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Vermicompost ( worm composting )


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#1 wildedibles

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 09:51 AM

Here is a link to wikipedia to start this off http://en.wikipedia....ki/Vermicompost this has a lot of info

I had 1 worm com-poster going for me under my kitchen sink and a couple of friends were really interested in it so when I had the chance to make a couple more I did and took pictures to share with you :)
I was using kitty litter pails they stack well and fit under the kitchen sink :)
When I had extra soil from outside plant containers I placed this in a big rubber maid bin with all the contents from my worm bin they just loved the larger space and decided to have some babies which makes it the perfect timing to make a few extra bins to share ( I waited until all the veggie scrapes were gone just soil was left I added news paper to the top of the big bin and a bit of water and left them for a few weeks like that )....
It was hard to find some worms in the big bin ( it was dry so the worms looked like the dirt and were not very wiggily hard to see them ) I added water to moisten things up when I was done making the bins and I will add scraps today to mine and see if I can add some more pictures of worms and the added veggie scraps and bedding ( news paper )

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This is the large bin I kept them in for a few weeks to make 3 bins out of and I still have more left to make more ... In this bin would be the extra soil I had for plants and the compost the worms created there is no new veggie scraps in here just old decomposed ones...
At this point I could use some as plant soil as long as is is heated to kill the fruit flys and unwanted pests that may be in here ...

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Cats are fascinated with the worm bins lol this is my old one I made I have it stacked 4 high the top 2 are for worms and scraps the bottom one is to collect the water when I water the worm bin the one just above this has tiny holes ( I made the holes too big and the worms were going into the water at the bottom so it works to keep the worms in the dirt not the water as this layer has tiny holes just big enough for water to leak through to the bottom layer )

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The one on the left with large holes the one to the right tiny holes

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I drilled smaller holes in the new buckets 1/4" these are for the worm bin and veggie scrapes to go in and a bucket with no holes sits under these to collect water I like using two bins for the worms so if one gets full of scraps you have another spot to put new scraps just keep switching them around you can stack them higher than 2 if you want giving you more opportunity to add more scraps...

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I filled each bucket half full of soil and worms and watered a little bit as they were really dry.
When they stack full of dirt and scraps there is plenty of air holes and the sides of the bin stick out from each other a bit providing better air as well.

If you only add veggies and fruit your set up will not smell and if you place ripped up news paper on top of the scraps you will keep the mold down.
I only add small scraps if they are too big I cut them up into smaller pieces to decompose faster as the bin is not large this keeps the time down on decomposing.
I do not like adding bread, cake cereals I like to keep it veggies and fruit no milk products no oil no meat this keeps other bugs and rodents out of it ...I tried bread and cake but the mold lasted too long took too long to break down compared to lettuce which would be gone in a day or two.
When you water the worms when things dry out a bit you can collect the water for a plant fertilizer I mix it with half water to dilute it.
And when you do not see any more scraps in the bin they were all eaten and decomposed you may use this as your soil additives or use to grow mushrooms too just hand pick out all the worms and check for half rotted scraps to go back to the worm bucket you do not want half digested waste to mold up your grows...
I do not like using potato peels or onions they do not break down fast so for a small bucket they do not work well same as citrus peel take for ever to break down
My favorite thing about worm composting is that you know what went into it if you are picky about this it will work very well :My friends wanted a worm bin #1 one friend lives in the bush wants a compost pile but is afraid the bears will be eating from it this is the perfect idea for her :)
My other friend kinda the same reasons but is also older and dosnt want to walk to dump these scraps every time they have some.
They both are growing veggie gardens and wanted good soil so I suggested the worm bins to fit under the kitchen sink :)

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#2 Skywatcher

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:57 AM

Thank you Wildedibles!
I compost outdoor leaves and greens but have not thought about worm composting untill i read this. Do you use any particular worms or will the regular garden variety work?
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#3 wildedibles

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 11:01 AM

I used worms I found in my compost pile and ones found under wood in the yard it seemed like they were eating leaves and such I have also added a few left over worms from fishing trips :) and if you plan on doing any fishing you can find some easy in a pinch this way too :)

#4 Skywatcher

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:51 PM

I have no shortage of worms in the yard. 15 years of steer manuer, bark mulch, and composted material and they are happy. They do however for reasons I can't understand commit "Hari Kari" on the driveway. Thanks for the good info......

#5 benderislord

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 06:44 AM

sprinkle down some crushed rock salt along the edges of your drive from the drive outwards 2inches and you'll stop seeing that after you put down the salt water well....the salt dissolves into the soil creating a barrier that the worms find and avoid

#6 Fakeman

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:32 AM

If you only add veggies and fruit your set up will not smell and if you place ripped up news paper on top of the scraps you will keep the mold down.


