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Vermicomposting - "Stewing" time before adding worms?

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Vermicomposting - "Stewing" time before adding worms?

Post  tbergeron on 7/10/2013, 2:45 pm

Hello all,

I have a 5 gallon Rubbermaid tub that i've been filling up with some ground up kitchen scraps and shredded cardboard for about 3 weeks now. I figured I needed to actually have some "edible" food for the worms before I ordered them. To those who have composted with worms before: Do you think this has been long enough? I was out of town for 5 days with the 4th and when I came back my bin reeked a little: Guess that means I have some types of anaerobes growing, right?

Any input would be appreciated.
~Tim
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tbergeron

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Re: Vermicomposting - "Stewing" time before adding worms?

Post  llama momma on 7/10/2013, 3:22 pm

I've had worm bins for about a year and 1/2.  I prepared some food scraps about a week before they arrived.  Besides, when they are introduced it can take them a week or even a couple weeks  to adjust from getting jostled around in shipping.  In your case I can see how 3 weeks of food would become rather ripe. So your generosity didn't quite work out as expected, that's ok, if you can dig out a lot of the stinky stuff and start over, you'll be ok.  When are you getting the worms?  Just keep in mind your bin will always be better off under feeding than over feeding. Have fun and be sure to check out the search box at the top of the page for more information.
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Re: Vermicomposting - "Stewing" time before adding worms?

Post  tbergeron on 7/10/2013, 3:29 pm

I haven't ordered the worms yet, as I wanted to make sure that they'd have enough to eat (so to speak). I think I'll try to get them delivered by next week.

Do you really think I need to get rid of what's in the bin though? I think as I keep tossing the stuff in the bin around it will help to break apart the "clumps" and will promote the aerobic bacteria.
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Re: Vermicomposting - "Stewing" time before adding worms?

Post  grownsunshine on 7/10/2013, 4:17 pm

I've had my bin for about 2 weeks. Out of ignorance, I didn't prep much. I prepped my bin only 1 day before I put worms in. I put wet Peat Moss & wet shredded paper. The next day I only put a few worms in because a hot spell was on it's way and I wanted to make sure my worms would survive. The next morning the worms were trying to escape, so they must not have been happy. I added some regular potting soils and fed them. They seem to be fine after that. I'm thinking my soil wasn't wet enough. There are so many cautions about over watering the beddomg that I think I under watered it.

Before the heat wave came, I dug a hole and put my bin in it. The bin sticks out about 1/2 way. My worms survived fine, so I purchased 1 lb of worms from a local seller. My lack of prep didn't seem to hurt the worms other than the first day. I feed them everyday. The bin smells a bit, but not too bad since I've only put watermelon rinds, celery tops, & kale so far.

I did get ants yesterday, I put a ring of 1/2 vinegar & 1/2 water around my bin, so hopefully my worms aren't being eaten by the ants. I'll check on them tomorrow morning.

There are a handful of videos on youtube about setting up a bin, etc.

Good luck!


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Re: Vermicomposting - "Stewing" time before adding worms?

Post  llama momma on 7/10/2013, 6:48 pm

tbergeron
LOL!
 I mentioned to remove the stinky stuff thinking you were getting tired of it.  It's up to you, I think you could keep mixing I guess.  I thought with the time frame of worm arrival, you'd have time to throw in new food after removal the old.  No big deal. Very Happy 


grownsunshine
With lots of bedding and small amounts of food, you should have little odors.  I find the best way is to let the worms finish what you put in before adding more.  It keeps their care very easy.   You are right about moisture, it's a huge problem for many worm owners.  I keep my bins on the dry side and never have any leachate to deal with.  Just check the bin and you'll get a feel for when it's time to spray down the bottom.  Have fun !
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Re: Vermicomposting - "Stewing" time before adding worms?

Post  grownsunshine on 7/11/2013, 11:47 am

llama momma - my bin does have a small amount of odor, however it may be a bit more stinky that I think. I think my nose isn't great cuz' of the many years of snoring zzzzzZZZZZ!!!

The guy I bough the worms from said if the bedding is on the moist side the worms will multiply faster...better conditions for them I guess. The soil he had the worms in was really heavy and wet like mud. Personally I really prefer to keep my bedding like yours and hopefully end up with nice castings.

If I check on the food situation before adding more food, it'll also give me an idea of how much castings I'm getting. Thanks for the guidance!! Much appreciated!!

btw - only a few ants today...ya!!!

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