Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Have you ever tried vermicomposting in a simple clay pot?  I have. If you ever read DIY articles on making worm bins, you'll never see any suggestions for using clay pots.  It's always a plastic or wooden bin and never something as small as a clay pot (10 inches diameter I think). A couple of months ago, I tried it just to see if it will work.

I inadvertently broke a clay pot in two a few months ago.  So I figured I would put the pot in the ground (well half of it) and plant from there.  Unfortunately, I think I placed too many pebbles.  Whatever it is that I planted (I forget what) died.   So why not worms?  It has the makings of a good worm environment.  It's under a tree so it's protected from the elements.  The pot is broken so there's drainage and it doesn't have a cover so there's air.

I did the usual stuff and put leaf litter (greens and browns) in the pot, added some water and some African Nightcrawlers.  Initially I was disappointed because the worms disappeared!  I placed more worms a few days later and they disappeared!  Argh.  It must have been too easy for them to crawl out into the soil underneath the pot.

Oh by the way, I cover the pot with some plastic bags to prevent too much moisture loss and a I put a small put on top to prevent the bags from flying away.

I continued to put my pruned leaves into the pot for the next couple of weeks.  Then one day, I dug in again and I found my worms!  Awwww...they came back.   Every time I checked back since, the worms were there.  I'm not sure where they went the first time, but it looks like they're here to stay now.

Now one thing I noticed about the things I put in is that they decompose rather fast compared to my other bins.  Considering there are just a handful of worms, I'm not sure why.  My best guess is that the pot is half buried on the ground, giving garden nightcrawlers easy access.  They're probably crawling in from their burrows underground, thereby helping my African Nightcrawlers a helping mouth.  Other critters like centipedes have access too and are probably helping with the decomposition process.  I kill those though since I've read that they're worm predators.

In fact just two days ago, I put in a couple of fresh weeds.  Today I was forking around the pot and found very minimal green stuff.  Interesting huh?

Has anyone else tried vermicomposting in a basic clay flower pot?  Maybe I should try humanure composting in that pot.   Hmmmm....


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