Worm Composting Anyone?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by MoonShadows, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. MoonShadows

    Gordo33

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    Does anyone have good references you can share for a worm compost build ?
     
    Gordo33, Jun 16, 2017
    #21
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  2. MoonShadows

    MitchM

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    MitchM, Jun 16, 2017
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  3. MoonShadows

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    I have what I call a "worm bed" that's part of the box turtle habitat. It's just a 3' x 4' [or so] cinderblock structure that is attached so that the turtles can go inside if they so choose. It's covered. Mostly soil, but gets leaves, paper, discarded plants, etc. tossed in. I toss in garden worms, pill bugs......

    I am in the process of dismantling an old compost bin that has been sorely neglected -- made it out of shipping pallets -- and have been digging up and "rescuing" the worms I find. Those are going in the turtles' worm bed. I was curious about a funny looking worm that I will occas dig up -- it's different from the red wigglers or the crawlers that I normally find [they are a greenish gray color, are ALWAYS coiled up, seem to prefer clay or very dense soil, and make very little movement unlike most worms when you disturb them] -- see pics below. I googled types of earthworms and was absolutely amazed at what I didn't know about worms! That basically, they are in 3 categories:
    ___________________________________________

    The earthworm types
    Earthworms can be grouped into 3 main categories:

    1. Epigeic, Epigean - (above the soil surface)
    2. Endogeic (in the soil) and
    3. Anecic (deep vertical burrows)
    _______________________________________________

    I think that the red wigglers, which are the best, most efficient kind for vermiposting are in the "epigeic" category.

    But I never could ID the curly worm.... Does anyone know what it is? [see description, above]

    IMG_9714.JPG IMG_9715.JPG
     
    Mmathis, Jun 16, 2017
    #23
  4. MoonShadows

    Faebinder

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    Faebinder, Jun 16, 2017
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  5. MoonShadows

    Lisak1

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    That's a strange worm @Mmathis ! Mine are all three types - basic earthworm, red wigglers, or a black thin worm, same size as the reds, but dark in color. The fish love them all!
     
    Lisak1, Jun 16, 2017
    #25
  6. MoonShadows

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    I found 2 of the curly, coiled worms today and managed to get a little video of them. Has anyone seen these before and/or know what they are? See my description of them in post #23 above.

     
    Mmathis, Jun 17, 2017
    #26
  7. MoonShadows

    Lisak1

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    Could they be earthworms that are hibernating? Do worms hibernate?
     
    Lisak1, Jun 17, 2017
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  8. MoonShadows

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

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    idk about them staying in one spot for winter or a cool season but I would think they just go deeper for as long as needed.
     
    DutchMuch, Jun 17, 2017
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  9. MoonShadows

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Funny, but I just read about this topic! DutchMuch, you are correct in that they (all kinds) will just go deeper in the soil as the temps. drop -- and I'm sure their life processes slow down, not to mention there would be less for them to eat at a depth they're not adapted for. Maybe that could be called "hibernation." Or brumation as with reptiles.....
    I may have finally ID'd my mystery worm, except that so far all articles I've found were written in the U.K....... Anyway, it might be a "green worm." I googled sluggish, greenish gray earthworm, and the pics that came up looked like these. They are in the "endogenous" category. One source said they eat the dirt, whereas most worms eat the organic material found in the dirt. Still more research to do.....

    IMG_9719.JPG
     
    Mmathis, Jun 17, 2017
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  10. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    Mystery Solved. Very good. I couldn't find anything on them.
     
    MoonShadows, Jun 17, 2017
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  11. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    One thing we get a lot of from our home business is corrugated cardboard boxes. I usually wait until we have a bunch and bring them to the local recycling spot to dump them, but I can't help but to think what a good source of food...and carbon...I am wasting that could be going into my worm bin...or in my compost. I really don't want to sit there and tear cardboard into tiny pieces or soak and rip it, so I went on a search for a cardboard shredder, and was I shocked by the sticker prices...$1000's. I spent a couple of days researching...and watching a bunch of homemade cardboard shredders vids on YouTube...before I ran across a commercial grade 16 sheet paper shredder made by Royal (old typewriter company) that has steel gears and cutting blades...and does not require oiling like the cheaper models. And, at $99, I figured I would give it a try. Wow! The thing eats through cardboard with no problem. Now, you can't put a whole box into it, but ripping or cutting a box into strips is easier than ripping it into tiny pieces. In about 20 minutes yesterday I got a medium size garbage bag of crosscut cardboard pieces that my worms are going to love.

    Just thought I would mention this for anyone who might want to use cardboard, but don't want to sit there and rip, rip, rip.

    See this YouTube vid. This is the one that convinced me. This guy is using an older model which has been discontinued, but I was able to find it's replacement.
     
    MoonShadows, Oct 14, 2017
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  12. MoonShadows

    Gemma

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    I had no idea that cardboard was useful in compost
     
    Gemma, Oct 14, 2017
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  13. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    Yes, it is a good carbon source, and the glue that holds the cardboard together (in corrugated cardboard) is starch based, so it is not harmful. You can layer larger pieces between nitrogen sources, but the smaller you break it down, the faster it will compost when mixed with nitrogen sources (green stuff). Paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls and paper egg cartons can also be used. Glossy cardboard such as cereal boxes, boxes you buy appliances in, etc. do take longer and I don't use it because I don't know the basis of the ink...might be petroleum based. Same with glossy magazines...ink is not good. Regular matte paper most likely has a soy based ink used on it, but I don't add it because I can't be assured.

    Here's a helpful article: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/cardboard-composting-25097.html

    and a thread from another gardening forum: https://www.helpfulgardener.com//forum/viewtopic.php?t=19586
     
    MoonShadows, Oct 14, 2017
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  14. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    MoonShadows, Oct 14, 2017
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  15. MoonShadows

    Gemma

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    For compost I'm doing the Deep Litter method in my chicken run, so you're saying I should throw in some cardboard?
     
    Gemma, Oct 14, 2017
    #35
  16. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    What do you use as a floor covering in your coop/run? If you have pine chips, shavings or flakes, you have plenty of carbon to mix with the high source of nitrogen (chicken poop). The only difference is the cardboard pieces will break down faster than the pine. So, it is a personal choice. I think back to when I had chickens, I would have probably added the cardboard chips in the coop where it is protected from the elements, so it was already mixed in when I composted the bedding, but not the run. If you have to go into the run and it is wet, you have cardboard chips sticking to your feet...if you don't mind.

    I just harvested 2 1/2 gallons of worm castings from my vermicomposter. I will add them to the new beds I'm building in my greenhouse.
     
    MoonShadows, Oct 14, 2017
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  17. MoonShadows

    Gemma

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    My run is very new so the compost is just starting out...it was grass (for one day) then dirt, then I alternate pine shavings with grass clippings, pine needles, pine cones, and now I'll be putting in fallen leaves
     
    Gemma, Oct 14, 2017
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  18. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    @Gemma, sounds like you have a good combination going on already!
     
    MoonShadows, Oct 14, 2017
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  19. MoonShadows

    MitchM

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    I emptied my worm composter yesterday because it was full.
    I had it out on the deck but it has gotten a bit cold lately. The bottom of the composter was frozen.
    I thought the cold may have killed the worms that were in the frozen part, but once the pile warmed up, they were fine.

    IMG_3311.jpg
     
    MitchM, Oct 15, 2017
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