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Can you put worms in your compost bin?

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Can you put worms in your compost bin?

Post  llang43 on 7/14/2010, 3:58 pm

I was just wondering if worms can survive in a compost bin? It would help with the compost wouldn't it. I haven't been mixing it well enough, so I'm not getting good compost, just lumpy stuff. Any suggestions for good composting?
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llang43

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Can you put worm in your compost bin?

Post  junequilt on 7/14/2010, 5:08 pm

You can put red wigglers in a compost pile as long as you don't intend for the pile to cook. If the pile heats up, any worms in or near the center will be killed or forced out and into the surronding environment. The heat of a good, hot compost pile will kill weed seeds and various diseases, so it would be a good thing to aerate the pile or do whatever else is necessary to get the materials to decompose.

Sometimes your pile just needs the proverbial shot in the arm to get cooking again. That can take the form of aeration, moisture, the addition of high-nitrogen organic materials such as coffee grounds -- you could try any or all of those.
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Can you put worm in your compost bin?

Post  Bec on 7/14/2010, 5:24 pm

Last year I had worms in my compost and was thrilled but I learned they were only there because my compost wasn't getting hot. I now have different sources for my compost ingredients and with it's different composition it gets VERY hot - actually gets white with ashes and smokes. I had taken the worms out when I had learned about heat killing them but they didn't like where I had them so I put them back in the compost (at that point it was still the old compost and hadn't gotten hot) thinking they would just stay away from the heat in the middle. Well......apparently I've been mixing my new compost real well and apparently I have a high nitrogen content because ALL the worms disappeared - 1000's of them! They either went underground or got cooked. I was just sick about it. So...I would highly recommend keeping your worms separate from your compost bin and keep them in a worm bin - unless you know your compost won't get very hot.

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black compost bin

Post  llang43 on 7/14/2010, 9:32 pm

I have the type of compost bin that should get "hot". It's all black, square and had a lid to add scraps or different materials. I turn it around with a pitch fork. I recently hadn't strirred it up in a while and found it doing "nothing" so I added moisture, added saw dust (a friend gave me) and added accelerator to it. I'm hoping it does something. I'm not real please with the "small amount of compost" coming from it.

Thanks for the worm suggestions. Don't want to cook them!
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Black compost bin

Post  Bec on 7/14/2010, 9:36 pm

Mine is a black plastic compost bin too. (The one I'm building is from wood pallets.) I think it only really matters what goes inside. If you add cut, dried grass it will get hot very fast. I didn't have grass in mine before, this time I do. That makes a huge difference.

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Can you put worms in your compost bin?

Post  junequilt on 7/16/2010, 3:50 pm

If you have access to a farmer's market where they shell beans such as limas, ask for the empty pods and add them to your compost. Talk about something that heats up fast! They're full of nitrogen and water.
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Re: Can you put worms in your compost bin?

Post  WardinWake on 7/16/2010, 5:52 pm

Humm.... Cooked worms, a little salt, a little pepper, rub on a little rosemary.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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