Finally something useful I can do with the terrible local paper that arrives 3 times a week. :lol: Great write-up wild, plenty of unused space under our sink so I want to start doing this.

#7 Il19z8rn4li1

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 04:48 PM

Nice thread Wild :-D

YOu beat me to the punch with the Worm Bin :-D


#8 wildedibles

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:41 AM

I still want to hear your Idea I will wait patiently I had to get these bins done and out for friends or I would be still waiting to do them lol
I know there are better ideas but this is simple and fits well in a small space I love the idea I know what is in my dirt cause I feed it what I want in there nothing else .... no one feeds my worms but me lol I am picky that way no one wants to pick wet moldy bread out of a worm bin and it smells bad if it goes in that's why I picky :) only using veggies and fruit in small pieces to disappear fast and the microbes in the soil will help it disappear too ..... I am hoping to add more pictures today of the worms and scraps I will feed them and newspaper to use as bedding for the top....
.... humm I salt the drive way and walk way well in the winter always wondered why I didn't have worms on my drive way lol thank you for explaining :)
.... the bigger due worms try to get out through the water bin at the bottom I think that is why we are so posed to use red wiggler over big fishing worms, red w sit on top and big due travel to the bottom
When watering the worms wait for a half hour or so and all the water will be at the bottom if any worms are in there return them to the bin b4 they dround ..... you don't want this water to sit for days anyway it will begin to smell if it is not aerated ..... bacteria good and bad will begin to breed ..... can anyone help clarify what will happen :) thanks :)

Edited by wildedibles, 13 February 2012 - 07:52 AM.


#9 Il19z8rn4li1

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:35 AM

I still want to hear your Idea I will wait patiently I had to get these bins done and out for friends or I would be still waiting to do them lol
I know there are better ideas but this is simple and fits well in a small space I love the idea I know what is in my dirt cause I feed it what I want in there nothing else .... no one feeds my worms but me lol I am picky that way no one wants to pick wet moldy bread out of a worm bin and it smells bad if it goes in that's why I picky :) only using veggies and fruit in small pieces to disappear fast and the microbes in the soil will help it disappear too ..... I am hoping to add more pictures today of the worms and scraps I will feed them and newspaper to use as bedding for the top....
.... humm I salt the drive way and walk way well in the winter always wondered why I didn't have worms on my drive way lol thank you for explaining :)
.... the bigger due worms try to get out through the water bin at the bottom I think that is why we are so posed to use red wiggler over big fishing worms, red w sit on top and big due travel to the bottom
When watering the worms wait for a half hour or so and all the water will be at the bottom if any worms are in there return them to the bin b4 they dround ..... you don't want this water to sit for days anyway it will beg:)in to smell if it is not aerated ..... bacteria good and bad will begin to breed ..... can anyone help clarify what will happen :) thanks


Im not really sure what you mean by idea? Could to explain a little better lol remind me of what I said :-D

But if its in regards to the wormys here is the style of worm bin I am making. Called a FLOW THROUGH, really similar to yours,
it just auto harvests the castings, which is nice :-D They fall out the bottom.

Heres the link.
http://www.bananas.org/f313/flow-through-worm-bin-13302.html


Instead of watering like that... which seems kinda like your flooding them, which is in my opinion why
you might have some worms in the bottom bin in the water because they are running away from the flood lol.

Try just using a sprayer bottom to keep the top moist maybe?


#10 wildedibles

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:30 AM

I don't give them that much water lol ... The big due worm that are more difficult in this indoor set up they can go deep in the gardens .... I think these could be the night crawler type too ... anyway some like to go deep I usually only water them a cup or two if its really dry ..... I may have flooded them a bit in the spring weather but emptied the container at the bottom quickly lol I think it was in the spring when I got my bin going still learning .... I wanted to jump in on this when I found out and used the fertilizer out side all summer Separating all the stuff is tricky but using your hands for small bins is easy and you get an idea of what is still in there worms food paper I tend to break the paper and stuff up later it takes a bit to decompose. It is really easy if you dump it in a big bin sort through and put back in the smaller one. Best to do this when all you see is dirt ... that's why I have 2 bins and recommend more if you can so there is always a dirt one to use and a new one to put scraps in. I also put coffee grinds in I do not add filters cause I have a reusable filter but these could be bedding for the worms instead of news paper ? Tea bags and herbal teas I think some spent mushroom grows may do good in here ? Great Idea I like that better than the compost pile out side :) Nice big size for the veggie garden and flower beds :)

Edited by wildedibles, 14 February 2012 - 07:35 AM.


#11 wildedibles

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:47 PM

Ok I fed them today and decided to take a few pictures of the worms I found there is a few different kinds as I found them outside last spring I found a baby too there are very many babies...

