Late last week I decided to pull the plug on my “Mini Vermiponics System” experiment. My original goal wasn’t so much to grow a nice crop of plants as it was to simply see how well the process worked in general. All in all, I was very pleased with the results! Considering this was my first attempt at this sort of thing, and that the conditions (low light, cool temps) weren’t exactly optimal for serious plant growth, I think we ended up with a nice little plot of vegetation!
Of course, one of the MAIN things I wanted to determine was how well the worms did in a system like this. Given some of the issues I ran into with really foul reservoir water (due to low oxygen), I was a little concerned that the grow bed environment might have ended up being rather inhospitable for the worms. Digging around a bit from time to time (and not really seeing all that many worms) seemed to contribute to this worry.
Well, the good news is that the worms did just fine (to say the least)! The first indicator of success in this department was the dense population of Red Worms I found in the feeding container.
I suspected that if there would be a decent number of worms to be found anywhere, THIS would be the spot, and that hunch turned out to be correct. The burlap bag definitely didn’t turn out to be the best choice as far as a removable insert goes, but if you used some sort of plastic mesh bag instead, this MIGHT even offer a decent way to harvest worms from a vermiponics grow bed!
Once I had dumped (and surveyed the contents of) the feeding tube, I decided it was time to dump all the grow bed media into one of my black worm sorting trays so I could assess the worm population in the rest of the bed. As I discovered, there were loads of worms down in the really wet zones – and they seemed to be especially concentrated in the lint material.
I wanted to really get a sense for just how many worms I might have ended up with in total, so I next started to slowly remove gravel and other materials from the top, encouraging the worms to keep diving down. This process actually took place over several days, and on Monday of this week I decided to shoot a video to show the worms I found down in the bottom.
Given how few worms were added to the bed in the first place, I was pleasantly surprised with the final tally (which, by the way, wasn’t really assessed, apart from some “wow – that looks like a decent amount” observations – haha). This reminds me – I definitely need to find a new home for all those little guys, since they are still sitting in that gravel as I write this.
Worms certainly weren’t the only thing to be found in great abundance in the grow bed. As I mention in the video, I couldn’t believe how many cocoons I found! It was incredible!
If only I had been doing this around the time I set up some of my “50 Cocoon Challenge” experiments! It would have taken a few minutes to get my quota!
Anyway – I am really looking forward to setting up a much more serious system outside in a month or two. I am planning to use a large plastic garbage can as a reservoir, and may even add a goldfish or two to keep things interesting!
Should be fun!
Previous Vermiponics Posts
Mini VermiPonics System
VermiPonics System – 02-09-10
VermiPonics System – 02-12-10