Question about worm bins and EWC

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by StaffOfPower, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. So I have this worm bin, it has like three stackable bins, which I assume you can alternate or something...?

    Anyway, below the bins, it has a reservoir with a spout to collect "tea" / liquid byproducts from the bins.

    Anyway, my question might seem dumb, and it may be one of those things that just answers itself when it's time...

    But, how do you collect the castings....? It came with a block of coco coir, but I no longer have that. So I also need to know what kind of bedding is best to use? What bedding makes it easiest to collect castings?

    I've had this thing for like 3 years but I've never used it. Decided to finally start a compost pile this fall too, so I figured id get this going too since most people say EWC + thermal compost mixed is best.
  2. The stickied thread above the general ones, titled Vermicomposting (Make Your Own Worm Castings), has all the info you would desire on creating and managing a worm bin. 
    Its probably my favorite thread here tbh....lots of info there.
  3. After I posted this I read more thoroughly in that thread that you mentioned. I found out a bit more, but I'm still confused about how you get the castings out / how you tell castings apart from things that are not castings. Like I said I guess it may be one of those things that just makes sense when it happens...
  4. With a stackable system you feed in the bottom tray until the food stock becomes unrecognizable. You then set a second tray on top of the bottom tray with new bedding / food / compost etc. The worms will migrate into the 2nd tray and then you repeat the process in the 3rd tray.
    By the time your worms begin moving into the 3rd tray, the bottom tray will be ready to be harvested. Screen the material through a 1/4" hardware cloth screen and return any worms and material that won't go through the screen to the top tray. 
    I always try to create vermicompost rather than pure castings. If you're going for pure castings, you'll need to leave the material in the bottom tray a lot longer so that it looks similar to coffee grounds.
    Helpful hint: If you're accumulating leachate in the reservoir with the spigot, you're getting your bin and media too wet.
  5. So basically you put food and bedding in the bottom - most bin, let them eat everything, then set another bin on top of that one with new food and bedding, they move up, etc. until they get to the top one, then you start over?

    What is the purpose of letting the bottom tray sit with no macro organism activity going on...? Does it compost / rot the castings or something?
  6. It gives the cocoons time to hatch and the baby worms move up to feed
    You'll leave the bottom tray longer with worms in it. There will still be activity and they'll continue to work and rework the media until you're left with pure castings.
  8. Ah, alright. So I'll add additional worms to each bin too, or not?
    What are your goals? Are you trying to make a good supply of vermicompost to use as a soil amendment or are you trying to make pure worm castings?
    Do you have time to wait for pure castings or do you want to use your vermicompost in your cannabis garden sooner than later. It will help to know these things to better help you.
  10. #11 StaffOfPower, Oct 29, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2014
    Yes, I want a soil ammendment. My main goal is to mix up a living / water only soil, and to make that soil as rich, diverse, and kick-ass as possible.

    So, I suppose I want the vermicompost. I don't know. Whichever is better suited for what I want to do. The way you describe it, vermicompost is what I want. But a lot of directions for soil mixes I've seen mention "EWC" or Earth Worm Castings.
  11. #12 MotaMike, Oct 30, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2014
    Those terms are interchangeable for the sake of the argument.
    Tests have shown and CC can give you the link, that vermicompost was preferable over EWC.
  12. Ok. Interesting. I suppose I'm shooting for vermicompost then, yeah.

    I watched some videos last night though, and I had my initial questions answered (as far as how to harvest castings, etc.)

    The only thing I'm not fully understanding now is the difference between the process of producing Pure castings and the process of producing vermicompost..?

    Is it just timing, or what?
    To produce 1 c.y. of pure castings from start to finish takes 18 - 24 months. 
  14. And how long for the alternative to pure castings that we've been discussing -- vermicompost?
    About 3 months in an established bin. Figure 5 months for a new bin, just getting started scenario.
  16. Excellent. That answers ally questions.... For now, lol.

    Thanks very much to everyone who contributed here, I appreciate it!
  17. Hoping I can piggyback off of this thread and ask about bedding. I need to set up my second tray in my Worm Factory 360. I still have some of the coir that came with it along with it. Besides that I have premier peat and some newspaper which are the only things I can really think of. Do I need to add some sort of aeration material like rice hulls? Also I was planning on adding some rock dust, crab meal, and kelp meal in, but not sure how much to add. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Peace

    Sent from my iPhone using Grasscity Forum
  18. Yes, you will need aeration with either and a bit of lime with the peat. Not sure about the coir, never used it. Don't forget some sand for grit for the worms.
    On the other stuff, a decent handful/5 gal container is about what I add. Roughly about 1/2 to 3/4 of what you would add to a soil mix.

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