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Crazy Q&A Podcasts – Session #14

I know things have been extremely quiet on the blog this year, but I want to make it clear that I haven’t “moved on” from Red Worm Composting (and certainly not from worm composting in general). I’ve simply been busy with other (related and unrelated) projects…and good ol’ life in general!

And what better way to (hopefully) get back into the swing of things than with a “Crazy Q&A Podcast”?

As some of you will know, I started up a brand new email list, and I asked subscribers to submit questions and topic suggestions.

I decided on the podcast format for my responses since they are the easiest to put together, and usually quite easy for followers to consume (listen while you do other things).

[NOTE: If you would like to download the mp3 file, simply click the download (downward arrow) icon sitting beside "share" icon in the display below.]

Some Topics Covered

- How to harvest without stressing out the worms.
- What factors help to boost worm population growth?
- Feeding worms only cornmeal. Good or bad idea?
- Can pine shavings be used for vermicomposting?
- Is Broccoli a “good” worm food? (Why does it stink?)
- Soaked oats as worm food.
- Mature Worm Bin Syndrome – and what to do about it.

David’s Tub Harvesting Method

Written by Bentley on October 25th, 2016 with 4 comments.
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Get your own gravatar by visiting Lillian
#1. October 25th, 2016, at 7:49 PM.

Loved your pod cast thanks
i had a couple questions if i may
im fairly new to this wonderful experience as you might b able to tell by my ??
how many worms would you suggest for a rubbermaid type bin aprox 19 in long i started out with a lb per bin I have harvested once and kept some for a third bin
they are doing very well but maybe i have too many in one bin ?
also when do u know its time to harvest
thanks again for great info Lillian

Get your own gravatar by visiting Inés
#2. October 26th, 2016, at 4:53 AM.

Thanx a lot for this podcast Bentley. The part of mature worm bib syndrome was especially helpful.

Get your own gravatar by visiting Texgal
#3. October 26th, 2016, at 8:57 AM.


I have a question about horse manure. It’s my understanding that horses are given wormers. Any issues with that?

Also, what about poultry manure? I know it’s “hot”, but can it be used
after a certain period of time?

It horse manure better than cow manure?

Get your own gravatar by visiting Bentley
#4. October 26th, 2016, at 10:42 AM.

LILLIAN – thank for the kind words. For a typical home bin like you described, I would probably split the pound between 2 or 3 of them – obviously you need to be careful about the amount of food getting added, but when you are spreading it between 3 bins that will obviously help.
As for harvesting, I would say once the bin is about half full of dark compost material (bedding in lower half is mostly processed) or simply after 3-4 months of operation (will depend on ambient conditions though – cool temps will really slow down process).
INES – nice to see you here, and glad you found it helpful!
TEXGAL – You may want t refer to this article:
This is an issue that can vary from location to location and farm to farm. I have had ZERO issues with aged horse manure. My suspicion is that some of the reported “vermicide” deaths have simply been the result of using manure that was too fresh (and/or too much urine in it)

Poultry manure is another kettle of fish altogether. Very dry, contains salts and has a high potential for ammonia release. In order for it to be usable you really need to soak it well, mix it with bedding materials, and let it compost/age (preferably outdoors) for a while.

Horse vs cattle is a tough one. I prefer horse for sure, since nice and fibrous – offers great habitat value along with food value. Bedded cattle manure can be excellent stuff as well, though. Just be mindful of age and urine content as always.

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