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.

Worm bin notes: Spring cleaning

Quick follow up for bins 2 & 3. The video footage shows it clearly, things in the bin are getting back to normal. I was surprised to see how much they had cleared out. They ate the center of fresh cut potatoes that left what looked like over baked potato skins. Thought that was worth noting. Added cat hair about a month ago. Looks like I need to thin it out more.

Not a hint of foul odor from any of the bins. They usually don’t have much of an odor. I always find that interesting. The other surprise was the potato skins trying to grow.

They ate so much that I had to get mangos to feed both bins. I’ll check back in 5 days or so then post another video/blog. -13

Worm bin notes: Home sweet home!

Bin 1, week 3, or so. Big surprise that most of the waste was gone with so few worms. Mostly potato skins left at this point. I suspected they would be hungry because the soil they came from didn’t seem to have anything for them to consume. The availability of a steady food source makes big difference. I’d have a short video of them except when I turned on the light I either turn off the cam or never did. No matter the result is the same. Freeze frame with a voice over. Low budget! That’s what I get for trying to walk and chew gum at the same time.

The worms are doing well and appear to be growing and eating rapidly. The larvae that I thought might turn into a fruit fly swarm didn’t seem to leave a trace. I didn’t see any flying insects in or around the bin area. Nor were there piles of larvae swimming in rotting fruit. I was surprised to find the potato skins trying to grow after putting them in the bins many times before and not seeing it. Makes me think to cut the potatoes into smaller pieces to try for planting next time I raise potatoes. The the sun shines on this bin more so I suspect that may have help a little.

I added carrot skins, onion then lightly watered the vegetables on top to keep them moist for the worms. When dry it takes them much longer to get to and process.  Potato skins last for some time before it’s unrecognizable.  At this stage of the experiment I want to make it as easy as possible for the worms to do what ever they want to.  In a few more weeks I might be able to tell more what kind of worms are in there. -13

Worm bin notes: No broccoli thank you!

After polluting the bins with broccoli I decided to document the clean up on video. Not all of it as the video is an afterthought. A few days have past and the clean up is working. Worms are moving throughout the bin and working. Looks like it’s mostly in the video. -13

Worm bin notes: Worms from Nowhere

Thought I’d make a video of the newly set up worm bin. It has been running for 2 plus weeks at this point. The bin was empty after I had introduced roaches into the bin on the cardboard I use to directly cover the substrate. I prefer it to shredded paper because I can quickly remove it and see/smell the condition when I want to.

The motivation to restart the bin came from finding infant size earth worm looking species in what I thought was sterile soil mixed last year stored in plastic bins. After counting 20 worms in a small area, I moved the small pile of soil and placed it on top of the moss prepared days before. Waited a few days then started to introduce vegetable waste.

The worms I found were at the top, mostly clustered in an old patch of oat and wheat grass I’d grown for our domestic cats munching on a mango. They had tripled in size. For now going to leave it as it is then add more wastes in a few weeks or so. -13

Worm bin notes: Ingredients

Pineapple- Added skin cutting/core of one pineapple, worms found within a day, completely consumed within a week in both bins. Next time I’ll either photo or video the experiment.

Onion- Added end pieces to both bins. At day 2 the underside had many of the smaller worms but the adults seemed to stay away. I’m sure they weren’t larvae of something else. Will take photos or video next time.

Broccoli- Added several stalks. Next day the odor was noticeable several feet away from the bin. I noticed that day the worms were all over the waste in the bin. By the next day they had all withdrawn below all of the waste they were feeding on. I removed as much as possible to the compost bin. Follow up will be in the next post. I’ll never put broccoli in my worm bins again, only the outdoor compost.

Cucumber- I didn’t think there would be any issues with cucumbers in the worm bin. I wasn’t sure the vinegar soaked ones would go over well so added one small slice in a couple of the corners of the bin. Surprisingly they had disappeared. There was about half a cucumber left so I divided it between the bins. By the 3rd day it was all gone. I’ve noticed that with most of the food the worms will be eating from the underside, but not with the cucumbers. Each time I’ve put it in the bin they are all over it.