Clippings by barbararose21101

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Testing some principles

posted by: pjames on 04.18.2010 at 04:46 pm in Vermicomposting Forum

It is raining here so my outside projects have been suspended. With all this time on my hands, I've come up with an approach to test some of the questions and procedures that have been posted lately.

1. I made a 'worm separator' like Shaul described using some plastic tubs I brought home from the hospital. I made a grid of 1/4' holes spaced about an inch apart. I did not have a bin that needed harvesting so I put some vermicompost I have been finishing. I found the tub worked very well as a sifter, so it will serve a dual purpose. I found that sifting worked better using a side to side motion like panning for gold. I returned a fair amount of uneaten bedding to the mother bin.

2. Later this week I am going to check to see if I still have coccoons in the castings. (I could not see any under indoor lighting.) If I have a fair number, I am going to employ the method described by Jim08204 using water to float the coccoons away from the castings.

3. I plan to take those wet coccoons and put them on a paper towel (to absorb excess water) and place them into a container and refrigerate the coccoons for a several days to see how viable they remain.

4. I will put those coccoons into completely fresh bedding. This will see if I can eliminate other bugs like roly poly's, mites, pot worms etc. The problem here is I have to somehow innoculate the bedding with the proper gut flora the worms require to digest. For that purpose, I think I can add 4 or 5 juvenile worms after I 'dip' them to wash off anything stuck to them. I don't know if mite eggs survive ingestion by the worms.

I am going to use a gallon size plastic ice cream tub for this and keep it away from my other bins. If the coccoons are not viable, I will repeat the steps with my next harvest skipping the refrigeration step.

Not only will this test some of the recent discussions, but I can see one feasible advantage. If a large number of coccoons are introduced into a bin at the same time, they should grow at the same rate (within some acceptable variation) so they should be ready for harvest/packaging at the same time, for example to sell as bait worms. This would eliminate the need to sort worms for size. A herd of breeders could be maintained with weekly/biweekly harvest for coccoons and then smaller containers could be kept for 'grow out'. The commercial poultry industry has used this principle for years.


clipped on: 01.16.2015 at 10:27 am    last updated on: 01.16.2015 at 10:27 am

My re-recycled worm bin

posted by: mendopete on 12.07.2009 at 01:53 pm in Vermicomposting Forum

Last summer my "wormy" neighbor talked me into vermicomposting and sent me to the Thanksgiving Coffee Company here in Fort Bragg. I met the owner Paul (very wormy!) who showed me his setup. Paul has his worms in the ground in two beds maybe 10' wide and 20' long. Owming the coffee company and a restaurant/bakery he has access to much food, and he covers these beautiful 12" fluffy mound with old carpet! He harvests hundreds of pounds of castings each year and uses them in his wonderful community garden and orchard- It was BEAUTIFUL and I was Hooked...Here is what I did. I decided to make a rectangular box 5'x3' out of some oldgrowth redwood 4x6 posts which used to be my fenceposts and before that were high voltage crossarms. I stacked them 3 high (18") on the ground in the shade of a rhoderdendrum and merletree, and left the bottom open. I filled with some bedding and food and a bucket of starter red worms Paul gave me. I cover the bed with carpet and throw an old sheet of plywood over the whole thing. It took awhile for the population to establish, but last month I harvested about 20 lbs of castings. After discovering this website a few weeks ago I got motivated and collected a few truckloads of compostable material to make some piles. I decided to top off my half full bin with a bag of starbucks grounds and a about a cubic foot of aged horse manure with a smaal population of red worms. 4 days later it is warm but not hot. This happened about 3 months ago when I added to much and it got hot! I thought I killed all the worms, but after 3 weeks of no fresh feed they were thriving better than ever! Does anyone have expierience with this system or heve suggestions?


clipped on: 01.16.2015 at 09:53 am    last updated on: 01.16.2015 at 09:53 am

RE: tea (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: chuckiebtoo on 06.18.2013 at 02:07 pm in Vermicomposting Forum

Microscopes are some peoples' choice to assure themselves that they're maximizing the brew to.....perfect (?).

When I started, I used the trial and error method, watched the plants, tweaked a little until my lawn and plants were screaming at me that they were satisfied with the formula, and I've left it exactly the same for these 15 years.

I only use dechlorinated water (use my aeration bubblers on city water for about an hour prior to brewing), unsulphured molasses (Grandma's is good unless you can find it in larger containers), and aquarium aerators.

Brew it 24 hours, spread it with an end-hose sprayer with an in-line filter, use the least water pressure possible to get the stuff delivered, and get ready to mow 4 days after the previous mowing.


Wanna see some comparison pics?


clipped on: 01.16.2015 at 09:49 am    last updated on: 01.16.2015 at 09:49 am

RE: Tea question for chuckiebtoo (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: chuckiebtoo on 04.07.2014 at 06:13 pm in Vermicomposting Forum


I brew avct in gallon milk jugs and put about 5 heaping spoonfuls (about a little less than a cup) of vc into the de-chlorinated gallon of H2O. I do use un-sulfured molasses because you have gotta feed all that new biology you're producing.

The pics: I gotta load them off a CD that's among a stack of CD's looming behind me on a shelf with lots of pitifully labeled CD's that I need to organize anyway. THANKS!!



clipped on: 01.11.2015 at 12:29 am    last updated on: 01.11.2015 at 12:30 am

Protein in a worm bin

posted by: barbararose21101 on 08.24.2014 at 10:57 am in Vermicomposting Forum

Do any of you put meat in your red wiggler bins ?

Is the consensus against protein based on the risk of attracting attention from other critters, odor of decomposition, and variables other than the health of the worms ?

Look at that: I got italics !


clipped on: 08.25.2014 at 06:10 pm    last updated on: 08.25.2014 at 06:10 pm

Worm Tea vs Leachate (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: barbararose21101 on 12.16.2013 at 11:40 am in Vermicomposting Forum

I read up on the science of the Tea/Leachate question.
My take is that making the tea is not worth the extra effort.
Controlled tests at the UW on roses did not demonstrate conclusive results. So: adding stuff & aerating and figuring
how to use it is a lot of work for a questionable result.
However, there are anecdotal stories of good results.
Maybe it's like nutrients for humans: too many variables.

The other issue is how safe is leachate ? Some posters here don't even acknowlege the question.

Nor do some of the posters here seem to acknowlege that the worms shouldn't live in their own waste for too long. Based on my reviewing, 6 months seems to be a limit. That is, at some point, the worms need a Fresh start even if we aren't ready to use the castings, or even if there is still bedding in it.

I'm back to the forum to report good results if I can find a topic where it will fit. How we name our posts matters: the post "Sweet Spot" could be aptly titled "horse manure". There's a humorous version of that from, is it, Mash ? Col Potter "Horse Pucky ?"


clipped on: 12.16.2013 at 11:44 am    last updated on: 12.16.2013 at 11:45 am