Richard Wei wrote:So i bought half a pound of compost worms a month ago so that i could remove our food waste. I had originally planned to increase the worm population to a level that could eat all the food waste produced each day by my family, but i think they aren't reproducing at a high enough rate to finish all our food scraps.
So this is why im asking if there are any methods to increase worm reproduction, please help me spot if i have made some mistakes in my taking care of the compost worms with my observation below.
1. Bedding is mostly coco-coir and a little cardboard scraps
2. Bin is about 12 L in capacity but im only utilising about half the space, but its very spacious for teh worms as of now, no crowding whatsoever
3. Drainage holes were drilled aty teh bottom of the bin but there is no worm tea coming out as i try to keep waterlogging down
4. Bedding moisture level is usually like a "wrung-out sponge"
5. I feed mainly tea leaves and vegetable scraps, no citrus peels are added and sometimes i add crushed egg shells
6. I feed every time when the previous feed is mostly eaten up with only some residue left
7. I feed by burying it halfway through to the bin, and i always turn the bedding every feed
8, the worms seem to mostly congregate at the bottom of the bin, about 25% are near the surface
so are there any things im doing wrong or can do better to increase worm reproduction? Or is it too early to tell whether or not the population is increasing at a heathy rate? Since i struggled to find any worms that had citellums, perhaps a sign of immaturity or different species?
Jonathan Baldwerm wrote:Regarding J's suggestion on high protein plant matter, I read a study a while back where in Europe they were working on a technique for vermicomposting scotch broom to create a high nitrogen compost (I attached the pdf because I thought it was an interesting read.) One of the results of their trials was a very rapid increase in the number of worms they had. If I remember right, I think their population more than quadrupled in about 45 days. I tried my own half-assed version of their experiment using very low-tech stuff (an old burn barrel full of scotch broom, around 300 worms tossed in, and adding a watering can full of water once a week to keep moisture levels up.) My results weren't nearly as high quality as theirs, but when I spread the stuff out 2 months later I saw literally hundreds of baby worms, along with hundreds of adults and a lot of juveniles. I would guess that the rapid reproduction part of the experiment applied to my attempt as well. I started a second barrel, using some of the worms from the last barrel, and with a bit of tweaking it looks like things are going good in there. I don't know for sure, but I'd guess any leguminous plant matter might cause rapid worm reproduction in a similar fashion in vermicomposting. Fresh alfalfa, clover or vetch likely has similar protein levels.
Sheri Menelli wrote:I've had compost worms for about 6 years. I now have 6 bins of them.
I noticed that when I first buy some, they seem to take forever to get established - I'm not sure why but I've bought a number of times and that was my impression.
If you can get rabbit poop, they go CRAZY! I know that they actually eat the bacteria not the food. So maybe the bacteria wasn't increasing fast enough for them with my
kitchen scraps. My daughter has 2 pet bunnies and the hay/pee/poop from the litter box got these guys going crazy.
Also a few more notes on your worms:
* Too much food scraps seem to make the area too sour - also attracts nats. So dont' overfeed
* they do not like egg shells, citrus, onion/garlic, meat, dairy.
They do love watermellon !!! Face down - they go crazy.