Worms – Nature’s Greatest Recyclers

Ian with Worm FactoryTesting Out Our New Worm Factory

The latest addition to our garden is this composting worm bin system by The Worm Factory. We purchased ours locally at  mce_href=Donna’s Garden Gate and she even included the worms, free.

The Worm Factory Worm Composter unit comes with a helpful guide that tells you how to set it up, some interesting facts on vermicomposting, the anatomy of worms and a troubleshooting section. It also includes all the bedding that you need to get started. This makes it an ideal unit for beginners.

Although their are many different species of worms, the red wigglers are ideal for a worm compost bin. They love darkness and despise light. Some species of worm like light and will exit your worm bin if they feel there isn’t sufficient light available.

As a side note, on a recent trip to Costa Rica, I visited a fair-trade coffee grower and learned that although his farm was natural and completely sustainable, he had imported his red wigglers from California. So, make sure you get the red wiggler. A website that the guide recommends is Find Worms.com.

Adding worms to the composter

Every three months, the red wigglers in this composter can be expected to double in population.  Worms lay eggs and are incubated in cocoons. Each tray in this vermicomposter system can hold three pounds or 3,000 worms. The guide says overpopulation isn’t a concern as the worms who live in this upward migration system can travel freely between trays.

Red wigglers require moisture to breathe because they  take in oxygen through their skin and will die if they dry out. Too much moisture and the worms can drown.

The guide says the moisture should range from 60%-80% in your bin. An easy way to test moisture is to squeeze a small amount of the bedding between two fingers. You want to see a drop or two of water. It should be as wet as a wrung out sponge, damp, but not dripping wet.

Worms can eat three times their weight in a week. So one pound of worms will consume three pounds of waste and organic fiber in a week.

The Worm Factory can be housed both indoors and out. If you are keeping worms outdoors keep them in a shady area. Make sure the worm bin is protected from the rain. The optimal temperature range for your worms is from 60˚-80˚F (15˚-26˚C).

Looking forward to sharing more information with you as our project continues.

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  • Hi Maria,
    I look forward to watching your worm family grow! You will be amazed at how productive they are. The tea is almost better than the castings and will keep your plants looking great! Enjoy and thanks for letting folks know where they can purchase a bin.

  • Karin Fields

    I’m gonna get one too!

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