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Moisture Levels – How The Worm Inn Self Regulates Moisture

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Here’s an exerpt from Kmin10’s question on watering The Worm Inn.

Hi Jerry,

I moved my worms from the Wriggly Wranch to my new Worm Inn about a week ago.  So far, so good. The worms are swarming around mushy pumpkin. I’ve seen 2-3 gnats, but no mites (infestation averted). LOVE the Worm Inn!

When I first changed from the Wriggly Wranch to the Worm Inn,  a lot of leachate drained out (at least 4 cups of water overnight).  My poor worms were drowning in the plastic bin!   Now, there isn’t as much leachate coming out (about 1 cup every 2-3 days), but how much should there be?   The worms get mostly fruit scraps (melon rind, banana peel, apple/pear bits, etc.), all frozen and thawed so it’s mushy. I moisten the bedding with a spray bottle every couple of days and try not to overfeed. My question is how can I tell if the moisture level is right between the moisture from the food and the misting?

You’ve done a great job describing the moisture difference between The Worm Inn and a plastic system. The great thing about The Worm Inn is, that as long as it doesn’t completely dry out throughout, it doesn’t matter! About the only way you could make it completely dry out is if you stop feeding scraps and stop watering! The scraps you are feeding are constantly releasing water. This water release keeps the bedding damp around the ”Sweet Spot” of The Worm Inn. In this case, the moisture level is determined by the amount and type of scraps that you are feeding your worms. Although the top will dry out if you do not add additional water for a bit, it doesn’t matter.

I’ll usually water my Worm Inn once a week or so, depending on what scraps I have inside. I recently buried 36 apples in my Inn, and they are releasing water as they break down.   Absolutely no smell, no bugs, and the worms are all over them.

One thing you will notice is how much more lively your worms are in the Worm Inn.   They get sluggish when kept in plastic bins at times due to too much retained moisture, which restricts air flow.

The beauty of The Worm Inn is it’s simplicity.   If you under water, you will notice the worms hanging around the moisture pockets in the ”Sweet Spot”.   If you over water, the exess drains within minutes and moisture levels become perfect within minutes.

Things That Make You Want To Cry!

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Your first question is, “Why are we looking at rotting pumpkins laying on the ground”?  

Your next question is likely,  “Why not just add them to Your Worm Inn”?

My last blog post shows my Worm Inn filled with 36 decomposting apples.  Could I add these rotting pumpkins to my Inn at the same time?  Probably. 

Would I likely not have enough room for bedding in my Worm Inn?  Probably.

What happens when you don’t leave enough room for bedding?  You got it, BUGS!

Although The Worm Inn is The Best Commercial Worm Composter on the market,  if you don’t add enough bedding to ANY worm composting system, you will attract flying bugs.  It’s just nature….the smell of rotting vegetation will attract bugs.

Although we can beat Mother Nature by covering the rotting vegetation with plenty of bedding (So the bugs cannot smell the rotting vegetation),  if we get greedy and  throw every scrap in the neighborhood into a Worm composting system and forget to include a nice deep layer of bedding,  bugs will come……

If you want to process every scrap in the neighborhood and have room for bedding, that’s fine.  Just get TWO Worm Inn’s! 😉

Why The Worm Inn Composts Better Than ANY other Commercial Worm System!

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Ever go on an apple eating binge, and just happen to have about 3 dozen apples go bad on you at the same time?  Me neither…I’ve never gone on an apple eating binge in my life. 🙂

Actually a buddy of mine has a large apple tree loaded with apples.  He brought a bunch over, and of course the first question I asked was, “Got any rotten ones”?   After a momentary strange look, he realized where I was going with this question, and the next day brought over 3 dozen rotting apples!  SCORE!

I put the rotten apples in my Worm Inn (See pic above), and covered them with plenty of bedding.  A week later, the apples are just starting to break down slowly and naturally, just as they would if they were laying on the ground.  The worms are starting to attack the apples, and soon, I will need more worm food for The Inn.

Now…compare this with putting 3 dozen rotting apples in a plastic bin with little air flow.  That’s the recipe for apple vinegar, and a great way to heat up your bedding and off gas your worms.   For all you new Worm people…heating up your bedding or off gassing your worms = DEAD WORMS.

If you have had a plastic worm bin for any length of time, you’re probably shaking your head up and down right now.  Although this would be a worm massacre in a plastic bin, it’s just another week in the life of The Worm Inn!    Either I’ve got some magic worms or a perfect worm composting system….You decide!

WormSicles Anyone?

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

What do you get when you’ve got too many worms + too many pumpkins + a little free time? 

A well tended garden?  No.

A painted house?  No.

A reorganized garage?  No.

You get WormSicles of course.  Here’s a fun experiment your kids will enjoy.  This leaves no doubt that worms absolutely LOVE pumpkin.

