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How will I know when I have worm castings?

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How will I know when I have worm castings?

Post  jymarino on 7/5/2011, 1:38 pm

I have a small worm bin, and the peat that I am using for bedding doesn't really smell like peat anymore. I am still uncertain if it really qualifies as worm castings. Does anyone have any experience with this that you can share? Thanks in advance!

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Re: How will I know when I have worm castings?

Post  skinney001 on 7/20/2011, 10:41 pm

I'm new to this site but I have been vermicomposting for over a year (I love my worms). It takes about three months for the worms to process the stuff in the bin, and of course you have to feed them during that time. A great site to learn more is redwormcomposting.com. It has taught me a lot about this subject. There is also a lot of stuff on youtube where you can see what the worm poo is supposed to look like. Good luck! And God made the worms for a purpose!

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Re: How will I know when I have worm castings?

Post  madnicmom on 7/21/2011, 12:45 pm

I started vermicomposting this spring (in rubbermaid container) and I noticed that worms eat ALOT! LOL It's a slow process but I have a good amount of black moist dirt. I need to push it to one side and start feeding from the other side to get them to migrate to just one side of the bin. I noticed a little compost tea in the bottom of my set up. WooHoo! Can't wait to put that on my garden.
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Re: How will I know when I have worm castings?

Post  quiltbea on 7/21/2011, 1:51 pm

This is my 3rd year with a worm condo and I'm loving it.
They need lots of kitchen scraps often if you want a good number of worms working for you. If you feed less, you'll have fewer worms. They won't reproduce all those little babies unless well fed. If you're short of kitchen scraps, tear up newspaper into narrow strips. Be sure its been sitting around a couple of weeks to be sure the ink isn't a problem.

You'll know when you have worm castings because it'll look like rich dark soil.

Here's my condo with lots of worm castings in it. I had stopped adding newspaper so I could clean it out.
To clean, I moved my worms onto dry newspaper during the event and scooped the castings in a bucket. This is what I got.

Its so rich and dark and doesn't smell at all. Lovely.

Tips: Sprinkle with water, the bin contents every once in a while. They like it damp, but not sopping wet.
Don't feed a lot of lettuce at once. It can kill your worms. A worm rancher reported this disaster online. He fed lots of lettuce and all his worms died. Mix your lettuce scraps in with other veggie scraps.
Worms don't care for root crops, so limit the amount of potato and carrot peelings you give them or mix them in well with other scraps.
Crush your dried eggshells for them. They lay their eggs in the hollows of the tiny bits of eggshells. I place my washed, dry shells in a plastic margarine tub and mash them down with the head of a wooden meat mallet.
They don't like it too hot so if you keep them outside place their home the shade. If its reaching 90*F, make sure they are well shaded or bring them inside.
In the winter, they need to be inside; your bathroom, heated garage or heated workshop. You don't want them to freeze. Don't worry. I keep mine in the bathroom and there's no odor if you care for them properly.
Remember, no meat or dairy for worms.
Good luck and enjoy your wonderful castings harvest.
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