Vermicomposting, worm bin, composting with worms community and forums

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Carl's Friends

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Carl's Discussions

Farewell & experiment results
8 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Garden Citizen Jun 23, 2010.

Bonsai and Vermicompost
11 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Joseph Despins Oct 6, 2011.

What happens when they freeze?
1 Reply

Started this discussion. Last reply by giant pumpkin peep Feb 11, 2009.

Happy Turkey Day
1 Reply

Started this discussion. Last reply by sfsolar Nov 28, 2008.

How much do your worms eat?
3 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Carl Nov 17, 2008.

What does it mean to be friends?
8 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Steven Chow Nov 6, 2008.


Vermicomposting by trial and error...

Carl's Blog

Cocoons and the starter herd

As you may have read in the forums, I'm going to stop vermicomposting for now. However, I'm going to keep a small starter herd in case I want to get back into it in the future. I started with an empty Pepsi bottle that I filled halfway with dry, used coffee grounds (I would have used more, but that's all I had on hand). To that I added 1/2 liter of water. Then I added some finished vermicompost that I harvested on Sunday. That VC had plenty of cocoons in it, but I decided to add more just for… Continue

Posted on June 22, 2010 at 6:43pm — 1 Comment

Wife's new website

Well, this doesn't really belong on this site, but I figure this is my page to do with as I wish so I hope you'll forgive me...

My wife has created a blog about the state of the USA. If you are interested feel free to drop by.

Posted on April 2, 2010 at 2:37pm

Finished planting the main garden. (Just a quick update for my notes.)

Yesterday I finished planting the main garden. I put in corn, watermelon, cucumbers, cantaloupe, green beans, wax beans, two types of peas, lettuce, summer squash, and zucchini in addition to the tomato plants that were already there.

(I find these blog posts are useful later when I want to know when I did something.)

Posted on May 27, 2009 at 6:04am — 2 Comments

VC Harvest and Container Garden Update

Sifter and VC

Last night I built a sifter like the others seen on this site. It's made from a 32-gallon tote, a 5 gallon bucket, some 1/4 inch screen, and a bunch of plastic ties. I was really impressed with how well such a simple design works. Sifting the VC was very easy and reasonably quick.…


Posted on May 24, 2009 at 9:00am — 10 Comments

How dry can worms handle?

I can't ever leave well enough alone. I always need to experiment and learn. So, one of the things I've done lately was a mini-bin made out of a #10 can (the type you see in restaurant kitchens). I was experimenting in worms tolerance for being ignored. I left it on top of my water heater (for warmth since my cellar was in the 50s degrees F) for two months. Once, after about a month, I opened the top and misted the newspaper a little.

The worms did fine, but when I emptied that can… Continue

Posted on May 18, 2009 at 10:11am — 4 Comments

Garden and vermicompost update

Container Garden - 2009-05-17

Today I went out and got some starter plants and seeds. I filled up the last two spots in my container garden with rosemary and fern leaf dill. So now the container garden looks like:

Cucumber Tomato
Rosemary Broccoli &…

Posted on May 17, 2009 at 4:38pm — 3 Comments

First harvest, sort of...

First vermicompost harvest - 2009-05-16

Tonight I tried to harvest the worm bin for the first time since I started it back in October. Yes, I got a decent pile of black stuff out of the bottom. However, that pile contained a ton of unprocessed stuff. I think my newspaper to food ratio is much too high. I think this stuff is going to go back into the bin to be… Continue

Posted on May 16, 2009 at 8:22pm — 7 Comments

Initial Planting

2009-05-16 - InitialPlanting

All but two of the squares are planted. I'll probably run out tomorrow to get some dill and maybe something else for the remaining two squares. The planted squares include four tomato plants from Uncle Paul, peas, broccoli, peppers, lettuce, onions, green onions, carrots, cilantro, parsley, and one square of cucumbers. The cucumbers…


Posted on May 16, 2009 at 5:59pm — 5 Comments

Container Garden Mistakes

It seems like I've managed to make most of the mistakes I could have while setting up the container gardens. Perhaps I can help someone to avoid the same mistakes if I fess up to them here.

