Got Your Worms Before Your Worm Bin Arrived?
Have you ordered red wigglers and they arrived before your worm bin arrived? Don’t freak out because worms are very easy to care for. There are a lot of recommendations on the internet that you should set up your worm bin before you order your worms. Though this is good advice, it is not absolutely necessary. Worms are very laid back creatures as long as their environment is friendly.
I Use Shredded Newspaper as Worm Bedding
I like to use shredded newspaper for worm bedding. It is free and plentiful. I don’t use the glossy sections. Though I have found that some newspapers shred very easily and others don’t. The newspaper has to be moistened so that it is damp but not so wet that you can squeeze water out of it. I use a spritzer bottle for this.
Any Plastic Container Will Work to Make a Temporary Bin
I use Rubbermaid or Sterlite containers for worm bins. They work out very well. Some of them don’t even have drainage holes in them. I never snap on the lid and often leave a little space for air to circulate. If the bin looks too wet, I leave the top off for a few hours. If you leave the light on the worms will stay put in the bin. There are ways to have a free worm composting bin. So if your worms arrive first:
- Shred up lots of newspaper
- Moisten it with water from a spritzer bottle
- Use any container as a temporary bin
- Put the worms in temporarily
- Cover them with a few sheets of moistened newspaper
- Cover the bin with some type of cover
- Bury some food scraps in the newspaper
- Just start with a little bit of food
- See What do Worms Eat
Then when your worm bin arrives, just dump the contents of your temporary bin in and you are ready to go!
Read more worm factory reviews. The Worm Factory advertises that: the worms will migrate upwards as food sources are exhausted. So you won’t have to separate the worms when the lowest bin is ready.
This never worked out for me. The worms were perfectly happy to stay in the lowest level. The worms were in every level but they never all migrated upwards to the food source. Or they went downwards to the bottom where the leachate collects.
So when the lowest tray of vermicompost was finished there was always a big job of separating the worms from the vermicompost.
Here is a review on Amazon where the customer had a similar experience to mine. Also other things didn’t work out so well for this reviewer:
. . . Although the worms are SUPPOSED to migrate upward, I found most of my worms in the very bottom trays where it stays very wet. The trays that were supposed to have the fewest worms always had the most. The compost created by the worms is very wet and messy and nothing like what they advertise. That’s ok, I just don’t appreciate being mislead. And, unless you have massive — and I mean massive — numbers of worms, the composting doesn’t go as fast as they claim. A 5 pound bucket of worms won’t compost even 2 or 3 stacked bins as fast as they claim.
I have since started my own very inexpensive home-made bins and I don’t bother with the half bin stuff. I use inexpensive Sterlite bins with some air holes and drain holes poked through or drilled. . .
You can continue reading this review at Amazon Review on Worm Factory
So with my experiences with the Worm Factory I wanted to go back to worm bin composting with my Worm Friendly Habitat. You could really use any plastic or wooden container. You don’t have to buy a Worm Friendly Habitat. It is just a plastic bin with ventilation. I sold my Worm Factory on Craigslist. I kept two of my Worm Factory Composter Extra Trays for worm separation (see picture to the right)because they work in an excellent way along with a bright grow light and tantalizing food choices in the new tray to get the worms out of finished worm compost. See my blog post on How to Separate the Worms from the Vermicompost.
Welcome to the gardening, composting and worm composting blog! Composting autumn leaves creates great fertilizer for the garden. I have been gardening for about 30 years and I have a lot of interesting experiences to share. I always try to do everything organically. And I like to do things the simplest and easy way. You might call me a lazy gardener.
We have this beautiful maple tree in front of our house that turns to a gorgeous red, yellow and orange in the fall. We raked for the first time on Friday and filled 2 black bags with leaves and then on Monday the ground was completely covered again with an orange yellow blanket.
Leaves are the quintessential “brown” for a compost pile. They are so plentiful and free. Every year I save bags and bags of leaves for mulch and compost. First I wanted to use them for mulch in my vegetable garden. But that never worked out so well. If you have dry leaves in a black plastic bag, a year later you will still have dry leaves in a black plastic bag. The bag might be deteriorating but the leaves look the same as when you put them in last year.
So I decided that they needed to be wet so they could decompose. I also added dirt to introduce worms and other living decomposing organisms to hasten the process. This didn’t exactly work out either. The next year I would have a matted mess of wet leaves, maybe somewhat breaking down but only minimally.
This year we purchased a compost bin that turns. So we used our leaves in there along with all our kitchen scraps. A great combination of greens and browns. The instructions said that the leaves should be shredded but that was a little too much for me so I crumpled them in my hands before I put them in. Needless to say that did not do a great job of shredding the leaves!! Well our compost was quite wet and we needed more browns so maybe I had to admit they did need to be shredded.
The exciting thing about this autumn is that we purchased a leaf blower/vacuum that mulches at the same time. It is amazing how it shreds the leaves, down into beautiful “compostable” little particles. And amazingly enough you can fit several bags into one. We use this 30-Gallon Collapsible Gardening Container that really helps filling the black plastic bags. It folds up to store easily. The literature for the leaf vacuum says 12 bags into 1 but we didn’t get those results!! So we are raking into piles, vacuuming and shredding and having an amazing time creating the “browns” for our compost and cleaning up our yard.
Recently I purchased the compost bin below for leaf and weed composting. It is very inexpensive and works great at fast composting. To learn more click on the picture below.