August 2020

Bird Seed & Bedding

I seem to be in a bit of a “reader questions” mode lately! lol

Here are some from George (will include my response below each):

1) I have a 20-pound bag of birdseed that the birds don’t seem to like. (The chipmunks and skunk are very happy!). I’m thinking of mixing the seeds into my worm bin (not all at once). I’m not worried about green lush growth because, without sunlight, any sprouts are doomed. I don’t expect so much green that I start a thermal compost cycle, so other than green sprouts and slower breakdown of seed husks, can you see any downside? Do you think I would be better served to grind the seeds in my blender? It would eliminate the sprouts and hasten breakdown, but it’s more work and then there’s the emotional effort of explaining it to my wife.

This is an interesting question! I would probably lean more towards letting them sprout. Not only is it easier just to toss them in (than grinding), but it might even be a superior way to (more…)

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What to Do When You Have “Too Many” Worms

Another question, somewhat related to the last one I responded to here on blog):

I have way too many red worms in my Worm Factory 360. If I cannot find someone who wants them, will they survive if I put them out in my garden, or out in the woods somewhere?

For starters the idea of “way too many” worms is an interesting one. Generally speaking, a worm population will self-regulate, based on resources and available space. You certainly wouldn’t end up with so many that they basically just start overflowing out of the system (for example).

That being said, it’s never a bad idea to thin out the “herd” a bit, especially if it gives you more room for adding fresh bedding etc!

Starting new systems is a great way to ramp things up even further, if you have the space and interest in doing so. And as I told this person in my e-mail reply, this doesn’t necessarily mean (more…)

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Using Composting Worms to Enrich Your Soil?

The following excerpt is from an e-mail someone recently sent in:

I have a 5 acre property and would like to enrich my soil by putting more earthworms on the soil.

This person wanted to discuss the matter further via phone and – I assume – buy the quantity of composting worms I recommended for the job. Unfortunately, there are more than a few worm suppliers out there who would happily sell to these types of people (even some who promote the adding-composting-worms-to-soil idea on their websites).

Let’s start with my response – and I will elaborate from there: (more…)

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European Nightcrawlers in an Urban Worm Bag?

It has been nearly a year and a half since I wrote about one of my own Urban Worm bags (a failed cat waste vermicomposting system). The details are a bit hazy now, but a new project direction didn’t end up materializing and I’m pretty sure the UWB was taken down completely last spring or summer.

So, it’s safe to say that getting back in the saddle with a new UWB project is long overdue!

One thing I’ve been wanting to test is the use of European Nightcrawlers in an Urban Worm Bag. I’ve tried them previously in a Worm Inn, and they seemed to mostly stay down in the bottom – and my attempt at keeping them in a VermBin48 resulted in most of them migrating down onto my basement floor.

Based on the size of the UWB and how well it retains moisture I’m a bit more optimistic about my chances of success – but whatever happens, it should be interesting!

Last week I got the ball (slowly) rolling over at my dad’s place. This is where I keep (more…)

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