My Life With Worms – A Great Read

Friday, November 12th, 2010

If you’re reading my website blog, you obviously have an interest in worms.  Actually, if you’ve made it this far…you probably consider yourself a “Wormaholic” 🙂

I’ve just finished reading an Ebook called, “My Life With Worms” …. and I’d recommend this to anyone that has an appreciation for the amazing work done by the “Intestines of the earth”. 

MY LIFE WITH WORMS

The Ebook  is Bentley “The Compost Guy “Christie’s (RedwormComposting.com)  story about how he became interested in worms, and the impact Vermiculture has made on his life.   This is a must read for anyone that  enjoys reading stories about worms.  You could purchase literally hundreds of books on vermiculture (And I’ve read some sleepers!), but you’ve probably never read an Ebook about Vermiculture like this!   This is definitely an “Anti-Sleeper”!

Bentley candidly and openly talks about the impact worms have made on his life over the past 10 years.   If you’ve ever read Bentley’s popular blog and you think you know Bentley, you’re in for a surprise!

If you want more information about the ebook, and want to get a taste of Bentley’s humor,  click on the link above.  I think you’ll be glad you did.

Great Question – Leland

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Just wanted to share with everyone a great question that I was sent today. 

When i’m adding food scraps to the worm inn, do i have to bury them under the bedding that is already there, or can i put them in on top of that bedding and then cover it with more bedding?  – so that inside the bag there would be a layer of scraps, a layer of bedding, and then another layer of scraps and another layer of bedding- 

like this:
bedding
scraps
bedding
scraps
bedding
thanks for your help – the worms seem happy
 
leland
 
 

Hi Leland, 

The ultimate goal is to have the scraps buried as deeply as possible.  The reason for this is you don’t want flying bugs smelling the rotting vegetation.   It’s easiest and most effective to bury your scraps with as much bedding as possible.  Layering does not benefit anything.  

Soon you will have: 

Bedding

Scraps

Castings 

Not much here to invite flying bugs…especially as the top layers of bedding start to dry out. 

 

The Worm Inn Receives Official Government Trademark In Europe

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

worm inn.jpg

No 009100397
 
As I’ve written before, I have a licensed reseller of The Worm Inn in Europe.  Her name is Dr. Hilary Cross and her website is http://www.wormintent.co.uk/   Along with the licensing agreement, we applied and received a Trademark for The Worm Inn for the 27 countries of the European Nation. 
 
To date, The Worm Inn has been sold in every continent except Africa.  Hopefully we’ll be truly world wide by 2011.
 
 
 
 

 

Try This Virtual Compost Pile!

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

 Build a Virtual Compost Pile

After spending the morning spreading compost, I came across a fun website this evening.  It’s from Florida’s Environmental Protection Agency.  It allows you to build a virtual compost pile.    You get to practice building a compost pile, while learning the proper C:N ratio’s for quick breakdown of your organic materials.

What does this have to do with worms?  Well, nothing…but EVERYTHING.  Healthy soil that is loaded with worms contains plenty of organic material.  The most efficient way of getting organic material into your soil is by adding compost. Want to build an Alabama Jumper haven?  Add plenty of organic material to your soil.

Last Call For African Nightcrawlers!

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Big News for All African Nightcrawler Fanatics!

Due to the the weather getting colder throughout most of the country,  our last shipments of African Nightcrawlers and/or African Nightcrawler Cocoons for this year will be November 8th (For orders turned in by November 7th).  We will resume shipping African’ Nightcrawlers in March 2011.

HO-HO-HO…CHRISTMAS IS COMING!

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

BEFORE you know it, Christmas will be upon us.  Do you have children or grandchildren that you would like to introduce nature’s wonders?  Are you a teacher that would love a set of childrens books about composting?     

Introducing The Pee Wee complete four book set:  

Book 1- Pee Wee and The Magical Compost Heap 

The first book of the Pee Wee Series, ‘Pee Wee and the Magical Compost Heap,’  introduces children to backyard composting through the adventures of Pee Wee, the endearing little red wiggler worm, and all the insects in the compost heap.  The adventure begins when four neighborhood children are magically transported on the back of a butterfly to visit Castle Compost. 

Book 2-Pee Wee’s Great Adventure

The book’s sequel, ‘Pee Wee’s Great Adventure: a guide to Vermicomposting’ has Pee Wee describing an amazing adventure from a classroom worm bin to a backyard composter. Instructions are included on how to care for worms and harvest their castings.

Book 3-Pee Wee’s Family in a Nutshell

‘Pee Wee’s Family in a Nutshell’ unites Pee Wee with Reddy. Again, Vanessa the magical butterfly transports everyone to the classroom worm bin to find Pee Wee’s family. This book notes the differences between vermicomposting and backyard composting.

Book 4-Pee Wee Goes to The Fair

‘Pee Wee goes to the Fair’ is the latest adventure in the series. This story takes all the compost critters to a Spring Environmental Science Fair where Scott and friends display their elaborately decorated worm bin.

Aren’t you tired of watching your kids turn into video game playing zombie’s?  If so, This is the PERFECT gift..A true Must have! 

*These books, and other fun products are available on my “Worm Stuff” page