July 2014

Do Worm Bins Need to be Mixed?

A couple of great questions from Michael:

Thanks for this great site. It has been a big help so far. I just
started a worm bin using the worm factory 360 and 1000 healthy, active
red wigglers. I have 2 questions:
1. should I stir the mix when I add to the bin or will that adversly
disturb the worms?
2. Do I need to add Carbons (Bedding) to the bin when I add food
scraps or just add a lot when I start a new bin?

Hi Michael!

1) Mixing up a vermicomposting system some can be beneficial – but I would say there is definitely such a thing as “too much” mixing. With a typical home bin system, periodically loosening up the worm habitat zone with a small garden hand rake (one of my favorite vermicomposting tools) can be a great way to combat the compaction that naturally takes place over time. It promotes increased air flow, which is not only good for the worms but it also improves (more…)

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Worm Inn Mega Re-Boot – Part III


Things have basically been on “pause” on the Worm Inn Mega front for the past month and a half – but I’m happy to report that I am now back in action with my new favorite vermicomposting system.

In this post – the third and final installment in my “reboot” series (here are Part I and Part II if you missed them) – I’ll describe how I got the system going again, and let you know what approach I have planned this time around.

I also have an important announcement for all RWC Worm Inn customers!

Getting the Mega set up again was very simple and took virtually no time at all. As per usual, I started by tightening up the drawstrings at the bottom, and then adding a thick layer of shredded cardboard. I completed this “false bottom” by adding (more…)

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Vermicomposting Weeds – Revisited

(Lots of comfrey growing in various corners of my yard – time to put it to good use!)

Adding green wastes to a home worm bin isn’t something I typically recommend – especially not to those just getting started. Materials like grass clippings and garden weeds tend to require more pre-processing (so as to make them worm-friendly) than most of the usual kitchen scraps , and when they break down they can release ammonia gas (which – as frequently mentioned – is very toxic for worms). Of course, this hasn’t stopped me from using these materials a fair bit in my own systems – and writing about it here.

Here are some examples…

Comfrey and Banana Peels?
Worm Inn Journal-06-22-12 (vermicomposting weeds in a Worm Inn)
Can worms live on grass clippings alone?

Comfrey is a plant I have a particular (more…)

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When Is Manure Ready For Vermicomposting?

Interesting question from Katheem:

“…[Are] there any parameters such as colour,
texture, state, C:N ratio etc.. to identify the ideal cow dung/manure
for vermicomposting?”

Hi Katheem,

There are definitely some attributes you can look for when it comes to working with ANY type of manure. For starters, it’s important to mention that there is a big difference between using manure as a starter “habitat” material, and using it as a “food” material once that safe habitat as been established.

Generally speaking, habitat material will need more time/handling than the manure designated as food. Fresher manures tend to contain higher salt levels and have a greater tendency to off-gas ammonia (both of these commonly influenced by urine content). Salts and ammonia are very dangerous for worms, even at very low levels.

Starter Habitat Manure – If you plan to actually start up a worm bed containing a significant proportion of manure, you will definitely want to make sure it is (more…)

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The Beast – 07-04-14

Happy 4th of July to all my friends in the U.S.!

A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was finally time to remove all the remaining material sitting at the bottom of my VermBin48 system – and then, to create a brand new false bottom.

It honestly didn’t look like much material at all, so I was quite surprised when I ended up with 4 or 5 rubbermaid tubs full before seeing my floor bars completely exposed again.

(LOTS of material yet to be removed when I snapped this pic!)

Although there was a lot of really beautiful vermicompost, the stuff sitting directly over top of the floor bars was (more…)

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