My wigglers migrate the other direction (down not up). I load up a new bin with bedding and put a screen on top of the fresh bedding. My screen is an old onion bag, but your plastic with holes would work as well. I toss a layer from the old bin on top of the screen and keep it well lit. The worms zoom to the bottom to find fresh food and darkness under the screen. After an hour (or the next day) I move the vacated layer of vermicompost to storage and repeat. It works best if the fresh bedding has had time to start decaying a bit.
You asked the readers to share what they do. I detest separating worms from the compost. Sooo, I don't. ...I start my indoor worm bins over every spring by putting most of the compost along with most of the worms in the garden; saving just a couple handfuls of worms for the inside bins. Enough compost is saved to make compost tea. I don't have to feed the indoor worms as much during the summer because I only have about 100 worms compared to a zillion. The compost with worms still in it is also placed in any containers that have been planted.
I have 8 worm bucket towers spread apprx every 20ft throughout my garden (Thanks to #AbleGarner
's idea). During the summer I put veggie kitchen scraps, canning scraps, and outdoor foliage debris in the outside buckets. Hay is used as a ground cover and coffee grounds are also spread over the garden and in the containers.
In the winter I feed the indoor worms, but not the outdoor worm buckets unless I have an access of scraps. There is about 10 gallon of compost by spring from the indoor worms and there could be much more if I worked on it and fed them more worm chow. Worms are like teenagers, they will eat you out of house and home if you let them. They are very vigorous multipliers.
In the spring the compost from the outdoor worm buckets are emptied into the garden. They are usually full of compost by spring. Eight 5 gallon buckets yields about 24 gallons of compost.
The indoor worm bins cycle start over again in Spring by emptying my indoor compost into the garden. This process makes raising worms easier, I get to make worm tea and compost, and it is more cost effective than trying to keep all of the bins going year round.
What made me think to start the bins over in the summer was I was having to make worm chow near the end of winter because in the winter my husband and I don't have enough kitchen scraps to feed a four tray worm tower. I do not have a grocer that would save over mature fruit and veggies for me. It was not cost effective making work chow. I grow organically and buying non gmo ingredients for the work chow was very expensive.
Another benefit of the worm buckets in the garden (sunken) is I live in town and do not have space for a compost pile and if I did, the neighbors would not like the smell of it composting. There are so many benefits to this method of vermi-com posting that I would need to write a book to tell of them. This process works for me and makes me a happy vermi-composter :)
very clever n simple idea of migration the worm . Thanks
The nice thing about using the migration system in a plastic bin is that you can move the worms back to the other side if you find they haven't finished off everything because you get too impatient. 🤗
Just spreading worm food in your raised bed periodically will work? The droppings are left in the bed. No work to move it. Worms are in the bed. Population is controlled naturally based on food availability. You touch worm castings only to sell.
Is there a benefit to building up instead of building down? I've only looked at a few videos and so far no one has suggested putting fresh trays under instead of on top. My theory being that instead of working against gravity, it encourages the worms to stay in the lower tray as it requires more exertion to move up. As waste is converted in the lower tray, the level of compostable material reduces in size making it harder to return to the upper tray.
If you have to store castings for long, how do you do it??
I've read that many people say that we have to keep it moist(just the way it was) and if we dry, it will lose the bacteria in it which may render it useless.
My argument is that since plants depend on castings for nutrients, does dry(dead bacteria) or wet castings make any difference??
Why isn't it enough to just let the worms in the soil poop right there?
I have a worm factory and keep it preside, zone 8b, as I always end up with fruit flies! any ideas or suggestions? there are other bugs in it now too, but the world seem relatively happy. I've hardly harvested any vermi, compost though. I really produce a ton a extra plant or vegetable scraps, and could use a lot more compost. I'm struggling with compost in general. never harvested from our compost pile either and it's a few years old.
