Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hurray!!! I've got worms!

Okay, the title sounds kinda gross, but it's true. I finally got my composting worms in the mail yesterday and quickly put the little buggers to work. I think I followed what most of the vermiculture do-it-yourself websites suggest pretty well. I lined the bottom of my compost bucket with damp shredded paper, dumped my food scraps in with a handful of potting soil, placed the worms in the mix and covered them with more damp shredded paper. So all good right?

Wrong! These little wigglers did not want to stay put. After about 15 minutes I had oodles of worms working their way up and out of the little holes I drilled for ventilation. 20 minutes of worm wrangling later I tried covering my newly acquired bird bait up again with a little more potting soil and wet paper...and waited. No surprise, they still weren't settled. So, I tried what I should have done in the first place (and what I recomend for anyone else who tries this). One site suggested just covering the pile with a whole sheet of dampened newspaper and placing a light directly overhead. The light encourages the worms to burrough deeper into the compost pile, in theory at least. I didn't want to bring the bin inside so I just made do with the patio light outside. By now it was about 12:30am so I decided to pull it in for the night and hope that $30 worth of worms would stay put overnight. Hell, I'd be happy if I only kept $10 bucks worth at that point.

After a somewhat anxcious day at work wondering if I just blew $30 buck, I came home and quickly checked my compost pile...and wah da ya know...I still have worms. I'm not sure how many really, but they seemed to have finally settled. I did have to round up a couple stagglers, but for the most part I think the last technique worked. Now I just hope they're hungry enough to eat all our food scraps.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! you got worms! Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, the magic light over the bin usually makes them stay put. Can I also suggest one thing...I would also recommend chopping your food into little bits and pieces or throw it in a food processor or blender. If you help your worms do some of the work, they will eat your scraps a bit faster. What usually causes a pile to stink is if the food is sitting in there too long. Also keep the pile moist like a sponge but not wet enough you could wring any water out. I hope that helps. Please keep me posted. I just got my bin last weekend...I have yet to get my worms. :)

    Oh btw, you could set Mr. McCloud by your worm bin and submit that as an entry. Once again, thank you for stepping outside the comfort zone and experimenting with composting. It's definitely a learning process that requires time and hopefully not too much money. Great Job!