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What was supposed to be a worm farm in now a maggot farm...

 
Jamie Wallace
Posts: 82
Location: Lantzville, Vancouver Island,BC Cool temperate, Lat. 49.245 Zone 8a
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Okay
Here is one to make you all laugh.
Last week-end I finally got around to starting my very first worm farm. Having researched this a bit I did the following:
-Took and old tub and elevated it with a slight slope to the drain. Placed a small bucket beneath the drain.
-Filled the bottom 2-4" with drain rock
-Placed a geotextile fabric over the drain rock and added good quality horse manure that had a good number of red wigglers ontop.

I was so proud and pleased..."Look.." I said to my family, "this will be wonderful, the worms will consume our kitchen scraps and provide wonderful worm juice and compost for our compost tea making."

I went searching for our kitchen scraps which has been sitting in a container for a few weeks. It was a bit anaerobic but I thought that would be no big deal. Added that to the surface of the manure and almost instantly every fly within 3 km found this smelly mess. Okay I can cure this, I added about 3-4" of sawdust to smoother the kitchen scraps and soak up any extra liquid.

Well I thought I had addressed the problem quite well. A few days later I went out and scrapped around....
OMG instead of teeming with red wigglers (which I know takes a few months) the pile was full of maggots.
Not only that, the sawdust plus nitrogen from the food scraps has started to heat up the material.
I scrapped the whole sawdust layer out and thought , fixed. This morning I stuck a fork in and OMG maggots deep in the compost eating whatever they can find....
So my wife said, "Take it apart and start over..."
That sounds reasonable. If I start over how can I keep the flies out?
A lid is the obvious answer but I'm sure I saw some geoff lawton video showing his tubs with only a fabric sheet over them...perhaps that is the answer?
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Tub with well rotted horse manure/compost
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Some red wigglers but more maggots
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The maggots having fun...
 
Bill Ramsey
Posts: 86
Location: SW Georgia, zone 8b
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I've been putting too much "food" in my little outdoor worm bin lately and the black soldier fly larvae have been trying to take over. My chickens seem to enjoy it though. I'm no expert on it all but I'd probably leave the sawdust in, not put any scraps in until worms get established beneath the sawdust and whatever fungi might start breaking it down. If it gets hot, that might just cook the little maggots to a toasty snack for worms later on. :/
 
Amanda Wheaton
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my bins are doing the same thing! lol! both in maggots andin heating up. I have some hay and rabbit manure though instead of sawdust. I keep knocking it around trying to break it fromheating. I migh take out half of the hay/manure andreplace with some half shredded leaves. I have about 1500 worms plus cocoons in three different bins. One bin is absolutely perfect! the other two a mess :/
 
Amanda Wheaton
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by the way, i think you could add some more materials to your bin for them to eat.. like shredded paper or leaves.
 
Jamie Wallace
Posts: 82
Location: Lantzville, Vancouver Island,BC Cool temperate, Lat. 49.245 Zone 8a
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Bill Ramsey
I'd probably leave the sawdust in, not put any scraps in

I agree with you Bill on the scraps, no more of those, but I'm not sure of the sawdust.
Amanda Wheaton
by the way, i think you could add some more materials to your bin for them to eat.. like shredded paper or leaves.


Thanks Amanda that is good advice. I guess worms have some specific requirements that take a bit to get used to.
 
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