|OK, I’m going to stop short of calling this a ”disaster”, but it’s certainly not what a vermicompost bin should be!
I’m using a plastic (not see through) rubbermaid bin for my worms. Holes in the side and top for air flow, and holes in the bottom for drainage. (I know now that a plastic tote is not a good way to go…)
There’s a small amount of water in the catch-bin (another lid from a different tote).
My worms aren’t trying to escape, and it doesn’t stink* (* = keep reading…)
They seem happy and healthy enough.
But I wanted my ”black gold” to be more pure, without the cow manure (aged, the kind you buy at Walmart in the bags), sphagnum peat moss, and garden soil (thought I needed this for ”grit”).
So…I got a screen — 1/4 inch squares — thinking I could screen out the soil and purify my castings (eventually).
But everything is far too mixed to do that. The bedding (torn cardboard, shredded newspaper, and corn shucks) is all mixed together with the dirt (which seems too wet to me, but the worms are digging through it like crazy).
I fear I can’t separate it without losing a large amount of my worm population (I bought ~2000 a few months ago).
So, here’s what I did (probably EXACTLY what I should NOT have done…)
I dumped it all — handful by handful — into another tote. The manure mix is definitely ”ripe” at the bottom of the tote, and FULL of worms!
I put about 6” of shredded newspaper (ran it through a paper shredder) and cardboard on the bottom, then layered 2” of soil mix, 6” of shredded paper, 2” of soil, etc until I had everything back in the tote (which is now about 80% full).
I figured I made my worms less happy, so I thawed a bag of pumpkin mush from the freezer, added a brown banana, and buried it in the corner of the newly done bin.
I misted the top layer of bedding fairly thoroughly with water, so they would be able to get a drink when needed.
I guess what my real question would be:
If I quit feeding them for a while, will they eat the manure/peat moss/top soil mix, and turn it to castings?
Or am I stuck with my own ”unique” version of a worm farm?