November 2014

Cool Large-Scale Worm Bed

Someone recently shared this video (in a comment on my Super Simple Passive Worm Farm) and I thought it was really interesting.

A variation of this bed could be used as a great winter system, but I would recommend filling the air spaces with something (I dunno – sawdust?), or – even better – using straw bales for the walls. Also, I would recommend digging down at least a foot or two. This could be a helpful strategy in very hot locations as well.

If you have really heavy clay soil you may also want to create a drainage channel to remove excess liquid (from rain, snow melt run-off etc). Instead of the screen, a couple of layers of pond liner felt contoured to the shape of the depression (again assuming you are digging down) and secured under the walls, could work well.

NOTE: The average number of babies per cocoon for Red Worms is actually 3 (not 4-20) – to learn more about Red Worm growth rates be sure to check out this post: Will A Red Worm Population Double in 3 Months?

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Super Simple Passive Worm Farm

Several observations from my years of vermicomposting:

1) Plastic tub systems, when set up properly with plenty of bedding – and when a few key requirements (see below) are met – can handle a LOT of neglect! Far more than a “fancy schmancy” Worm Inn or VermBin, in fact!

2) “Living material” tends to help create a far more “forgiving” system.

3) Aged horse manure (prime example of a “living material”) left-over after harvesting worms – i.e. material containing plenty of cocoons and baby worms – seems to spring “back to life” quite quickly.

With these three tidbits of “wisdom” in mind, I decided to try (more…)

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Flea Beetles in a Worm Bin?

Question from Ed:

I have a mature worm factory in my basement and I have picked up a
beetle infestation. From what I can figure I think they could be Flea
Beetles. Does it sound possible that I could have Flea Beetles. Should
I be concerned? The seem to be multiplying at a faster rate. Is there
a way to erradicate them or a least limit their growth? Should I be

Hi Ed,

There are a number of different varieties of beetles that can end up (sometimes in great abundance) in your vermicomposting systems. Flea beetles are not one of them – at least not in my experience (or that I know of). Likely the most common type is the “rove beetle” (Staphylinidae). These can sometimes appear in great numbers – particularly in open systems (especially those receiving manure as a food). These beetles tend to be long and thin, and often exhibit a curious tail-raising behavior as they run.

What you are likely seeing, though, is another fairly common variety – the (more…)

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Breathable Bucket Bin – Update

At the end of September, I set up my “breathable bucket bin” using a 5 gal pail with a pair of old long johns secured to the top.

The idea is to keep flying pests out, while still allowing plenty of air exchange.

So far, I have been pleasantly surprised with the results! Although I can’t really dig around as much as I’d like to (at least not without completely disturbing the whole system), what little digging I’ve done has uncovered an active, healthy worm population – one that is readily processing all the waste materials I’ve been putting in.

Although I dumped in a small bin of worms containing “mostly Euros”, it’s pretty obvious now that there must have been plenty of baby red worms and/or cocoons – since there seems to be a LOT of Red Worms in there now!

The Euros are still thriving as well – the ones I’ve been finding looking big and juicy – although they seem to be congregating all in one area of the bin (from an ecological/breeding standpoint this kinda makes sense).

With everything going so well, I thought perhaps that I should see if I can push my luck a bit (lol), by adding quite a lot more food at once.

I started by adding (more…)

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Mega Pumpkin Fun – Update

I wanted to share some interesting results (so far) from my “Mega Pumpkin Fun” experiment.

As you can see, the larger pieces haven’t changed all that much. I am not overly surprised by this. For one thing, I didn’t freeze/thaw the pumpkin ahead of time – and it just so happens that the particular pumpkin used for the larger fragments had a very tough skin and flesh. Aside from that, I’ve left everything totally exposed – I’m sure the decomposition process would be moving along more quickly if the pieces were at least partially buried.



The “interesting results” apply to the (more…)

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Mega Pumpkin Fun

I’ve managed to “kill three birds with one stone” with my latest kooky (or should I say spooooooky? lol) experiment!

1) My Mega has received an over-due feeding.
2) I was able to start using some of the pumpkin waste I wrote about recently.
3) I even managed to get some “compost activator” involved!

Compost activator??

Yep. Earlier in the year I (more…)

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RWC T-Shirts Survey Results

The results are IN!

174 RWC email list subscribers participated in our recent t-shirt slogan poll, and now that the dust has finally settled I’d like to share the results.

Here are the TOP 10 favorite slogans:

1) “Official Worm Herder” – 70 Votes
2) “Red Worm Composting – WAY Too Much Fun With Worms!” – 51 Votes
3) “Got Worms?” – 51 Votes
4) “I’ve Got Worms!” – 42 Votes
5) “Keep Calm…I’ve Got Worms.” – 41 Votes
6) “Worms Rock!” – 35 Votes
7) “I ‘Heart’ Worms” (heart would be image) – 32 Votes
8) “Spread The Worm!” – 30 Votes
9) “I Love My Worms” – 22 Votes
10) “Worm Nerd” – 18 Votes

To see the full break down check out the visual >>HERE<< THIS is exactly why I (more…)

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