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John Wilhelm's Comments

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At 11:53am on February 24, 2017, Gardener Larry said…

John,

First sorry to hear about your wife. A neighbor passed with ALS and I know the toll it can take. On to your bedding question; If the worms in their last days of life started to stress they may have left behind worm casings (eggs). If you use the bedding and it contains any casings you may be able to re-populate quicker if they are still viable. If not no big deal. I cannot think of any reason not to re-use the bedding.

Pure worm castings (worm poop) look very close to rich dark soil and smell like dirt after a rain. Of course at the bottom of any bin it is rare to have "pure" worm castings. Usually it is mixed with anything that was not digested. Maybe pieces of your original bedding any seeds etc.. This is still good to use where ever you might use worm castings for example plants, gardens or for making worm tea.

Worm tea is not necessarily the same as the stuff that comes out the bottom of your bin. The stuff that leaks out of the bottom of the bin is referred to as worm leachate.  While there may be some benefits for leachate it is not technically worm tea. I usually just dump mine in the lawn once every couple of months. (a few gallons in a tote at the bottom of my flow through bin).

Worm tea is a product that contains large amounts of the beneficial bacteria (and other organisms). Worm tea is made using worm castings, room temperature rain water (if you use tap water with fluoride or chlorine it can kill the bacteria) and molasses - then piping air through the mixture for a certain amount of time. You can find recipes online.

I am no expert but have had a worm bin for several years have made worm tea and use the castings every year for my garden and when starting plants. I hope this helps.

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