Four Worm Update – 02-16-10

Four Worm Reproduction Experiment

It’s been quite some time since I provided a “Four Worm Reproduction Experiment” update (in fact – the last time I wrote about it was when I added the worms at the beginning of January). There isn’t really anything exciting to report on, but at least this way you get a status report.

Something that occurred to me today (as I was digging around in the bin, trying to locate the worms) is the fact that choosing such a large bin might not have been such a bright idea, since it is almost certainly impeding the development of the worm population.

Despite digging around for a while, I was only able to located one or two worms (still not sure if it was the same one twice), and found no cocoons at all. It is safe to say that the worms have reached adulthood by now, but I just don’t think they are having a very easy time locating one another.

Red Worm

I still haven’t added any more food to the system since setting it up. I may do so fairly soon though since there is very little in the way of recognizable food waste left in the bin.

I’ll likely start looking for cocoons a bit more often now that I know that the worms are mature. I will also see if I can confirm that all four worms are still present in the system as well.

Stay tuned
8)

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VermiPonics System – 02-12-10

Comments

    • Julie
    • February 17, 2010

    I really enjoy reading your articles and love to follow up on your many projects.

    I’m totally brand new to worm composting (1 month since I started my own bin!), but since I had a lot of food waste to go through (too much for 1 bin) and since I was inspired by your many articles, I decided to start a second bin with a few worms, just like you did.

    And I just came to the same conclusion about bin size. It’s just too big, and all I do is displace all the litter and I’m not sure I am finding all the worms, or seeing them twice. Also, I’m still very unsure about the environment conditions, if it’s too wet, too dry, too cold or hot, too little food, etc… I am sure something else could impede the progress of my own experiment.

    So, I started a 2L ice cream bucket mini-composting with a few worms. This might be the opposite and way too small, but at least not as difficult to see the worm population’s progress. I just hope I don’t kill them in that tiny environment, or bother them too much by looking in on them often.

    Meanwhile, I’ll continue following your experiments , I enjoy the clarity and simple explanations and the pictures always help.
    Thanks for all the info.

    • Bentley
    • February 23, 2010

    Hi Julie,
    Thanks for sharing (and apologies for my delay responding!).
    I think an ice cream container is a great way to start! I probably should have done that, and THEN move to larger systems as the worm population expanded. Oh well – guess I was just TOO eager to try out my BOM-600 system!
    8)

    • Julie
    • February 24, 2010

    Thanks for the response.

    I did start that ice cream container, and the worms seem right at home. Now that they are in there, it seems a bit small 🙂 I doubt they’ll grow much, but they do seem happy. They are staying right at the top in the first inch of bedding and feeding pretty hungrily on a small amount of food. It’s still early so things could still go wrong at some point or other. I’m still keeping the rubbermaid bin to see if it’ll still grow as well.

    • David
    • March 18, 2010

    I new to this and I have large bin which I start about 10 days ago with composting materials and just go my worms today and placed them in the bin. I want to know if when I see condensation on the inside of the lid is that a sign of something I need to deal with or is that normal?

    Thanks,
    David

    • Bentley
    • March 22, 2010

    Hi David – condensation inside of an enclosed plastic worm bin is definitely to be expected. I would definitely be more concerned with pooling of water in the bottom of the bin. You may want to keep an eye on that from time to time.

    • Julie
    • March 22, 2010

    Hi David,

    I’m just a beginner like yourself, I don’t have much experience. I don’t really know if condensation is good or bad, or indicative or something, but I just thought I’d share what I have seen since I started my bin just 3 months ago, until someone else with more knowledge can answer you.

    I don’t know what your “large bin” is, and how much condensation you have, or what the content of your bin is – what kind of bedding , paper or cardboard or leaves… My own bin is a rubbermaid container (plastic storing box from a large store) in which I drilled lots of small holes on the sides and in the lid itself, and filled with shredded newspaper, with a layer of whole newspaper on top as a “cover”.

    I did notice a little bit (very fine) misty condensation under the lid of my composting bin on some days. I opened it up every day, to look into it, I suppose it helped with air flow. It didn’t seem to be too much condensation so I didn’t worry about it. Also, my newspaper bedding was always staying kind of dry on the top, so I added water frequently, and so I knew it wasn’t too humid in the bin.

    My worms have done well since then, so the very small amount of condensation has not been a problem for me. I just assumed it was something due to it being a cheap plastic container after all 🙂 I did check inside the bin almost every day to see how it was progressing , so I haven’t had a big problem, yet.

    • Julie
    • March 22, 2010

    hehe, someone with more knowledge did beat me by a few minutes with the answer 🙂

    • Bentley
    • March 22, 2010

    Nonsense, Julie – your answer was much more thorough than mine. Thanks for chiming in to share your experiences.
    8)

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