Well, I’m happy to report that I finally got around to getting things rolling with my springtail experiment. That is to say that I finally added the worms! I actually started adding some springtails to the springtail bin last week, but other than that I’ve basically just been letting the two bins sit and age.
I came up with a pretty effective way to collect lots of springtails – all I did was add a wet cloth on top of the composting zone in one of my active worm bins. After a few days, I simply removed the cloth and shook it over top of the open springtail bin. Although you can’t tell based on the photo below, it was like a rain shower of springtails dropping down – I couldn’t get over how many there were! I can only imagine what would have happened if I had soaked the cloth in apple juice or something like that!
I’m confident that I now have LOADS of springtails in that bin, so I think we’re good to in that department! As for worms, I decided to add 20 juveniles to each bin. The idea here is to compare the overall success of the worms in the two treatments, so I obviously don’t want to add worms that might already be fertilized.
It wasn’t too hard adding the worms to the springtail treatment, but as you might imagine, it was a bit more of a chore to prepare them for the (hopefully) no-springtail treatment. I decided to put them in a small container of clean water briefly so as to wash off any debris (and of course springtails) that might be on them. This seemed to work quite well, but we’ll see if springtails manage to become established via some other means (perhaps the worms could have some of their eggs/juveniles in their digestive tract?). Worst case scenario, I hope to at least be able to compare a bin with loads of springtails to one that has very few.
That’s basically it for now. I’ll provide another update in a week or two, once the worms have had time to really settle in!