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Livingston
  • Easton, PA
  • United States
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Profile Information

When did you start composting with worms?
October 1, 2013
How were you introduced to vermicomposting?
friend
What do your worms like to eat?
my leftovers
What kinds of worms do you have?
red wiggler
What worm bins do you use?
commercial 3 level
How many pounds of garbage do your worms recycle each week?
2
About Me:
I'm a 55 year old female in love with all things gardening and environment. Vermicomposting helps both of those things! Improved plant growth and less garbage. Perfect.

Please help!

 Having JUST set up my bin, I'm not sure what to do… I provided all the correct ingredients for their happiness (bedding, soil, food), placed them on top, covered them w/ a damp newspaper and then damp cardboard. Left them alone for a couple days and when I checked them, they are still right under the newspaper - not down in the bedding. ? I know you aren't supposed to bother them, but I want to check to see if they're ok - if they've eaten - if they need more food - if it seems too wet or dry…. I need to feed them again, I would think - but then I have read that you are not supposed to feed them after their initial set up for a few weeks.
Suggestions? Ideas? Thank you!!!!
Oh! I also have the bin about 4' away from my washer/dryer combo. The washer is a front-loader and doesn't vibrate the floor much. Should I move them anyway? How much motion disturbs them? Thx again.

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Comment Wall (4 comments)

At 2:46pm on November 26, 2013, Patricia said…

Hi Livingston!

A fellow rat lover here as well.  I do hope all works out with your worms.  The bin may be too wet for them which is easily fixed by putting in the shredded newspaper mixed into the bedding.  See it that helps.  They should go down.  Also, double check what type of food you put in.  If it is too acidic, they will try to stay away from it. 

At 1:02am on November 27, 2013, Patricia said…

Hi Livingston!

I don't currently have any rats.  My last two died last year early in the year.  I have had my heart broken many times raising rats as their little life span is so short.  The longest living rats I have ever had lasted very close to three years as well....:-).  But I started traveling a lot and it was hard to find people to come and check on them.  So, when these last ones died, I didn't get any more.   

I just started keeping worms this past May.  The first tray took 2 months before I harvested it.  The second one, I let sit for three months before doing anything with it.  It was starting to get really messy meaning that it was starting to fall through to the ladder because the worms had eaten all of the paper away on the bottom tray.

I have a Worm Factory 360 which calls for you to use a few sheets of paper on the bottom tray for the initial set up.  We tried not using it for the rotation of the trays when we went to harvest and found that it was just too messy that way.  So, now our bottom tray always has paper.  I left my bin back in Oklahoma with my secretary who is caring for it for me until I return.  She has harvested once since I have been back in Canada.  So, that would make the third time.  This one only took two months because the worms have multiplied so much that they are getting through the bedding and food quicker than when we first started.       

I'm not sure where you are reading your messages, but be sure to check your inbox on here as well.  You'll find it on the right side of your screen under your name...:-).

At 8:27pm on December 13, 2013, cl2891 said…

Thanks for the comment!

At 10:01pm on June 12, 2014, Jason Southwick said…

Hey Marcia,
I have made plenty of worm ranching mistakes. Some say "It's so easy." But there seem to be lots of ways to kill your worms, attract pests, etc. I think your experience is pretty much par for the course.

... So just guessing here, but did you find the bottom tray full of finished compost, with unprocessed bedding & food left in the middle tray?

I've heard of people getting mixed results from the Worm Factory even after following all the instructions. The idea of course is that the worms will migrate from finished compost in the tray below to new food in the tray above. But apparently they don't always do that, and so you may have to transfer them yourself, by hand... defeating the whole purpose of having multiple trays, but anyway...

Also...the Worm Factory discussion group on this site might have more troubleshooting ideas. 

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I've had a Rubbermaid bin going for a couple of weeks now. Too soon to say how it's going, but I have high hopes for it!

In building the bin I mostly followed this design: (http://www.redwormcomposting.com/worm-bins/the-mini-worm-composting-bin/) .

Bought an 18 gallon Rubbermaid tote ($8), 2-inch hole saw ($8), and a package of 2-inch mini louver vents from Lowes ($8 for a 6-pack). Also, a roll of fiberglass window screening to cover the vent openings ($8), which keeps worms from accidentally wandering off.

I'm personally a fan of the louver vents (they look nice), but really the most economic way to ventilate your bin is to simply drill 1/8" holes.

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When it comes to manure it definitely depends on where you get it from and its age. Also, what kind of system you're planning to use it in. Here's a nice article on the subject: (http://www.redwormcomposting.com/reader-questions/manure-in-a-home-worm-bin/)

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As you can probably tell, I get most of my VC info through redwormcomposting.com. One article there on worm farming pitfalls, hands down, has been the most helpful I've read on bin fundamentals: http://www.redwormcomposting.com/worm-composting/the-ugly-truth-about-vermicomposting/

The part about being sure to add "living matter" to your bin was news to me. I used to lay down wet bedding, dump the food scraps, throw dry bedding on top, then wait. Now, I sprinkle finished worm castings under and over my food scraps, to jumpstart microbial action (this also controls fruit flies quite nicely), and this really speeds up the process. 

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If you can stomach more worm expenses (yikes!!), I've heard really excellent things about the Worm Inn.

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Wow, long response. Hope this helps!

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