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Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

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Earthworm Vermicompost

Post  has55 on 5/29/2016, 4:12 pm

I went in today to pull out that particular VGB(Vermicomposting Garden Bucket) as Dr. Ingham said in the podcast, but found a pleasant surprise. When I pulled the contents out, the bottom 6 inches was full of worm, but the top 1/2" to 1 inch" had soldier worms. So I removed them and I'm not going to feed for a few days to deterred development  of  any soldier fly. Also , I going to slow down the feeding to the pattern discussed on the urban composting podcast. I had not had any problems with adding my carrot pulp directly into the VGB's, but decided to change up the feeding technique to avoid setbacks.
The soldier worm os something else. I found these videos on red wiggler composting website.


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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  sanderson on 5/30/2016, 3:13 am

I saw those a couple years ago. BS Fly larva are fascinating and so noisy when they eat.  I sometimes get them in the free range worm box with juicy produce.  No harm.  They eat, hatch and fly away.

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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  has55 on 5/31/2016, 11:46 pm

sanderson wrote:I saw those a couple years ago.  BS Fly larva are fascinating and so noisy when they eat.  I sometimes get them in the free range worm box with juicy produce.  No harm.  They eat, hatch and fly away.
good to know, they fly away.
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  Ginger Blue on 7/14/2016, 12:01 pm

This thread, along with several others on vermicompost, have convinced me to create a worm bin - just a little one to start, small enough to keep in my utility room downstairs.

It will give me something positive to do during the winter.  Frigid temperatures here make it impossible (for me) to work an open compost pile or outdoor bin during the cold months. While a small bin will only generate a few cupfuls of castings, I think keeping one indoors will help ease my winter blues and be of benefit to my seedlings in the spring.

Plus it feels kind of "sciency" and interesting. Another grand-but-small-scale experiment to conduct in the downstairs lab, along with overwintering a dozen tomato bushes, and starting summer seeds under grow lights. Guess I'm kind of nerdy about this stuff.  geek
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  Kelejan on 7/14/2016, 2:17 pm

I have lots of reading to catch up on.  I am happy about you not killing the worms, hass55.
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  has55 on 11/6/2016, 8:45 am

sanderson wrote:I saw those a couple years ago.  BS Fly larva are fascinating and so noisy when they eat.  I sometimes get them in the free range worm box with juicy produce.  No harm.  They eat, hatch and fly away.
I love my vermicomposting bucket, but I have many buckets. I enjoy the ease of having them on site to harvest and spread the vermicompost poop over the beds at planting or after. Has anyone tried the vermicomposting buckets yet?

I been thinking about making a central worm box for harvesting to decrease going out to the different vermicomposting bucket site when I want to get rid of my food waste, which primarily is the pulp from 5 LBS of carrot juice, coffee and vegetables. any ideas/result from central worm box in area in weather like Dallas-fort worth, most heat and some frigid cold in the winter.?
I was thinking about using something like this container and burying it in the mulch, but I didn't know how to make a top for it. What do you think? Any better ideas out there?

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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  sanderson on 11/6/2016, 4:35 pm

Our weather is similar. I have a 3" worm tube in every box over 6 sq ft. But there is more kitchen waste than the tubes can handle. This is my free-range worm box made of scrap 2x4s. The tulle keeps out some of the Black Soldier Flies but there are always a few that squeeze in. In full disclosure, the bottom row of wood is rotting and will be removed, someday. Embarassed

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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  yolos on 11/6/2016, 6:30 pm

sanderson wrote:Our weather is similar.  I have a 3" worm tube in every box over 6 sq ft.  But there is more kitchen waste than the tubes can handle.  This is my free-range worm box made of scrap 2x4s.  The tulle keeps out some of the Black Soldier Flies but there are always a few that squeeze in.  In full disclosure, the bottom row of wood is rotting and will be removed, someday.  Embarassed  
Sanderson - what exactly do you mean by free-range.  Does the box have a bottom or are the worms free to range throughout the area.  Are they red wigglers or are they indigenous worms.
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  has55 on 11/6/2016, 8:17 pm

