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I took another peek at the five gallon buckets pyramid in my garage today. I'll be out of town almost 2 weeks for the Holidays and wanted "see what's up". When I get back, I'll definitely have 7 buckets that will need sorting.
I tried this 5 gallon bucket cycle experiment earlier this year, as you may recall, but did thinks a little differently this time. I used much more food source and a lot more cardboard in the buckets to go along with the newsprint. The results so far? The worms are bigger, healthier, and more active in this cycle.
Something else I noticed kind of surprised me...the wettest, nastiest smelling, gooyiest, yuckiest, bucket had the best looking worms in it. It had no standing water in it, but it had water visible pooling on the larger pieces of cardboard that haven't broken down completely and when I fluffed the bedding, the vermicast and bedding mixture felt "too wet". I had one bucket that I used mostly coir for bedding and less cardboard. It was drier to start with, but remains much "drier" than the wettest bucket discussed earlier. It had worms that were active, but less quantity. I used the same food source for both buckets - rabbit manure and vegetable scraps - the primary seat of the pants variable was moisture.
I left the lids off the buckets for four or five hours to air them out a little. I'm looking forward to finishing the cycle in a couple of weeks and starting over.