Yeah, I'm new to the composting aspect as well. I live in a suburb and although I'm on a dbl lot, I think a ripe compost pile might be a bit much odor, but a healthy
worm bin has no foul odor. Faster cycling of materials, too.
First bin did well in the garage for around a month, then we had a cold spell, so I put them in the flower room. Cooked worms stink! lol
Temps started getting too high for worms in the garage about 2.5 month ago and there went #2.
This time I located the bin outside in the shadiest spot in the yard. 3 weeks; so far, so good, even with temps in the high 80s. Glad I had no cash in them.
The following brief chart may aid you in determining nutrient levels, but diversity and balance of materials seems to be a solid approach in all types of composting. It's recommended to not use dairy or animal products, though egg shells are fine. Some worm guys roast then powder the shells first. I don't use them as I have alot of crushed oysters shells that I pulverize for the calcium. Worms need calcium for reproduction.
As far as composting goes, there are super crops like comfrey, that produce massive amounts of biomass that cycle very, very fast.
Carefull with commercially grown stuff as they can contain high levels of bacteria inhibiting pesticides as with bananas. Not good for some good bacteria and can take longer to break down. So if your looking to have a potasium rich compost pile or bin, switching to eating organic bananas might be better approach.
Most compost piles should have an active worm population that will migrate in an out as well, unless it's a system like a barrel composter.
Sorry about getting wordy.
NPK Nutrient values for some common worm foods
Blood Meal (NPK 13-1-0)
Coffee grounds (NPK 1,99-0,36-0,67)
Felt (NPK 14-0-0)
Hair (NPK 14-0-0)
Tea grounds (NPK 4,15-0,62-0,4)
Worm Meal (dried & ground worms) NPK 10-1-1
Greens, leaves & meals, alfalfa, stinging nettle
Bone Meal generic NPK 4-21-0,2
* steamed NPK 13-15-13
* burned NPK 0-34,7-0
Shrimp Waste NPK 2,87-9,95-0
Tea Leaves ash NPK 0-1,66-0,4
Wheat bran NPK 2,65-2,9-1,6
Oats, Chicken Manure
Banana skin NPK 0-3,08-11,74
Molasses NPK 0,7-0-5,32
Potato skin NPK 0-5,15-27,5
Wood Ash NPK 0-0,15-7,0
Wood ash (broadleaf) K 10%
Wood ash (coniferous) K 6%
Alfalfa, ashes, potato wastes, peel & skin (-ashes, too)
Poultry manure (0,5-0,7% dry), dolomite lime, egg shells, bone meal
Note that its usually thought that worm castings is high in calcium (perhaps with the presumption that lime or eggshells are added during the process).
Stinging nettle (Also high N)
Dolomite lime, poultry manure, epsom salts
Edited by DankSeeker, 05 May 2011 - 04:52 PM.