Sanderson, the VM bucket basically handle my waste, but I guess when my wife had my put in those cinder block beds, I getting use to not bending frequently. This is why I looking at a central location. I do't know if I will continue the buckets. I will do both for now.

high wide and how deep is the box?  How long have you had it?  I love the door handles and the tulle. It's looks very nice. I will need to think of a top, because of the rain. we have three days of rain going on now. day 1 today.
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  sanderson on 11/6/2016, 8:44 pm

Yolos, It is open-bottomed, so the worms can go up or down.  They are red wigglers and seem to stay in the wet food areas of the bin.  The earthworms seem to prefer the flower beds which are topped with leaves, wood chips and errant scraps of cardboard.

I had trouble with large cockroaches in the worm box and other areas of the back yard, so I had to put in a roach bait station and in other areas.  I hated to do that but they were getting bad in the yard.  The roaches are totally gone after 2 months and I have just started putting food scraps in the box.  Time will tell if the worms survived.

Has, If it rains, the worms can get on top of the food or on the wood sides. The plywood top is just a tad bigger than the box. The location of my box is high and well draining. Just for you, I went out in the dark and measured. It is 18x19 O.D. so that would be 15x16 I.D. The piece of scrap plywood probably determined the size. Razz

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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  has55 on 11/6/2016, 11:08 pm

"Just for you, I went out in the dark and measured."
Sanderson, you just made my day. LOL
Tomorrow, could you guess how high is high?
On average, how long does it take you to filled the box?




are you talking about the type of roaches? I see them occasionally in the vermicomposting buckets. sometimes they get in the house. 
this is what dirt doctor says:
 



Common names:
Cockroach, Roach, Water Bug, Palmetto Bug
Scientific name: Order Blattaria, family Blattidae
Size: Adult--1/4" to 1 3/4"
Identification: Brown, oval and flat-bodied. Antennae are long and slender. Very fast and active at night. Will occasionally fly. You know what they look like. The smaller roaches are German cockroaches; the larger ones are usually American cockroaches or palmetto bugs. Over 3,000 known species.
Biology and life cycle: Prefer warm, humid conditions. Feed at night on a wide variety of food. Hide in cracks, under floors, and other dark places during the day. They have an unpleasant odor.
Habitat: Cracks, crevices, cardboard boxes, chimneys, and other dark places that offer protection. Kitchen cabinets, chairs, and tables.
Feeding habits: Will eat any kind of food left accessible. They are attracted into houses for food crumbs and water.
Economic importance: Ruins food stuff. Most cockroaches live outside and help to decay organic matter. Believed to spread disease, but contrary to popular opinion, they rarely if ever spread human disease.
Natural control: Gecko lizards, scorpions, and beneficial nematodes. Freezing temperatures will kill some species.
Organic control: Boric acid products, baking soda soap, and sugar or molasses baits. Caulking the cracks, crevices, and holes in the house so the roaches can't walk right in is the first step in control.
Insight: All creatures were put on earth for a reason, even roaches. They are very important in the breakdown of organic matter. They also eat your food, books, and other possessions, poop all over the place, and may sometimes, although rarely, spread disease.
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  sanderson on 11/6/2016, 11:31 pm

That's the species.

Let's see. Made of 2x4s, 4 rows high. . . 14" high. I've never let it fill to the top, instead, removing castings at the 3.5" mark.

Don't. Over-think. This. Wink

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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  has55 on 11/6/2016, 11:33 pm

thank you.
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  sanderson on 11/7/2016, 2:34 am

Oh, if you have burrowing critters, maybe hardware cloth screwed to the bottom?? After a critter burrowed under the bin, I have to install some.

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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  has55 on 11/7/2016, 8:41 pm

I found this from 1/2014 by blackcat54, looks so familiar. Hmmm, wonder where I seen something like this.
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  sanderson on 11/7/2016, 10:00 pm

Very Happy

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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  has55 on 11/9/2016, 9:43 pm

nice setup
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  sanderson on 11/10/2016, 4:18 am

Nice looking box. He must live in a year around warm climate Metal roof would cook my worms! What's with all the coco peat? Yes, some kind of bedding on the bottom to get started, but filled up? I don't use any paper, just food scraps. Maybe I should try some.

