Red Worm Composting
Worm Composting Blog | Quick Facts| Getting Started | The Urban Worm Bag | Buy Worms | Interviews
VB24 Members | Contact | About | Newsletter | VermBin Plans | Hot Topics | EZV Course | Archives

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.
Read more articles on Announcements.

Urban Worm Bag – Day 131

It has been nearly two and a half months since my last Urban Worm Bag update.

This tends to be a time of year when projects fall of the rails a bit, and – although I had hoped this season to be different (but am now glad that’s not the case since it’s been a lot of fun) – that’s exactly what happened with my UWB follow-along.

Once my little “real world” worm business opens up for the season I often start taking over or harvesting active systems, exploiting them for my own business gains! Hahaha

Joking aside, in the past I have loved having Worm Inns for “back-up” and this year the UWB has taken on that role.

So what exactly does that mean?

It means I basically stopped adding food waste to it, and I started adding (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 17th, 2018 with 2 comments.
Read more articles on Urban Worm Bag.

Worms Beneficial for Gardening – True or False?

Question from Norm:

I have an organic garden, worms seem a little creepy. Someone told me great for gardening. ( true or false )

Hi Norm,
The super quick answer is “100% absolutely TRUE!”. Worms are great for gardening…but as you can likely guess, this is the type of question that requires a bit more of an in-depth answer.

There are different kinds of “worms” and different ways they can be beneficial. Right off the bat, let’s address the commonly-held misconception that you can just dump a bunch of earthworms (doesn’t matter what kind) into your garden soil and miraculously you are going to end up with incredible soil fertility.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way – it’s like putting the cart in front of the horse. I’m sure I am singing to the choir here (since you mentioned having an organic garden), but – for the benefit of others – you absolutely need to enrich your soil with lots of (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 15th, 2018 with no comments.
Read more articles on Reader Questions.

Vermicomposting Weeds – Revisted…Again

It always seems to be at this time of year, when food waste supplies are getting used up very quickly, and an abundance of greenery is sprouting up in the gardens (much of it “planted” by Mother Nature – lol) that I tend to think a lot more about using weeds as worm food.

This is a topic I have written about multiple times on the blog (“Vermicomposting Weeds – Revisited” is a good one to refer to since it links to previous posts on the topic as well), but by golly it still feels like something I haven’t pursued to the extent it deserves!

I always have so many weeds, just begging to be picked (the spread of comfrey in my yard, alone, is very impressive – although my wife doesn’t seem quite as wowed as myself 😉 ) – so it’s nice to have even more of an “excuse” to put in weeding time on a more regular basis.

In the past I have tried different optimization strategies such as (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 11th, 2018 with no comments.
Read more articles on Home Vermicomposting.

Vermicomposting Tofu?

A question from Carol:

Found a couple packages of extra firm tofu in the back of the fridge. Figured it would be fine – if a tad too much moisture – but thinking if I crumble it up and add maybe a third or quarter of the block at a time it’d be OK. Anyone tried tofu? Seems the meatless protein would be dandy.

Hi Carol,

This is an interesting idea – but I would definitely have some cautions as well. Firstly, yes I would agree that a meatless protein would usually be better than adding meat to your worm bin (especially in the case of meats containing lots of salt etc). Meat often has more fat than meatless protein sources, so they can get really putrid during the breakdown process. In outdoor systems this can attract flies (producing maggots) and other unwanted critters.

That said, it is important to note that (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 8th, 2018 with no comments.
Read more articles on Home Vermicomposting.

Vermicomposting Planter – 7-02-18

Busy time of year, but I finally have a bit of down-time so I thought it might be good to get some updates posted – starting with one for the vermicomposting planter project.

I must say that it was so much nicer having the planter basically ready to go this year – all I had to do was add plants. That’s not to say I didn’t have a late start, but at least mid-June is a lot better than late-July! lol

So what am I growing, you ask?

Well, the only suggestion I received was to try (more…)

Written by Bentley on July 3rd, 2018 with 4 comments.
Read more articles on Gardening.

Vermicomposting Cat Litter?

Question from Ken:

Hello-live in a semi-rural location in Oregon. Have the cat wastes, with biodegradable litter, in an outdoor wooden sided bin. Would like to try worms.
What should we do to make the bin more attractive to worms? If we purchase worms, do I just dump the worms on top of the pile?
Thank you,

Hey Ken,
I’ve worked a fair bit with biodegradable cat litters, and can confirm that vermicomposting these wastes is indeed possible. But there are definitely some nuances (to put it mildly). The big challenge is almost always going to be ammonia release. Worms are extremely sensitive to this gas (it kills them at very low levels), and as I’m sure you know, the amounts wafting off of used cat litter can be enough make your nose hurt and eyes water.

SO…it is going to be important for there to be a pretty decent aging/composting period before worms get involved (i.e. absolutely don’t add them straight to the system). It sounds like you have actually been depositing the wastes in your bin for a period of time – so perhaps there are indeed zones further down where the worms would be ok.

Regardless, my advice would be to (more…)

Written by Bentley on May 15th, 2018 with 2 comments.
Read more articles on Reader Questions.

Vermicomposting in Arizona Summer Heat?

A great question from Marie:

I used to do worm composting when I lived in Washington state. Now that I have moved to Arizona, and it is approaching summer, I am concerned about temperatures too hot for worms. I don’t have space to keep a bin inside, so that isn’t an option. I was thinking of using a container garden that I built using large concrete blocks. (The rectangular kind with two big holes in them that are used for walls). It is 2 feet x 6 feet wide, and 2 feet deep. It is shaded during quite a bit of the day by a large citrus tree. It gets regular water through a drip irrigation system. I was going to use a thick layer of pine needles to cover the top and encourage the worms to move deep into the center of the bin. Do you think that this would work?
Thank you for your expertise!

Hi Marie,
You are 100% correct in assuming that outdoor vermicomposting during an Arizona summer will likely be very challenging. But the good news is that the idea you shared sounds very much on target in terms of the sort of system that could potentially work!

For the benefit of others reading, I am going to start by laying some groundwork based on what we are dealing with here. To be honest, I don’t really know how hot it can get during an Arizona summer, but I’m am going to guess that 100+ F is pretty common over the course of several months.

Short of setting up some sort of (more…)

Written by Bentley on May 11th, 2018 with 9 comments.
Read more articles on Reader Questions.

« Older articles

No newer articles

 

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.