Saturday, October 16, 2010

Worm Bin 3 Update: Missing Worms

Here's an update on my stackable worm bins experiment.  When I started using this tray for my vermicomposting activities, I taped around the sides so that most of the holes are covered.  I made sure though that there's still plenty of small holes for ventilation.  So I put in 7-8 African Night Crawlers because I wanted to see how fast the worm population will grow.  When I did my worm count last night, I just found 5-6.  I can't really tell from this picture anymore. That means I have about two missing worms.  Rats.  But no, Jean, they won't come out of the shower. Anyway, I hope they start mating soon.  They all seem to be of age.  I've been pretty feed-happy with this worm tray;  I think I've given it three layers of pruned leaves (mostly herbs), one spoiled banana and two layers of crushed eggshells.  Doesn't seem like a lot, but I just have 5-6 worms!  It's a virtual non-stop buffet.

Compared to my two other bins, I would have to say decomposition here is pretty fast (even without worm action).  When I mixed up the contents, I didn't see a lot of greens.   Considering that it looked like this just a week ago, I'd say that's pretty good.  The aeration of the bin by virtue of the holes at the bottom and no lid on top (I just put newspaper on top) necessitates that I spray the tray with a little water at least once a day.  Imagine that.   Normally, I just water the other bins twice a week.  And it's not even like the water drains below.  The "catch basin" newspaper below is dry whenever I check it.  That said, I'm also wondering if the worm tray gets really hot because of the rapid decomposition and the fact that the tray may not meet the moisture requirement.  Maybe that's why the worms are not multiplying.  Next time I feed it though. I'll just put all the food on one side of the bin, so the other side is left cool.  And I'll add more damp bedding so there's more moisture to hold in.


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