1. When building a square foot gardening type container garden, paint the inside before putting on the cross pieces. Painting after the fact takes much more time.

2. When using wooden slats from a set of blinds as the cross pieces (or any thin slats) drill nail holes prior to trying to… Continue

Posted on May 12, 2009 at 11:04am — 8 Comments

Container Gardens

2009-05-10 - Container Gardens

I've set up two new container gardens on a small part of my deck. The long axis is running approximately East-West and the deck gets sun nearly the whole day. Naturally the railing adds shadow, but that moves as the sun moves.

This is just an experiment to see how well they work out. If they work as well as I hope I can… Continue

Posted on May 11, 2009 at 9:36am — 8 Comments



I have posted a collection of photos from my visit to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA this past Sunday. I know it's not worm related but I thought there might be some people into orchids… Continue

Posted on March 4, 2009 at 8:15am — 3 Comments

Using a thermometer and a heater

New Thermometer

My old thermometer died. Probably because it was not well protected. The word "outdoor" on the label does not mean waterproof. So, I bought a new one. However, I've learned a couple of things so I did it a little differently this time.

First, I added a little protection from the environment by enclosing the sensor it in a zip… Continue

Posted on February 21, 2009 at 3:57pm — 3 Comments

Worm heater

Worm heater (from top)

Well, I broke down and decided to heat the worm bin. Troy Brooks suggested the possibility of using a fish tank heater and Eve pointed out a… Continue

Posted on February 19, 2009 at 2:02pm — 6 Comments

Cold times and a test

As winter has set in my cellar temperature has continued to fall. Currently it is sitting around 50 degrees F. The worms are no where near as active as they were when the bin temp was in the 60s and 70s. They are very sluggish and don't seem to be eating much at all.

On the other hand, the fruit flies are doing well. There are always a few in the bin, plus any time I put in fruit that I didn't freeze first there's a boost in the population. I've noticed that they don't seem to fly… Continue

Posted on January 27, 2009 at 9:34am — 8 Comments

My worms don't like coffee

I've been reading all about people feeding their worms coffee grounds. So, ever since I started my bin I've made a habit of saving my coffee grounds. Every night I take that day's grounds, wrap them in a paper towel and bring them down to the cellar. Shortly after I started the bin I put some grounds in, but they are still there more than a month later. Last week I took some of the grounds and mixed them into some pumpkin. I put that mixture on top of the existing grounds, but still buried in… Continue

Posted on November 25, 2008 at 8:37pm — 20 Comments


Even though my cellar is cooling off as the cold weather moves in, the internal temperature of the worm bin is still holding at 67 degrees. I've see the cellar temperature as low as 58 and no higher than 60 over the last several days.


Posted on November 24, 2008 at 5:08pm — 2 Comments

Cocoons, sprouts and mites

Cocoon 1

Tonight I spent a little while digging around in my bin. I found my first cocoons.

Sprouts and cocoons


I also found a sprouting carrot… Continue

Posted on November 17, 2008 at 11:10pm — 2 Comments

Breaking down

When I first got into this I told myself I would not expend much effort on it. Then I spent hours shreading newspaper and cardboard. I told myself I would not put worm food in the freezer. There is some in the freezer now. I told myself I would not stoop to blending food. I recently won an auction in which I placed a $2 bid on a used blender...

Posted on November 6, 2008 at 8:58pm — 6 Comments


Tonight, for the first time, I dug a 15" (38cm) hole in one corner of the bin. That got me nearly to the bottom. In the past I've dug down a few inches, but never more than about 4 or 5 since I didn't want to disturb the worms too much. I found that though there were worms close to the surface, the majority of worms were hanging out near the bottom where it is very wet and compacted. Most of those were hanging… Continue

Posted on November 6, 2008 at 8:55pm


After reading posts here and elsewhere about temperature concerns I decided that I ought to know how cold my bin gets.