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That one is a baby :)

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I think this is the due worm, night crawler, fishing worm

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Can't believe I took pictures of worms today :) lol

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I cut up the veggie scraps ( broccoli stems ) and some fruit salad

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Added some coffee grounds
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And ripped up paper over this the paper covers the scraps when they mold up decompose this keeps the smell down and helps keep the right moisture in I wet the paper to help it decompose as well :) .... I was thinking this paper kinda works as a casing to keep the moldy decomposing mess in to feed the worms instead of mold spores everywhere ..... This is why I keep this under the sink :)
https://mycotopia.ne...92&d=1329251217

It maybe a good idea to keep this away from mushroom grows until it is ready to be used all decomposed into the dirt, separate the worms and pasteurize / sterilize / Pressure Cook what ever is your favorite way to prep worm castings :)

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#12 gardenboy

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 05:20 PM

Interresting thread. I have been looking into building something similar myself. Found this website that shows a similar setup to yours.
They mention using 'red compost worms' which 'always migrate upwards, towards the food, leaving their castings to fall below them.'
Of course sometimes you just have to make do with what you have and by the looks of your setup, it works rather nicely. So why change it, if it ain't broke!
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#13 caitojones

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 05:24 PM

Red worms are good for paper waste and food without soil. Night crawlers are for deep ground, and are supposed to be covered in like 4-8" of dirt or something (above their substrate.)
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#14 mushit

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:38 PM

Great pics Wild!

Vermicomposting is a fantastic way to get great soil and save the land fill sites.

The one thing I find with my worms is I am running out of names to call my wiggly pets. :lol:

#15 benderislord

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:42 PM

another good thing about these bins is that when you put seeded fruits into them without damaging the seed it seems to help sprout even the more stubborn species when i ran a large 10ft long by 5ft wide worm patch i had all kinds of things coming up all the time in it...i think i got more peppers and melon plants out of the pile than from my germ trays!
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#16 wildedibles

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:42 AM

another good thing about these bins is that when you put seeded fruits into them without damaging the seed it seems to help sprout even the more stubborn species when i ran a large 10ft long by 5ft wide worm patch i had all kinds of things coming up all the time in it...i think i got more peppers and melon plants out of the pile than from my germ trays!

LOL ya you do I had many dragon fruit seeds that were stuck in the liquid too small to collect they came up in the container but it had a lid they were all lime green stretching for the light I just tilled them back in cause they were too weak when I found them but If you look all the time it would be east to pull them out and grow them somewhere else :) great idea thank you :)

#17 wildedibles

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:55 AM

The bins are full about 4" in both so the due worms in 8" should be ok they do travel between the bins .... I do try to stay small when looking for worms outside I lift pieces of wet wood and find a ton of little red ones munching down on grass litter and leaves I believe these are the ones we want ones that stay on top or just under the surface of wood etc.... the bigger ones dug out of the garden you will find them deeper these are the ones looking for holes in your water bin to get out but who can resist putting extra big worms in from a fishing trip at least they will still be alive when you want them again :)

Also another note on food for them if you want it to decompose faster you can place veggie and fruit in the freezer for a bit defrost and add this squishy mess to the worm bin it will decompose faster...

#18 Il19z8rn4li1

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:27 AM

The bins are full about 4" in both so the due worms in 8" should be ok they do travel between the bins .... I do try to stay small when looking for worms outside I lift pieces of wet wood and find a ton of little red ones munching down on grass litter and leaves I believe these are the ones we want ones that stay on top or just under the surface of wood etc.... the bigger ones dug out of the garden you will find them deeper these are the ones looking for holes in your water bin to get out but who can resist putting extra big worms in from a fishing trip at least they will still be alive when you want them again :)

Also another note on food for them if you want it to decompose faster you can place veggie and fruit in the freezer for a bit defrost and add this squishy mess to the worm bin it will decompose faster...


you could just put your waste in a blender... especially egg shells, they LOVE egg shells.
Pour sloppy mess over some bedding and your good to go.

Also with paper, its best if you got a paper shredder, if not, try and rip the pieces LONG and VERY THIN, newspaper
is pretty much the best paper for bedding, you can use cardboard or other paper but it will just take longer to decompose.

Nice wormies :-D


#19 benderislord

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:15 AM

for paper products i always would move a paper shredder off the collection bin an catch it as it came out then i would cut it crosswise so it is more of a confetti type...breaks down much fast than just shredding once...but then again i would do that on slow rainy days :D

#20 dfar

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:32 AM

here is something I picked up a while ago that may be helpful to those trying to separate worms from there respective castings.

Cut a cucumber or banana in half (that is through it's diameter, not length wise) stick the cut end into the worm bin roughly 1-2 inches and leave the uncut end sticking out of the soil. leave it for roughly a week. When you go back you will find the worms have tunneled there way into the banana/cucumber and are concentrated at the veg/fruit base. simply transfer the veg/fruit with the surrounding casting/soil to the new worm bin and presto you have a new worm bin.
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