This past winter I tried an experiment. Since I already have worm bins with plenty of excess wigglers I wondered how they would do in an overwintered inside cutting which I do plenty of each winter. So my cuttings have grown from when I started so now they are in like 8-10" pots. So I added maybe only a couple doz. wigglers to each pot and I feed them once a week of fruit scrap puree or/and a cornmeal oatmeal mix that has been ground into a flour. In the largest of the 3 pots I tried this in you would not even believe the amount of foilage on that plant. Nothing else is added to the medium only an occasional liquid seaweed drench. The worms have only been in these pots for about 10 weeks. One other thing of notice is that these worms seem fatter than the worms in the bin they came from. Im guessing this is the work of the cornmeal mash.
I love this idea. I will try it on my next harvest. I was using the pile methods which is a pain.
How would you recommend making Vermicompost that would be enough for about 4-5 20-30ft beds?! Surely using small bins would make it take longer but I have some local sources to get lots of food scraps, leaves, egg shells etc to feed them. Is it ideal to build huge piles on the ground/soil? Thanks!
I use small office plastic trash cans, the kind you can get at the 99 cent store for a buck each. Then I drill several holes in the bottoms, fill with material and worms then stack them and leave it alone for 4 months. I just harvested 25 pounds of castings out of a group of 3 small bins.
Can you tell do you have to wash your egg shells before using them in my wormery or garden 😒
I'll try that thanks
The multi-tray system doesn't really work at least not in my experience. At least 20% of the worms for whatever reason prefer it down in the lower trays, eating remnants of old stuff. I think they tend to breed down there too. These trays, at least on my Can o' Worms, get bloody heavy too when full. I'd say a good 15-20kg. Try lifting up two at once to get the bottom tray out!
The main lesson I had from my last harvesting experience is make sure to do it on a bright, calm day, and let the farm dry out a bit first. Instead I chose to do it on an overcast day a few days after I ran some water through the farm.
I've now covered my bin with a tarp, to keep both excess rain out but mostly the direct sun. They made it through last summer but for some reason the first few ~30 C days here this year, they seemed to struggle. There are so many worms in there now, they ate my bucket full of scraps in very quick order. So I lost a bunch of them (not really due heat, but stupidity - never water with the spigot open and forget to put the bucket under) and had a bad smell. The small is mostly gone now, I mixed in lime and a bunch more shredded cardboard. My worm blanket is now full of castings too and heavy. I think I will place it on the bottom of the bottom tray and give them a new one.
They are supposed to self regulate population but I am convinced now I have enough worms for 5 farms. I suspect a bunch of them dying from starvation or whatever hari-kari they do when they are overpopulated would create a foul mess in the farm for a bit. I can see why people sell them. I considered starting a second farm, but then I'd just have double the trouble in a few months. I was quite shocked at how fast they ate through the last batch of food.
What I might try is taking the bottom bin out on a bright, sunny day and then place it on top of the worm farm. Hopefully what will happen is the worms will migrate down into the lower (formerly) top tray as I take a centimetre or two off at a time to escape the light and the heat. It should also let it dry out a bit in process. Certainly worth a try!
I'm also having lots of volunteers pop up in the bed I mixed the castings through (mostly pumpkin or cucumber). Most of these sprout in the bin thankfully. If they pop up in the right place I might keep, if I am sure it's a cucumber and not a pumpkin as I don't have space.
I'd love to get a continuous flow one like the NZ made "Hungry Bin" or the Worm Inn but I can't justify the price at the moment.
Sorry for the novel!
Hello everyone! I've read that vermicompost leachate is anaerobic and can contain many harmful pathogens. I brew Actively Aerated compost Tea every week for our garden and use our vermicompost as the base. Do you think the leachate could be used in the A.A.C.T? I'm hoping the oxygen will kill off the anaerobic microbes. What do you think?
I've recently become somewhat addicted to your gardening videos. Having watched dozens of videos from other gardeners I can say that you produce a quality product. The information is well packaged, well delivered, balanced and adaptable. I would like to know a bit about your background, and how you learned to produce such quality videos. Did you learn your gardening techniques through osmosis, as I am doing, or do you have a background in biology, horticulture, agriculture, etc.? Are you a professional musician, and how many people does your garden feed? Keep up the good work!
I'm going to try this let see what i get in 6 months
I had a 18 gallon bin with many worms and scraps of food, paper, etc, but I knew it was time to harvest the casting as I couldn't pick up the tote it was way too heavy. I didn't understand why the dirt was so wet, Is that worm pee?