March 2018

Non-Aerated Castings Tea – Update

It is technically “Day 11” of my non-aerated castings tea experiment (didn’t blog about it until a week ago), so I figured it might be a good time to do some initial smell checks. In my first post (on “Day 4”) I reported that the color of the two treatments was already quite different – well that difference has become much more obvious by this point.

The syrup-ammended teas look almost milky, while the non-admended teas look pretty much exactly the same as at the start of the experiment (with a little bit of (more…)

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[UWB – Day 18] – Adventures in Toad-Sitting!

Yesterday, after a fun little game of soccer (A.K.A. kicking a deflated basketball back and forth between two toddler-sized hockey nets) with the kids, my daughter and I came inside, leaving my son to dig in the garden for a little while longer.

A few minutes later he came rushing into the house, shouting at the top of his lungs that we needed to come see the “toad” he had found.

[My heart sunk at this point, assuming I’d be performing some sort of toad autopsy – followed by a special toad burial ceremony. lol]

Amazingly enough, what we found when we reached the excavation site was (more…)

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Does Non-Aerated Castings Tea Always Stink?

Worm castings tea is always a hot topic of discussion (and debate) in the worm composting world. Two of the BIG sub-topics that tend to get people fired up are: 1) aerated vs non-aerated teas, and 2) amended vs non-amended teas.

Naturally, a lot of people feel that if you don’t aerate tea (or if you do but then just let it sit) you will end up with…well, basically anaerobic, phytotoxic nastiness. Yet over the years I have had multiple people claim they have left tea to sit for extended periods with NO problems – no stink, and still beneficial for the plants.

I’ve never really ended up too caught up in the arguments for either side. To me – like so many other facets of vermicomposting – it is yet another (more…)

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Urban Worm Bag – Day 6

I wanted to share a quick update about my progress with the Urban Worm Bag so far.

It’s been nearly a week since I first set it up and, as is often the case when starting up a brand new system (especially with a bin I haven’t used before), I am taking a very mellow approach so far.

Basically just letting the worms settle in while monitoring conditions.

As I joked in a recent message sent to the e-mail list, if a Worm Inn and a plastic worm bin had offspring you might end up with something like an UWB!

It seems to have great moisture retention, while still offering excellent air flow (especially with a couple of tweaks).

One of the things I wanted to be careful about early on was (more…)

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Can Vermicomposts Slow Fruit Ripening?

Weird, random experiment alert!

Last week, while in research mode, I came across some information that (at the time) seemed to suggest that microorganisms in vermcomposts can produce ethylene (which can serve as a plant hormone).

Ethylene made me think of fruit ripening in general…and banana peels in particular. I remember a plant biology prof in university sharing a little trick involving the placement of a banana peel in a bag with a plant cutting so as to speed up the sprouting of roots. He said it was because of the ethylene the peel released.

The idea of vermicomposts maybe producing ethylene (will come back to this later) made me curious to know if (more…)

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Urban Worm Bag – Getting Started

Yesterday was my birthday and I must say that being able to spend most of the day immersed in vermicomposting “stuff” (and then hanging out with my fam in the evening) made it that much better!

One of my activities involved setting up my new Urban Worm Bag.

As alluded to (I think) in my last UWB post, I decided to take down my Worm Inn mega system ahead of time, so that left me with some available space for the UWB in the corner of my basement bathroom (something I am very happy about since my basement is very cramped at the moment).

So let’s get down to business here…

I decided to set up my UWB using a very similar approach to how I would set up a Worm Inn. First, I started with my “false bottom”. I am actually really starting to like the special pocket in the bottom of the UWB, since it serves as the perfect little receptable for my first layer of dry shredded cardboard. This zone should help to soak up any liquid that happens to trickle down into the bottom.

People often wonder if (more…)

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Walnut Shells & Banana Peels – 3-07-18

It’s been more than 1 month since my last “Walnut Shells & Banana Peels” update. This is yet another of the “slow” projects I have on the go right now, so there isn’t all that much to add in the way of commentary on a regular basis (I am planning some more “active” projects to add to the mix, so things should start hopping a bit more on the blog soon).

My bag of banana peels was gettinng quite full and I seemed to have a decent amount of accumulated walnuts shells by this week, so I figured I should do a feeding and post this update!

Conditions in the system are (more…)

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