Air flow is essential so be sure not to create an airtight situation. Worms in an outdoor pile will breed more than usual in the Fall when they sense the temperature change and deposit eggs or cocoons throughout.
They will then hibernate. If the pile freezes, the worms do not survive but eggs will overwinter. There are many clever systems that fit into smaller living quarters. Composting is an aerobic process, meaning with oxygen. Worms breathe oxygen through their skin. If the worm bin smells bad, it has become anaerobic. The oxygen has been converted into methane gas.
This can easily be corrected. Remove some of the 'rotting' food, add additional dry bedding, gently fluff up the bedding to provide oxygen into the mix. Here's video footage of a worm in a worm egg. Castings can be stored for long periods of time and remain viable.
Night crawlers are good bait, but there's a catch
Compost tea must be used within 48 hours of brewing. Compost tea cannot be stored in an airtight container as the micro-organisms would consume the oxygen and create anaerobic conditions. Tea can be applied as a foliar or leaf spray. It is used for pest control as it contains insecticidal properties.
Simply put, compost is great, worm compost is greater! The worms convert material into a more plant available form. Worm castings contain micronutrients, trace elements, and micro-organisms. Water soluble they will not burn plants. However, being super rich, a little goes a long way.
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Q: I know they're harmless, but worms still kind of creep me out. Do I have to touch them? Not that they would harm me, I just thought they were gross. For those that do not wish to touch the worms, there are tower composters and other systems where worms will self-harvest to the next level.
Q: We talk a lot about nutrient balance for optimum soil and plant health. What is the best, balanced diet for a worm, so that they and their castings are the healthiest?
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Night crawlers are good bait, but there's a catch
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You need higher influence to do that. Increase your influence by posting useful answers to people's questions and earning positive votes from trusted members of the community. Knoji reviews products and up-and-coming brands we think you'll love. In certain cases, we may receive a commission from brands mentioned in our guides. Learn more. Called Worm Charming, Grunting for Worms and Worm Fiddling, the catching earthworms the old-timer way with vibrations in the ground is a fast and effective way to harvest hundreds of nightcrawlers fast..
Link copied. Worm Charming! The top is not attached; it just slides on or off. Options: Nail 2"x2" pieces along the inside bottom edges for support. Attach four small wooden blocks to the bottom corners to raise the box off the ground — or secure four casters to the bottom corners for a box-on-wheels.
Use gate hinges to attach the top to the box.
Tips on Catching Nightcrawlers | Gone Outdoors | Your Adventure Awaits
Besides giving worms a place to work and rest, bedding helps retain moisture in your box and keeps your scraps under wraps. Use light, fluffy biodegradable materials free from pesticides or chemicals. Try the following beddings in your bin. Machine-shredded newsprint or computer paper: Recycling centers and pet shops may carry this material, or inquire at offices. Make sure no glossy or colored paper is used.
Hand-shredded newsprint or computer paper: Tear newspaper without the color comics and glossy advertisements into strips, the thinner the better. Thick strips mat down, dry out too fast and make it difficult to bury scraps. Shredded cardboard: A good bedding material that holds moisture well. Check your recycling center for sources. Leaves: Although leaves are a worm's natural habitat, they're not the best bedding for worm bins. Leaves tend to mat down, may harbor undesirable insects, or contain road salts and chemicals. If you do use leaves, gather them from a low-traffic area. Peat moss absorbs excess moisture and breaks up heavy bedding.
Try one-third to one-half peat moss in your bin. Sterilized soil or sand contribute nutrients and grit to help worms digest food waste. Toss in a handful or two when preparing fresh bedding. Crushed eggshells or ground limestone add grit and calcium; periodically sprinkle small amounts in the bin.
Now comes the fun part — choosing your worms.
No garden-variety worms for you, friend. In fact, you'll want to avoid nightcrawlers and other garden worms, as they don't survive well in the confined conditions of a worm bin. The best worms for vermicomposting are redworms.