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Wiggler Hilton

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  auntij on 4/15/2010, 8:55 pm

I bought a worm setup from a guy in MA a few weeks back. He seemed to know quite a bit about worms. He did tell me worms will stop reproducing when their population is at its max for a given area. I noticed a little ways back in the post about getting 5000 worms and wondering how quickly they would reproduce. Also he said they will eat about a pound of waste per pound of worm every day or so.

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Dealing with escapees

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/20/2010, 5:41 pm

It's been a week since my little darlings arrived. And they are still climbing the walls and hiding under the lid plus today, I checked the bottom pan and a couple of dozen were in that, mostly under the two bricks I have for spacers. Several were dead.

They have about 6" total of shredded newspaper bedding and food scraps. I think I'm feeding them enough and a good variety. They've had coffee grinds, swiss chard, grated carrots, cabbage, apple cores, and a cuke. They are not eating as much as I thought, so I've backed off feeding them as much. I wonder if that was a mistake? I have a package of freeze damaged okra that I'm thinking about thawing out and putting that in.

Any suggestions? This new mother needs sure reassurance that her babies are doing OK.

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  AFLfan on 4/20/2010, 6:27 pm

I put together my worm bin last week, and the worms seem to be relatively healthy and happy. One question though... Does everyone else have a ton of flies inside their worm hotel? I guess they love the manure and decaying food as much as the worms.

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  choksaw on 4/20/2010, 8:07 pm

I have fruit flies or little gnats around and in mine and a bunch of dead ones stuck to the walls so your not alone in that dept.

Bellfry what size holes did you put in the bottom tier going down into the compost tea catcher? i used the small size bit i did to help prevent the worms from commiting suicide down there.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/21/2010, 8:42 am

I used 1/4" holes in the bottom and 1/8 in the upper sides for ventilation. Most directions I read called for 1/4" in the bottom sections to allow the worms to migrate upward when they exhausted their food in the main bin. I think I'll just check the catchment section each day and rescue the "dropouts" as there's no tea being made yet. Are yours climbing the sides? The directions I received with my worms said that would happen for a few days but they should settle down. I guess I have a rowdy bunch.

Yes, I have fruit flies which is why I'm keeping the hilton outside.

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  choksaw on 4/21/2010, 2:56 pm

I used the larger holes in tier 3 so that the worms could migrate when they need to and the tiny holes for moisture control so that the tea can drip down but the worms cant. None of my worms have climbed the sides or tried to escape they all seemed to settle in rather quickly, i even mashed up some fish bones and threw it in there for them and they seem to love it always a big clump of worms around that area
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/21/2010, 7:20 pm

But with the larger holes only on one bin, how will they migrate up out of that bin once it is full? Or will you do the dump method?

I checked today and only 2 had climbed the walls and none in the bottom so maybe they are settling down.

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  martha on 4/21/2010, 7:51 pm

@auntij wrote: Also he said they will eat about a pound of waste per pound of worm every day or so.

So how much do 500 worms weigh?
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  choksaw on 4/21/2010, 10:02 pm

the 2nd tier sits over the 1st tier (where the tea is collected) i dont want them traveling downward to migrate i want them traveling up into the 3rd tier although by nature they seem to travel downwards so i may have to adjust my system a little to compensate but right now only 2 tiers are being used the tea collector and the worm bin the 3rd is off to the side til its needed
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  HANDCUFFER on 4/21/2010, 10:04 pm

Have had my lb. of worms since December. About to harvest my first castings. Feels like about 1-2 lbs of castings.

Your flies are coming from too much food. Don't feed for a few days and see if this helps. Also, I have a piece of cardboard cut out to fit about half way down into the rubbermaid container (sort of an inside lid) which also helps cut down the flies and any stray odor which may randomly appear.

The worms love shredded newspaper. Colored is not bad in smaller quatities. No glossy paper.

No citrus, onions, proteins, or breads. Also limit the about of lettuce(especially iceburg). They love coffee, coffee filters, tea bags (without the string and staple). No leaves. Leaves appear to be very hard for them to eat and the last thing on their menu. I will have to sort lots of leaves out of the castings.

When adding moisture to the farm be sure to use water without chlorine.

The worm bins are in a corner of our dining room and go mostly unnoticed.

I can try to help answer questions for you all also.

