Hair Shirt Vermicomposting – 3-01-18

Quick little update on the “Hair Shirt Vermicomposting” front…

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since I set up a small system to test the use of cloth (mainly from clothing) and pet hair as “bedding” materials. As you may recall, I am using carrot peelings as my “food” for this one.

Similar to my Tea Bag Vermicomposting project, this is definitely going to be a pretty “slow” system (i.e nothing super excited will likely happen any time soon). But that’s OK!

One factor playing a role right now is temperature. It is still quite cool down in my basement, especially on the floor where this little bin is sitting. So we might see a little more going on once things warm up in spring and summer.

Since my first update, I have added another batch of peelings, and I decided to add a completely intact t-shirt as a short of secondary cover (to help with moisture regulation).

Not too surprisingly, the shirt has become quite saturated with moisture. At some point, I may actually try it without the plastic bag over top to see how moist it stays down below.

Conditions in the worm zone look good. I was able to find plenty of healthy looking worms – even one that was surprisingly big. So I think it’s safe to stay that this system is at least a step up from the dryish “living material” bag system they came from. No evidence of the fabric bedding degrading at all. I suspect the same is true of the cat hair, but it is so intermingled with everything else that it is difficult to tell one way or the other. This is something I will need to determine over time (as I add more hair etc).

I found one little flying varmint in the system – a moth fly (Psychodidae), but that’s it. We’ll see if this develops into anything serious in the weeks ahead.

The worm zone smells fantastic, so I am not worried at all about lack of oxygen. But the habitat IS very wet so I decided to add some more dry bedding – in this case, cut up strips from an old pair of jeans.

This is largely to help offset the moisture from the frozen carrot peelings I also added.

Things should get interesting…eventually!

Do stay tuned.

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