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Should I turn the compost in my worm bin? It's compacting.  RSS feed

 
Chris Schwarz
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Location: Greifswald, Germany
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Hi everybody,

I'd like to know if it'd make any sense to mix up the compost in my worm bin. It's been about three month since I last harvested and I'm not planning on harvesting anytime soon.I recently dug a little into the compost by hand and noticed that down below it was not fluffy at all. Still I found some worms, most of them seem to stay topside though just underneath a bedding of shredded newspaper and the like. Is there a danger of the parts down below turning anaerobic because of a lack of oxygen and would it therefore make sense to turn the whole content of the bin over? The inside measurements of the bin which is built of untreated pine wood are roughly 23 x 15 x 15 inches. So its not a gigantic system.

Thank you.
Chris
 
chip sanft
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I've noticed the anaerobic thing in my worm bins for sure, because that's the only time they ever stink. Wet paper seems to make a pretty effective barrier. So I periodically (i.e., whenever I think of it and feel like it) stir / fluff / root around the bottom, poking through and tearing paper, to get oxygen down there. That's also a good time to deal with excess moisture or an excess of rich material by adding carbon-rich stuff. I haven't noticed a need to do more than that, though it seems like if you could flip the whole mass easily, that couldn't hurt.
 
Chris Schwarz
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Location: Greifswald, Germany
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Hey Chip,

thanks for the advice. I'll let them munch through the food they got and then stir it up a little.
 
Ronnie Ugulano
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I occasionally turn my bins for various reasons. Sometimes I turn them if I'm just curious as to how my worm population is going. Sometimes I dig into the bins (and end up turning it some) because I am checking on moisture levels or to see if Black Soldier Fly Larvae are taking over and my inputs need adjustment. Theoretically, the worms do most of the "turning", but I find that I'm too nosy to just let them be. Fortunately, they don't mind my occasional look around.

If you turn them too often, you'll start annoying your worms, but they don't mind an occasional look-see - say, once a month, or once every other month.
 
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