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How long can I go without harvesting a RM bin?

Hi All,

I have 3 RM bins that seem to be doing fairly well for over a year (no mass escapes or die-offs lately). I wasn't able to harvest VC over the past summer, and we're in winter now, so I don't want to harvest until warmer weather gets here.  How long can I go without harvesting?

These are standard blue RM bins and one of them is about 3/4 filled with VC and the other 2 are about 2/3 filled.  I still feed them lightly a couple of times a week, but am I killing my herd by not harvesting right away?

By the way, I noticed that my RMs seem to do just fine when I just leave them alone for weeks at a time. In the past I would mix them up and aerate them weekly, but lately, aside from feeding them and adding additional newspaper and egg cartons, I don't mess with them. 

My apologies if this subject was covered already.

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I would deffenately harvest as so as you can that is way to long to wait.

I must agree. Unless you have the bottom of the bins well aerated, you could have some really nasty stuff at the bottom that you aren't aware of. 

Thanks for the feedback!  I'll start to harvest this week and see how it goes.. Incidentally, the bins do have aeration holes drilled on the sides and on the bottom of the bin, but nothing has been draining.

Hopefully it isn't too much of a mess in the bottom of the bins.

I take my R .M. tub and after 45 days turn it upside down and fluff up the bedding and add an equal amount of food stock. Then I wait another 45 days and harvest the bin. Once I have harvested the bin and I put the casting in a 20 gallon container and I put a Worm Factory bin on top of the pile with food stock to catch any babies that have been missed or are still hatching. After about 60 days it is ready for the casting to be applied to the yard or garden.   

I also take my bottom Tray on the Worm Factory and after 45 days dump this into a 20 gallon container and do the same thing.  The lower tray should only have a few worms that are stubborn and some cocoons.

This practice may changed next week depending what I learn from others.  I would say the FT is the best type of bin, I have all three and each one has their pros and cons.

During the Winter I can harvest inside, with the use of a 4 wheel garden cart with sidewalls and a tarp. This keeps the mess to a minimum.


Tony, I have to harvest my established RM bin about every 3 months.  I take the bottom half of the VC each time, which is mostly castings.  Any chunks of unfinished material go back on top.

Any year-old VC, even if it isn't hurting the worms, isn't helping them either, and the weight of it could damage your bins or hurt your back when you move them.




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