Vermicomposting, worm bin, composting with worms community and forums
I've been using vermicastings (i.e. castings from worms) in my deep water culture bubbler system for a couple of weeks on an experimental basis. The 2 lbs of castings are stored in a paint strainer bag and submerged in 9 gallons of water. The castings are generated by 1 lb of European Nightcrawler worms that compost my kitchen scraps and a large amount of coconut coir used as bedding material. The "bubbling" comes from aquarium air stones and an inexpensive aquarium air pump that aerates the water.
Today while removing the old castings and replacing them with fresh ones, I noticed something very interesting and somewhat surprising. Live worms! I counted 5 or 6 without really looking too hard. The worms weren't just living in the top of the castings, but there were several submerged deeply under water.
I've been keeping worms for 3 years. Based on my experience, too much water in a worm bin is not healthy for the inhabitants. When things get too wet in the worm bin, I often find "drowned" worms. It's rare that I get that kind of water in my bins these days, but as a worm keeping newby it happened more often when I would overfeed them.
I can only guess that the worms were able to survive in the deep water culture bins because of the aeration being provided by the air pump. If worms can survive in that environment, then the plants must like it even more than I thought. :-)
Here's a picture of the spinach I am experimenting with after 2 weeks of growth:
Here's another picture of mature kale plants using more traditional hydroponic nutrients:
Here's a link to the original blog post on my gardening website.