worms for compostingreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Recently I posted a question on outhouses and the responses I got were wonderful. There are so many caring people out there! So I thought I'd as another question....I just started composting with red worms. My bedding is starting to get moldy. Should I be concerned? The worms seem fine. They are active and thriving. I don't think its to damp. In fact I wonder if its wet enough. I asked this same question on a forum through uncle jims worm farm but didn't get any response. So I thought I'd try fellow countrysiders. You folks are great!! It's nice to find kindred spirits.
-- Barb (WILDETMR@YAHOO.COM), July 26, 2000
See if you local library has or can borrow for you a copy of The Earthworm Book: How to Raise and Use Earthworms for Your Farm and Garden by Jerry Minnich. It basically says there is no answer to your question as it pertains to moisture. While a moisture level between 28 and 42 is desirable, earthworms can live a year or more in completely saturated soil. I suspect the mold is more of a problem to you than the worms. By the way, the book also says scientists really don't know how long an individual earthworm can live and suspect none has ever died of 'old age'.
-- Ken S. (email@example.com), July 27, 2000.
Barb, a worm-bed is just another version of a compost pile, or falling leaves in the forest, where nature is constantly redefining its content. In all these scenario, you have life forces, seen and unseen, working on the matter content to change it into substances which they can eat. So you have the microscopic, and the visible actions, the mold you see is just one of the many visible evidences of natural events, converting organic material into humus, so rejoice. A worm-bed should be as moist as a compost pile. That is not soggy to cut out oxygen, not so dry that you could burn the material. It is what I call damp to the touch, not wet, not dry. As a rule of thumb, err in favor of dampness, but avoid soggy. Hope this helps.
-- JerryR(La.) (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 2000.
Another book you might find helpful is Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof. I never will forget the look on the librarian's face when I requested it! "You want WHAT?"
Check out www.wormdigest.org. They have a forum, where to buy stuff, etc. They aren't as effectively and conveniently presented IMHO as this one but the information is there if you care to wade through no punctuation or capitalization.
I bed my worms in a combination of recycled potting soil from dead plants and shredded newspaper. Everytime I feed them, I pull back the newspaper and put the food underneath, add more paper if needed to cover them back up and then use a spray bottle to wet down the whole thing. I got one too wet once and an anaerobic bacteria took over. The worms ran for their lives but died when exposed to dry air and the smell that developed was terrible, like a really badly maintained outhouse. Really Badly Maintained. Good luck.
-- marilyn (email@example.com), July 27, 2000.
Marilyn, I can relate to your comment about the smell of dead worms. We went fishing one summer and accidentally left a container of worms under the car seat. A few days in the hot sun and my car had a whole new ambiance. Thank goodness I figured out what it was.
-- Colleen (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 31, 2000.
I dont think you got anything to worry about. Here I dig a 4 to 5 ft post hole for kitchen trash not suitable for the compost pile and it stays packed with redworms and yard grubs and they work it to a sludge. I think worms have intinct not to stay where they cant live.
-- Jay Blair (email@example.com), August 02, 2000.