock worms in lifeless soil, you’ll likely end up with a lot of dead worms and/or a mass migration of the wigglers in an attempt to find ‘greener pastures’ (assuming conditions are favorable for such migration).

This is even worse if you try to (more…)

Written by Bentley on April 8th, 2016 with 3 comments.
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Extreme Vermicomposting

extreme-vermicomposting

Likely one of the most common reader questions/concerns over the years has related to the challenge of vermicomposting outdoors (or at least in locations that are not climate-controlled).

While I like to think of vermicomposting as the “ultimate” indoor composting method, I know all too well that keeping worm bins indoors is not always an option – whether it’s due to spousal pressure, space issues, personal preference, or one of countless other reasons, sometimes we simply have no option other than setting up our systems outside.

Naturally, in a lot of locations it can be a major challenge to maintain these systems for at least part of the year. In these cases, our only choices are: 1) to throw in the towel, 2) to bring some or all of our worms indoors, or 3) to get creative with our strategies!
:cool:

For quite some time I’ve been meaning to put together some information on this topic, and late last fall I finally dove in and started creating what has become the “Extreme Vermicomposting” course.

(more…)

Written by Bentley on February 25th, 2016 with no comments.
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Catching Wild Red Worms?


Message from Joel:

Hello, I was on a forum and saw a vermicomposting question. They wanted to catch earthworms to use in their vermicomposting. I referred them to your site and suggested the purchase their first batch.

One poster suggested just setting up a pile of leaves and scraps and catching wild red wrigglers. This got me thinking.

Being primarily a compost worm and with us not having lines of compost from coast to coast for them to travel in, how likely would it be for someone to “catch” any red wrigglers this way.

Also, my though was what are the chances of getting some worms or eggs if you went to a big box and bought a bag of organic compost and added to the bin. I’d think you’d have issues with the bag getting too hot and killing them, but I didn’t know if you’d ever experimented with this or possible the same idea, but straight from a whole seller.
Thanks.


Hi Joel,
These are some great questions!
There really isn’t such a thing as a “wild” Red Worm – well, at least not the type of “Red Worm” we are after. Eisenia fetida/andrei worms are very closely associated with human activities, most often being found on farms (in old manure piles) or in compost heaps/bins within town/city limits.

Another type of “Red Worm”, Lumbricus rubellus IS more of a “wild worm”, and there is a pretty good chance you could attract them with a heap of old leaves (assuming they are found in your region) – but they are NOT an ideal worm for vermicomposting. They don’t reproduce nearly as rapidly as Eisenia fetida/andrei, they’re not as well-suited for processing rich organic waste materials, and they don’t have the same sort of tolerance for hot temperatures and crowded conditions as Eisenia worms (although they are much better suited than typical garden/lawn worms).

The other potential “problem” with L. rubellus is that it (more…)

Written by Bentley on February 25th, 2016 with no comments.
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