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/22/2010, 9:15 am

@choksaw wrote:the 2nd tier sits over the 1st tier (where the tea is collected) i dont want them traveling downward to migrate i want them traveling up into the 3rd tier although by nature they seem to travel downwards so i may have to adjust my system a little to compensate but right now only 2 tiers are being used the tea collector and the worm bin the 3rd is off to the side til its needed

Sorry -- I probably didn't ask my question right. Bin 1= tea bin, Bin 2= the one you currently use on top of that with small holes, Bin 3 = the one you will use for them to migrate to when Bin 2 is "done". When you put the 3rd bin on top (with larger holes) for them to migrate upwards and then empty the castings from Bin 2, how will you then harvest the castings from the 3rd. bin? My understanding of the directions was that Bin 2 & 3 have the same diameter holes large enough so the worms can migrate upward to new food. Am I making any sense here?

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/22/2010, 9:16 am

@martha wrote:
@auntij wrote: Also he said they will eat about a pound of waste per pound of worm every day or so.

So how much do 500 worms weigh?

A pound of red wigglers is between 1000=1200 worms depending on whether they are mainly juveniles or mature. So 500 would be approximately a half pound.

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/22/2010, 9:22 am

@HANDCUFFER wrote:Have had my lb. of worms since December. About to harvest my first castings. Feels like about 1-2 lbs of castings.

Your flies are coming from too much food. Don't feed for a few days and see if this helps. Also, I have a piece of cardboard cut out to fit about half way down into the rubbermaid container (sort of an inside lid) which also helps cut down the flies and any stray odor which may randomly appear....

I can try to help answer questions for you all also.

Thank you, and welcome to the forum. I had a piece of cardboard as you describe, but a lot of worms crawled up on top of it. I was afraid they'd end up dying, so removed it. Would you recommend I replace it and just let nature take it's course? Do you have any idea why so many of mine migrated down to the lower bin? I found two or three dozen under one of the bricks I use as spacers in the "tea" bin (which is dry right now). My system is like Choksaw describes in the first post of this thread except I drilled 1/4" holes in the bottom which was what most of the instructions I saw recommended.

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  choksaw on 4/23/2010, 9:30 pm

Bin 2 has very tiny holes at the bottom for drainage and to prevent the worms from crawling down into the tea bin and dieing bin 3 has the larger holes for migration upwards to new food both bins have the same size holes around the rim for ventilation, i see where the confusion is in the set up and have figured out the flaw that you pointed out with the collection of the compost from the 2nd bin once the 3rd bin is in place. I might have to make some minor adjustments to the system bu tim still learning and igureing things out will try to keep everyone updated on new finding and improvments to the system
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/24/2010, 2:49 am

That makes two of us -- continuing to figure things out, that is. Mine have now settled down and none have gone down into the lower pan. A few still climb the walls, but if you look at the time stamp of this post, I'm climbing them too tonight. Neighbour's dog has been barking for hours and I can't sleep. That's the only thing I hate about living back in town -- barking dogs from "I don't care" neighbours.

I have a feeling that once you empty the current bin, you could drill larger holes as by then the worms would have figured things out. At least mine seem to be. Now to get them to eat more!

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  HANDCUFFER on 4/26/2010, 9:32 am

There is usually a reason for the worms running. Usually not enough moisture in bedding. If I remember correctly, moisture should be around 80%. I keep mine damp to touch but not saturated. I had a fun get out around the cardboard insert during the first week or so but they have settled a lot and I have not had that problem. I am seeing lots of worm eggs in the castings so it looks like they are happy and producing. I can't remember if I or anyone else has posted about using tap water on worms. Do not use tap water. Worms cannot survive the chlorine.

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OK IDIOT ALERT

Post  middlemamma on 4/28/2010, 1:07 am

Can someone explain this like for a COMPLETE MORON?

I am new to gardening, this is my first year...totally confused yet intrigued by composting and scared to try it..and so this...yeah this threw me for a total loop. Pardon my ignorance please and please esplain lucy...cuz I am totlaly lost, like in little childlike simpleness, LOL.

Jennie
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HA HA!!! Just figured out there was 7 PAGES to this!!!

Post  middlemamma on 4/28/2010, 1:16 am

Ok nevermind the previous post..I mean yea I am still a moron..LOL, but I did keep reading and now understand better. Smile
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Colin.B on 6/15/2010, 8:45 am

o.k i know worms wont try and run during the daylight hours ,but at night couldn't the worms breakout through the gap between tier 2 and 3 . If my understanding is correct tier 3 sits on the compost created in tier 2 so a gap is inevitable around the edge .