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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  has55 on 11/10/2016, 9:04 am

sanderson wrote:Nice looking box.  He must live in a year around warm climate  Metal roof would cook my worms!  What's with all the coco peat?  Yes, some kind of bedding on the bottom to get started, but filled up?  I don't use any paper, just food scraps.  Maybe I should try some.
yes, I thought the filling was too much, but I like the look of the box, not the top. same here, everything would be cook.
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  has55 on 11/10/2016, 10:20 pm

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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  has55 on 11/10/2016, 10:21 pm

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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  Mimi2 on 11/12/2016, 10:22 am

Very cool video. I was toying with the idea of getting worms, but didn't think my husband would be a big fan of having them in the home. Outside in a big chicken wire compost bin seems like a good option.
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/13/2016, 12:56 pm

I really like that he says 6" max...! Everything else I see are really deep boxes. DH is open to me having them, but doesn't want it to take up a lot of space.

But don't worms have a real sensitivity to light? I thought it put them in pain.... ?? I guess I could paint a clear box...
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  has55 on 11/13/2016, 2:18 pm

AtlantaMarie wrote:I really like that he says 6" max...!  Everything else I see are really deep boxes.  DH is open to me having them, but doesn't want it to take up a lot of space.

But don't worms have a real sensitivity to light?  I thought it put them in pain....  ??  I guess I could paint a clear box...
I haven't look at the video again, but I believe he was using that container for see thru demo. they are sensitive to light.
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Re: Earthworms Vermicompost: A Powerful Crop Nutrient

Post  plantoid on 11/13/2016, 2:52 pm

Hass,
Have a look in the index for Josh and his " Wiggler Hilton .

He did a fair amount of practical work with worms , ended up inserting a pipe in each bed and pouring liquefied kitchen fresh veg waste down each tube every week or so .. The worms find it under the most amazing circumstances ..
Some even managing to find their way up into table tops on legs .  If I remember Josh also moved his tubes around the beds  into places where there had been a plant that he'd harvested .
 
The worms were like a tin of chopped Spaghetti ... zillions of them .

 What you were saying about insects laying eggs in the compost didn't seem to happen in the tubes .. perhaps it was due to the very quick decay and the worms feasting on it .  In high raised my beds I didn't get infested with slugs like I did when I tried the , " Bury chopped up kitchen sink waste  in a couple of beds " idea  ...again  I put it down to the very fast decay due to minute fibr5es and lots of lovely oxygen in nthe liquid and of course greedy worms .

   One last thing ,
For some reason worms like neat slimy half rotted carrots whizzed or grated up without any extra water .

 When I was playing on my small holding / small farm I met up with a worm farrner .
 He was an OK guy but was recovering from a mental break down so I grew worms for him on my land between walls of telephone poles laid opposite ends to ends & staked in place .
  I must have grown a few hundred kilo of brandling worms for his fresh water angling bait business  .

I grew the start ups on pure rabbit muck layered with grated carrots half rotten carrots ( grated them up in a cattle feed grater ) .

Once the beds got to 14 inches deep I just used a six inch layer of the grated carrots & covered it up for a fortnight with three thicknesses of hessian sacking , if it got too dry out came the hose pipe .


 When I used the tubes in my raised beds I used 3 " rain water plastic down pipe . about 15 inches long . Found you don't need to do any thing other than cut the pipe off at a slight angle to stop it  sitting fair & square in the end when it's vertical .   I poured a pint of liquidized kitchen veg down each tube & of course was moving the tube to a newly vacated square as soon as it became vacant .By the end of 17 days there was very little ever left of the pulped veg mater even during winter ( light frosts ) .

It's a sound way of getting the fresh worm cast nutrients in and around each bed and it's not hard work .
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