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May 26th, 2009

You are currently browsing the articles from Red Worm Composting written on May 26th, 2009.

The 50 Cocoon Challenge

Red Worm Cocoons

In my recent ‘Worm Bin Aging‘ post I mentioned that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the bin I’ve left to sit for well over a month. I had a couple ideas for possible fun projects, but based on the reader responses (and my own preferences), I’d say that the cocoon project was a clear winner.

While I was doing some worm harvesting yesterday, I noticed quite a few cocoons in the material, and decided it was as good a time as any to collect a bunch for the experiment. I wasn’t really sure how many I should use, and just kinda ended up settling on 50. I want enough to make things interesting, but not so many that it would have taken me 5 hours to harvest them all, or lead to having the bin completely overrun with baby worms.

The basic idea here is that we are (hopefully) going to get some idea of how long it takes a worm to reach maturity from the cocoon stage. Of course, this is only going to provide a rough estimate for my given set-up, temperature etc – certainly not a set-in-stone value for all situations.

As mentioned in the aging post, the bin I’m using is certainly full of life. There are lots of fungi (including little fruiting bodies like the ones pictured here), slime moulds, mites and gnats. It will be interesting to see how quickly the cocoons start hatching (although I suspect this will be pretty tough to monitor, given the small size of the hatchling worms).

This will be the perfect experiment for me, since it can basically be left to sit!

That being said, I will certainly check in on it periodically, and will provide updates here.

Written by Bentley on May 26th, 2009 with 5 comments.
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