I,d love to build this and i,ve already purchased 3 bins to start it up , but my wifes worried the little guys will be out as soon as the sun goes down in the migratory process from one bin to another

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  mckr3441 on 6/15/2010, 9:37 am

I'm not going to do a worm bin until you guys get this all figured out! But my thought is this: landscape cloth provides for good drainage, doesn't it? Why not cover the holes between bin 1 and bin 2 w/it so the worms can't go down? Or use window screening?

I'm not ready to solve bin 2 to bin 3 problem or space between box problem !
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  titans01 on 6/15/2010, 2:32 pm

I added 2 more bins to mine making it 5 high with 4 of them having worms in it. So far I've had zero escape that I've noticed and I do have a gap between each bin. I haven't even noticed them crawling up the sides other than in the top bin a couple of times and I think this is because I added too much food once and it heated up the soil. I keep mine in the bathroom so it has a light on it quite a bit so this might help them from trying to crawl out but for the most part the worms just want to stay where they are happy so as long as you can provide that environment I think you will be fine.

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Shoda on 6/15/2010, 6:18 pm

I have a purchased Worm Wrangler. The bottom tray sits on a Worm Tea collection bin. Between those two trays is a barrier cloth to allow the tea through but not the worms. I have very few worms traveling downward even though all my trays have large "worm sized" holes. Thin weed cloth would work great.

The top tray has another weed cloth between it and the roof. This keeps the little buggers in and from crawling around the inside of the roof.

I have 3 full bins but the bottom bin still has worms in it and uneaten egg shells. As soon as I can get them to migrate up into the more active bins, I will use the castings. I don't know how much it is but most of the bottom two bins is processed and it is about 8" deep and about 14" square. Should be nice for the garden.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Colin.B on 6/16/2010, 9:49 pm

The whole gaps inbetween bins thing was worrying me a bit , not the idea of escaping worms more the ear ache i would get off my wife should it happen .So i'm sat here happily watching T.V when i have an epiphany of how to maybe eliminate and maybe get a little more vermicompost too .

Basically the set of bins i bought each have a lid which if we stack boxes inside eachother would be wasted , so i thought to myself what if i silicone each lid onto the bottom of a bin .This way when the next bin is to be placed on top we lift off the top removable lid and replace it with a new box with pre-attached lid on its bottom , thus sealing the top ,raising the potential composting height and when holes are drilled still allowing worms to occupy the next level .

Not sure if that all sounds right ,but when i build it i,ll post some pics ,anyways just an idea so any feedback welcome

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Re: Wiggler Hilton

Post  Shirley Q on 7/25/2010, 6:39 pm

I made mine just about the same way only I was able to get 2 different size bids. they both use the same size lid only one was deeper then the others so I had no blocks to keep them above the tea. I have no gap because of this between the bins. I also have window screening in the lid for the venting of air and it keeps the flying bugs out. I have no odor as the bedding covers all the food. I do keep a mason jar in the kitchen to collect food for them and i keep a lid on it to prevent smells and bugs as it does get mushy but that makes it easier for the worms to eat it. My worms have had several babies as I do find them in the bin. Mine is outside and in a cool area of the yard. We have a lady in the next town that has over 90 worm houses. here is her link. http://vermicoast.com/ I found more information on this site then any other one out there.

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Update

Post  choksaw on 8/1/2010, 10:38 am

I know its been awhile since ive posted anything life has just become very hectic anyway thought i would post up an update/warning for those doing vermicomposting.
I had to scrap my whole tub of compost, all the worms left the bins either through the holes for air or they went down and drowned in the tea sad but it happened and i found out the reason why. Black soldier fies had invaded my set up and theres was a massive amount of larva in the bins from what i researched some is ok and normal and they actualy help the decomposition process, unfortunatly they became to overwhemlming for the worms and kept the compost way too wet so the worms left and the compost turned into a nast smelling muck. A soil test proved that the muck was waay too acidic (3.4 on the scale) and the smell was god awful. So for those that are keeping their bins outside keep an eye out for these little buggers, they sorta look like brown maggots. A few are ok but when you start seeing a soupy wet type mixture that never dries scoop it out as soon as possable and dispose of it far away from your bins or you will lose your investment like i did . Back to the drawing board and time to start over with some new worms.
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Re: Wiggler Hilton

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