So, $10 later and my worm bin has a digital read-out. Too funny. I never expected to have electronics involved in this.

Naturally the "In" and "Out" labels are incorrect. "In" refers to the temperature outside the bin and "Out" refers to the temperature in the bedding.

In the bedding the… Continue

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 5:21pm — 2 Comments

Profile Information

When did you start composting with worms?
October 17, 2008
How were you introduced to vermicomposting? is where I found out I can do it myself.
What do your worms like to eat?
Just about anything that used to be a plant
What kinds of worms do you have?
What worm bins do you use?
continuous flow bag like this one:
How many pounds of garbage do your worms recycle each week?
2 - 3?
My Map Entry URL:
About Me:
I'm doing this to help out in a tiny garden and with indoor plants.

Carl's Photos

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Comment Wall (12 comments)

At 5:03am on October 28, 2008, Eve said…
Carl how is your worm bin doing? I am wondering if you are keeping it moist enough. I tried my idea of a aqua globe make out of a bucket and hose and it failed miserably. So i need to know if i need to add some strip of plastic liner l into my bag bin.
At 4:44pm on November 23, 2008, Brent Anderson said…
Hi Carl,

I am very interested in the worm-bag that you have created. My girlfriend and I are in the beginning stages of research and development on making similar bins. We plan on making six to eight different styles utilizing different fabrics. I was hoping that you could share your opinion based on the experience you have from yours. What benefits or drawbacks have you noted. What would you do differently. Does mold grow on the exterior of the bag. Is it a challenge to keep it moist enough, etc. I really enjoy this site to see all the fun experiments people are conducting and would appreciate your comments. I will start a blog that will encompass this topic if you prefer to answer there; your wisdom will reach and inspire more members that way. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!!!
At 2:01pm on November 24, 2008, Steven Chow said…
Thanks for the quick response.. that is amazing. I just realized I could ask the folks on flickr too if you are also on flickr might be helpful to folks on flickr to know your some of your great tips too:
At 1:05pm on December 9, 2008, Scott Dickens said…
Hey Carl,

I got your comment and yes the worms are really going at the soft side I think they like it more than anything else in the bin.
Thanks for the comment

At 7:30pm on December 9, 2008, Scott Dickens said…
Carl I just wanted to let you know I took some pictures of the underside of the melons tonight and have posted them. The worms were under the melon and slide away after I uncovered them. I also think that I found some cocoons let me know what you think.
At 6:44am on February 14, 2009, Eve said…
Carl check out redwormcomposting Bently has a great idea on how to keep a worm bin heated.
At 9:10am on March 4, 2009, Troy Brooks said…
Glad the fish tank heater is working. I'm glad I have the space in the basement for my worms. But a heater in mine might allow me to keep them in the garage for the winter. But would have to try it with a second bin first so I don't endanger all my worms. It does get pretty cold out there. Thinking of setting up a corner of it as a root cellar, as some areas stay pretty cool even in the summer. Troy
At 1:21pm on March 4, 2009, Eve said…
Nice to know things are working out. I plan to move my worm to the garage before next winter. I believe i will have to surround the bin with Styrofoam as it has gotten below 0 in there this winter. Your success with the fish tank heater has given me a lot of hope.
At 7:20am on August 28, 2009, Eve said…
Carl i am thinking of adding a worm bin heater group. I would like to make a photo of different heaters people are using. May i use the photo you posted in your blog?
At 6:11pm on April 3, 2010, Bob Collinsworth said…
Hi Carl:

Yes - I am the same Bob Collinsworth that left a comment on Holly's blog. She is obviously vey intuitive as well as bright. I enjoyed he posts very much.

I live in S.W. New Hampshire and enjoyed the weather here today and yesterday. I have a feeling that we have not yet seen the last of the white stuff yet this year but I can hope.

Bob (or Colli)

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