Worm bin notes: Death of a roach

Update 7 for bins 2 & 3.  Bin 2 is looking good.  No foul odors.  Looks like there is a notable amount of waste left in here than in bin 3.  This is indicating I need to move more worms from bin 3 over.  The difference is clear to see.  Moisture level seems good.  I’ll need to add more cardboard soon.  Better add some sand next feed time.

Bin 3 is working like a well oiled machine.  It’s unimaginable how much they can change the landscape inside the bin.  Somehow they move half a mango to make it look like it’s sinking into the soil.  Totally amazed by that.  Seems like there are more of the white dot and skinny bugs in bin 2 than in this bin.  Maybe they’re subsoil when the waste gets that low.  I can see them move in and out of the soil when I watch them.  Mostly I see them on top.  No foul odors.

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Last post I mentioned roaches.  Thought it was going to be a big hassle to find it.  Wow was I wrong.  As I was moving the cardboard out of the bin the roach ended up in my hand.  At first I didn’t know it was there because it was in the gloved hand.  I then noticed something kind of squishy.  Thinking it was a small pile of worm bunched up I quickly looked where my fingers sensing the difference.

It was the roach, or a new one.  I was in disbelieve it was that easy.  Couldn’t have planned that in a million years.  Once I realized my luck I threw it on the floor and killed it.  The cats sitting there supervising me.  Hope that was all of them.  -13

Video Update 7 Below

Worm bin notes: They aren’t alone

Update 5, bin 1.  Amazing progress.  There are worms everywhere in that bin.  I thought they would be concentrated in the thicker soil under all the food waste I’ve been feeding.   What a surprise to find then in numbers under the decaying grass introduced last week.  They all look healthy.  The roly poly are also doing well I could see many smaller ones running around in there indicating reproduction.  They might overrun the bin.  If they do I let them loose on my yard compost pile.  It is an experiment.

When I lifted part of a mango I found another unidentified insect alongside the worms.  Was able to get a close up on video.  It looked like something I’ve seen when pulling bark off a rotting tree.  Maybe I’ll be able to figure out what it is.  Guessing it was in the soil that the worms were in when I introduced them to the bin.

Can’t remember if I was going to start putting waste on the thinner soil side this soon.  After seeing the number of worms under the grass I will.  Start building it up.  Couldn’t be more fascinated by this bin and it’s progression.   The distribution and number of worms, rapidly reproducing roly polys and a new species.  Added strawberries, sprayed a good rain to keep the moisture up seemed a little dry in there.  The hard part at this point is knowing how much waste to put in without creating a stinking mess.  Don’t want to over do it.  -13

Video Update 5 Below

Worm bin notes: Life is good in the bin

Update 6 for bins 2 & 3.  Bin 2 is progressing along nicely.  The worms from bin 3 seem to help keep the balance so I can put an equal amount of waste in.  It appears healthy and moist.  I may add more worms from 3 later but am still watching the consumption rate.

Bin 3, doesn’t seem to have any noticeable difference in the consumption rate since I moved the worms.  The soil is moist.  There’s an abundance of the smaller insects that usually inhabit the bins.  Everything seems to be fine.

I did notice a roach on the cardboard when I was editing the video and have yet to locate it.  Here I go again with the roaches.  I haven’t introduced anything questionable to the bin lately so there hasn’t been much to note.  I’ll keep taking before/after stills and video to track the consumption rates, and when I introduce a questionable item that I haven’t filmed before.  Time to hunt for roaches. -13

 

Video Update 6 Below

Worm bin notes: More than I thought!

Update 4, Bin 1.  Good news, roly polys are producing young, all look well.  There are many more worms in the bin than I thought there were.  Larger and smaller worms throughout.  Surprisingly there were worms down in the section I’m not putting waste down on.  They’re consuming the cardboard and getting inside like they usually do in the other bins.

I tried to record my moving substrate and waste to look for worms but it wasn’t working well.  I think the yellow gloves are causing problems with focus and light reflection.  I’ve also noticed that when I have a microphone on my lapel it is below where the lip of the bin is so it is mostly blocked when I’m speaking.  Not sure how to deal with the glove issue but the mic issue is an easy one to solve.

As I moved the waste around I can see they need less waste.  Not enough to handle anything but small amounts at this time.  An example might be one mango or half of a cantaloupe rind lasting for about two weeks.  It was exciting to see all the young worms.  Not sure where they all came from as it did not seem like there were many to start with.  Maybe there were eggs in the soil from the planter.   Also noted with still images in the video is the size difference.  When I placed them in the bin they were as small as the worms featured in the still image but the larger ones in the image is what I’ve been seeing the last few weeks since I first noted the change.

Thought I’d add the wheat/oat grass we grow for our cats.  It last for several weeks then dies off so I add it to the bin as leaf litter.  Seems like this bin has all it can handle for the next 2 or 3 weeks.  I’ll monitor the conditions and maybe add something from the waste bin in small quantities until the population and mass size increases.  Looking forward to seeing how this bin progresses over time. -13

Check out the video!

Worm bin notes: Here today, gone next week

Bin 2, the addition of worms from bin 3 made a noticeable difference in how much bin 2 can handle as evidenced by the photos taken 8 days later.   No noticeable odors or flying insects.  Bin 3 had no noticeable difference in consumption, except for the cardboard.  Doesn’t look like I moved any worms.  The video shows how the worms start getting into the cardboard.  Then it seems to disappear into the castings.  I’ll have to add more waste over the next day or so.  It is so amazing how fast they can consume what looks like to much at first. -13

Worm bin notes: The Woodlice move in

Bin 1. The progress of the bonus worms is moving along well. They’re at the top eating. Most look like they’re maybe an inch or so in length. There might be 20 or so in total. I did find 2 that were larger and think they must have been where I couldn’t see them. It looked like there might be a concentration of them in the soil I found them in so I’m surprised to see so few at this point.

I’m sure there is enough waste to feed on for several weeks and won’t add any until then. Considering the progress of waste consumption and number of worms I thought it would be good to move the potato skins over top of the old and newly added waste to act like leaf litter. It seems to work well for that. Helps keep up the moisture, provide shade from sunlight and edible waste.

As soon as that side is finished I’ll move the waste to the other half in an attempt to build it up. Curious about composting in general I’ve also tried to find information on the insects I find in my compost piles. One of those that seems to always be on-scene is the Armadillidium vulgare. Also known as role-poly, pill bug and others.

Recently I noticed pill bugs in a flower pot so I thought I’d add them to my experimental bin. I’d like to see how they influence and reproduce in a worm-bin setting. One of my thoughts was to see if they help keep house and eat other things like vegetable skins the worms don’t seem to have an interest in or have an difficult time consuming.

The video is little over 6 minutes with most of the details. I had recorded footage of the capture of the insects but cannot find it anywhere. So much for that. I’ll check the bin in 6-7 days then film an update. -13

Worm bin notes: Eviction notice!

Bin 2 & 3. Both bins have generally been feed the same each waste dump. Bin 2 has usually taken a week longer or more for the same amount in bin 3 to disappear in about three to five days. The before and after videos and stills turned out to be useful for making it easy to see. Over the last few weeks I’ve been watching to see about how many more there are in 3 than two.

When I turn the waste cover off the worms it is clear the volume is significant. Based on those two facts I decided to evict a considerable amount of worms from 3 and move them a few feet into 2. I think that it will even out the population. For now I’ll spread out the waste and let them settle for another 5 days or so.

The video below has most of the action.