Andrew Finn

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since Oct 14, 2018
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Recent posts by Andrew Finn

Good day all,

Was wondering if you can help me identify these little creatures. Are they mites?
I don't believe they are harmful to the worms, but guess they'll compete for the food.

Thanks all for your responses.
3 months ago
Thank you all for your responses! I did enjoy reading them very much and thought it was time for a little update:

I switched the pile to the other container, this time with a weed mat at the bottom to prevent worms from falling. Here's the report on what happened during the process:

- I squeezed A LOT of liquid from every handful of composted soil I was moving to the new container.
- I added more brown stuff.
- I found A LOT of worms, baby worms and cocoons. YAY!
- I had amazing help of my 2 and 4 year old kids.
- From now on, the white worms will be known as the "bad worms" (as named by my kids). Way cooler than _Enchytraeidae_
- I took out most of the _bad worms_, although their population was not out of control.
- It is a very very bad idea to leave your compost opened with no lid and go to the kitchen for a glass of water. You could come back and find a couple of birds having the best time of their lives!

Now a couple of days after this operation, I found just a few worms that made their way through the weed mat by going underneath it.
Most of the worms may be happy with whatever bedding they have, as I cannot see many of them coming to the surface.
I am now keeping a closed eye on the food quantities I provide, always trying to freeze and thaw before adding.
Given now I have the weed mat to prevent the worms from falling, I guess will collect more moisture, but I'll worry about that when the bin gets full and need to move the worms to the next one. I.e. follow your advice and try not to stress too much about it!

I am waiting for the pH meter to arrive... Overall the bin looks OK now and on its way to become very productive!

Thank you all!

3 months ago
Hello there, thanks for your time!

@Jim, I cannot longer tell the bedding from the casting! The bin does have drainage and I did collect a lot of tea in these past months, probably half a litre or even more. Check out the bin in the attached photo. When I started the bin, I put a flat newspaper covering the base, therefore covering the holes. I think this contributed to the wet conditions I see now. What do you think? Is it common to place a flat newspaper like this when you start a bin? I also left the bin outside underneath an eave, although not exposed to the rain.

Now I moved the bin to the garage, I added some more straws, a bit of fertile soil (I liked this idea, thanks @Roberto!) and more shredded empty toilet rolls my worms really loved the past two months.
Today I did notice there were fewer worms in the tea tray, so hopefully conditions are improving, so I'll let it sit for a while before more drastic changes. @Michael, thanks... I mixed everything with what I have as I don't want to start over if I can avoid it.

Dry out the food is a good idea, thank you! I was adding the food so far on top of a handful of shredded cardboard, which in my head that was contributing to the wet conditions, which now I see it was wrong!
Also... food with the blender, you get some puree food... wouldn't this risk anaerobic conditions a bit?

It's been two months only, so not a lot in worm's-time and I have to say, for the quantity of tea I collected so far, the tens of dozens of cocoons I saw there and some more baby worms, it may not be that bad!

Happy to hear more advice.
4 months ago
Hello there,

First post here, thought of asking for some advice with my worm farm, one of those regular stacking tray systems. It's been 2 months so far, and I think the bin is suffering from too wet conditions and Ph balance issues. This can initially blamed on my because of overfeeding at some point. Yep, lesson learned!

If I squeeze a handful of castings I get more than a few drops from it.

Then I noticed:

* Worms a bit pale in colour
* Other worms getting what appears to be protein poisoning.
* More than usual number of potworms (those small white worms).

I turned over the content of the bin to try improving air circulation. There was also some newspaper blocking the drain holes. I also remove a lot of damp cardboard pieces, thinking that it contributes to the wet conditions (although now I think it may have been a mistake, as there were lots of worms on them).

I couldn't find a huge amount of decomposing food... just a bit of an apple here and there. Now I can see lots of worms going down through the drain holes of the tray. I can save them and put them back in, but that tells me something still isn't quite right in the bin.

Do you have any advice?

Perhaps adding more bedding material?
Add some lime powder to help with the Ph? - I need to get a Ph meter to confirm my theory.
Keep stirring the content?
Dry the content a bit?
Withhold the food for a couple of days?

Thanks much in advance!
Andrew.
4 months ago