"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lets Talk Worms

I've been interested in worm composting or vermiculture for a while now.

I've been reading how some of you...Lynda, Tom, Jane...are already "Master Worm Wranglers."  I'd be really interested in getting your feedback on what works and doesn't work for you.

Here's a nice Worm PDF that I found.  I read through it and it seems easy enough...but to be honest, I'm just a little bit intimidated by it all.  I suppose I just need to "do it" and see how it goes but any suggestions you can toss at me would be appreciated.

My biggest concern is that I feel that the little guys are going to have to spend some time here in the house during the COLD winter nights and during the HOT summer days.  So I'd like to keep the system mobile.

Should I just buy one of the tray systems that you see online?  Or does the "rubbermaid make it yourself" bins work just as well?

Worm Factory DS3GT 3-Tray Worm Composter, Green

After reading all the comments, I'm leaning towards a tray system like this one.  I don't mind spending the money if it's a good system that keeps the "stinky" factor down and is mobile enough that I can move it indoors when it's necessary.

What'da think?


  1. I'm having the same problem--it SOUNDS like a neat idea, but I have just not been able to make myself do it--afraid of the stink factor or ??? I don't know. Good luck with it. I'm keeping my worms in my compost pile, I guess......

  2. This does seem like a super awesome idea. It just weirds me out. Would it smell? what if my cats get in it? I will be interested to see what you learn...

  3. I use the rubbermaid method and if you do it right there is no smell at all. You must keep the food covered with the bedding and dont overload it with more than they can eat. I personally dont see a reason to buy anything to start your bin. It makes no difference for the worms and if you decide you dont want to continue, you are only out the cost of the worms. The only downside is that this is a slow process. They do not eat as much as I had hoped and I am still taking compost out to the frozen bins.

  4. I use two different methods of *housing* my worms...I have two rubbermaid set-ups and I also built a worm corral out of cinder blocks with a plywood cover...no big deal. I'm in California and have pretty mild weather so I've NEVER brought the worms into the house. I thought I may have lost them to the heat over the summer..but no they did great! We've had a week to 10 days of 25-30 degree weather this winter and they did well in that too. I guess worms are like bees...too much fussing and you'll lose them all...leave them alone and they'll do fine. I feed mine every other week...no stink and lots of castings. I feed shredded newspaper, cardboard, veggie trimmings, coffee grounds, crushed egg shells, chicken feed millings and every once in a while a hand full of dirt (with chicken poop).

  5. I used the Rubbermaid make-it-yourself system for a couple of years, and it worked great. Kept it in the garage so it was relatively cool in the summer and relatively warm in the winter. No problems with smell or flies (as long as I topped it off with some shredded newspaper from time to time). Unfortunately, we have a problem here with big old wood roaches, and some of those decided to take up residence in my bins. I got totally grossed out, and dumped them in the garden. I may start over again, and just keep the whole setup under the trees near the garden. Don't want the wood roaches that close to my kitchen...

  6. OK, here are my "Two Cents". As you know, I started with Worms over 1 1/2 years ago and I use a 20 gallon tote at first. It sat in my utility room for about a month and the only problem I had was at first the Worms wanted to climb the sides of the tote. I fixed that by leaving the lid off for a day or so (Worms hate light!).
    A Little more then a month later, I built an outside Worm bed (with recycled wood! NO COAST!) and moved them out there. The bed is 3 X 7 and 12 - 14 deep (no bottom), Filled it with lots of bedding and dumped them in! Added food and bedding, a little water now and then and put a lid on it (plywood. Again, recycled!).
    The Worms settled in and started to do what Worms do! Numbers increased and lots of "Casts for the garden!
    I was worried the first Winter. The temps got down so low and with a foot of snow (Insulation?), there was about 2" of frost in the top bedding! So I took a bunch of Worms and placed them back into the tote and took them back into the house where they spent the winter.
    I shouldn't have bothered! The outside bed did great! When it warmed up in spring, I had to build a second bed! That bed had a population explosion!
    I do not recommend the "Tray" type system! I have never used one, But it seems that the Worms have to work to hard to move up through each tray! But a tote works great! And the main thing to remember is "BEDDING IS OUR FRIEND!" Can not have to much BEDDING!!!!!
    Sorry this was so long!

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  8. I started with the same system that you are looking to buy. I still have it so don't buy one I will send you mine if you would like. it's just sitting around getting in my way. When I started my outside composting I put all my worms from my worm bin into the compost pile. I now have a very large outdoor worm bin. I just let it do it's thing. When the compost heats up the worms go down deep into the pile. Most of the time I can't get it hot enough to bother them too much. I just keep adding kitchen scraps and yard waste to the pile and they just keep multiplying. When I harvest my compost I get tons of worms mixed in and they end up in my beds. I'm sure I have a post about it on my blog somewhere.