Vermicomposting (Make your own Worm Castings)

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by OldPork, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. I just went and looked at my worm bin and all the worms were up on top! balled up in a corner. its pretty hot out today (100+ F) and i did just pile quite a bit of food in there, i'm afraid it might be thermal composting or something. i spread the bedding and food out a bit and left the main pile of worms alone, i'm sure they know what they need more than i do. my bin is wood , not plastic and in a pretty shaded area so i would think the temp wouldn't be too hot but it was feeling pretty warm. is this something they would do if it got too hot? will they be okay? should i pull them out and put them in some bedding inside for a couple day?
  2. Yes! Heat will kill them. Over 84* inside the bin, and they'll start trying to escape. Make sure the bin is somewhere shady. You can put frozen water bottles in or around plastic bins to keep them cool.
  3. i wet down some coir and put it in a bucket and threw them in there and put them inside till it cools down. i figured it wouldn't hurt and they definitely were not happy in there. the spot it is in is a shady spot most the time but does get some sun just after mid-day. i didn't paint my bin i think some nice white paint may be in order.
  4. for anyone considering please please please try at least once in your lifetime to make your own bio soil using wormcastings when growing organic. oh my god the taste is fruity and sweet.... the scent incredible... the stone sensational... you MUST try this. this is a really good guide. there are others out there but that'll get you started growing weed the right way :hello:
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  5. after reading this thread I made my own worm composter in my basement...the lil feller's are doing the job well...I have been collecting a jar of very rich looking compost tea.

    here's a question for you...I have 2 nice girls in 3rd week of bloom out in the woods,... I am going to feed them 1 gal of water with 1 tbs of mollases you think a shot of compost tea in the mix would help or harm?

    opinions anyone?
  6. Barf. We moved last month and I had to move my bins outside. I bought some produce that was close to going bad at a nice discount to feed them. When we opened up my stacked bin, there was a whole gaggle of soldier fly larvae. Those things are like regular maggots on steroids. I just dumped the food in and closed it up...but my poor husband was white as a ghost. Eew.
  7. I love the soldier fly larvae in my bin. They grossed me out the first time I saw them but now I see how they just devour everything I put in there then the worms come behind and do their deal. Seems to be a great relationship.
  8. Yep - everything I can find about them says that they can be very beneficial. They're just kind of nasty at almost an inch long. I just won't let my mom open the middle of the bin...good thing she can't lift more than the top tray anyways. She'd totally lose her lunch seeing that. :)

    I guess you can just pick them out if you want, but otherwise there is no evidence that they're harmful. I bet that beneficial nematodes would kill them, as well. I'm about ready to buy some to try to knock out some of the ridiculous ant problem we have.
  9. I find this hilarious! I started my compost bin about a month ago because I started wondering what to do with all my used bedding from my guinea pigs...So my interested started...bin had been doing pretty awesome...pulled plenty of flies...which didnt bother me, kinda amazed me because there were so many...then one day they all just disappeared...I could not for the life of me figure out why the flies avoided the bin...well Saturday I decided to introduce some red was mostly my plan all along, but I waited for the bin to break down and go through that heat cycle before introducing the worms...Well in they went and I only checked them on Sunday just to see how they did overnight...I dragged the bin from the middle of the yard to under my deck where the sun never hits...and still no I thought it was the heat from the bin that kept them was very wrong.

    Well, this morning I decided to check on the bin before heading to work...the last thing I remembered throwing in that bin was about 15 rotten nasty potatoes my brother had in his back yard...kinda figured...bin...anyways, one of those potatoes was pulsating, like it was going to explode, then I noticed the other potatoes in the bin doing the same thing...I actually started getting excited and thought to myself...boy these worms work really fast...! and this is when things changed quickly...I flipped one of the potatoes over and it was a brood of what looked to me like very large maggots...I damn near lost my shit because I was not expecting that....I was disgusted and then thought wow the worms have to be done....

    I looked the best I could for them, and found them and they seemed fine...just further down towards the bottom....I went to work driving wondering what the hell was that in my bin...I asked this lady at my work who is composting, well actually her mother is and she assured me these were worm larvae and the worms probably had baby worms...that just didn't sound right...they looked like maggots and I was pretty sure a baby worm would look like a worm...

    after a couple of hours of searching, I finally came across what the hell I was dealing with...the infamous and harmless and very beneficial soldier fly that we have these things in our bins...what are you guys going to do with them? From what I read these guys are the super machines when it comes to eating dead and completely foul shit...and I understand that whatever waste they produce is beneficial for the worms to consume...I have no idea how long these guys will stay least I know how to attractive them for next year and I would love to let a couple of larvae loose so they can pupate...and maybe feed some of the birds lol...

    are any of you all going to build a way for them to get out? I just have a rubbermaid bin...nothing special...I am going to cut a 1/3 inch hole and run some pvc and see if they will crawl out after they are done...
  10. This is an awesome thread! Thank you! Anything that gets us back to nature and utilizing what God has given us dominion over is good by me. You may not believe in the same God or any god, but using and replacing what the earth has provided for us is the only way to do things. We have raped the earth for too long. I'm by NO means an environmentalist, but I am a conservationist.
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  11. Well, for now I'm not going to bother the maggots. They're gross, but they aren't hurting anything. When it starts to dip into cold temps in November/December, I'll relocate the bin to the garage. I'll restart the bin by sorting out the castings, washing, and refilling with fresh bedding and food. Any maggots will get tossed outside at that point. I wish I had a chicken to feed them to...that's my goal for next year. :)

    (Speaking of would be beneficial to keep them if you're a worm farmer. You could compost the chicken's manure and bedding in a hot pile, then let the worms got at it after a few months. Feed extra worms and any maggots to the chickens, and you've got protein supplements at no cost. The eggs they produce are healthier for the varied diet and natural sources of food. Save the eggshells, grind them up, and feed them to the worms for grit and calcium in the soil. Use those castings to grow food for yourself and the chickens. Symbiosis at it's best.)
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  12. What proportion of castings do you use in your soil mix? What do you mix with? I have a worm bin, and I have amended with it and used it to make tea, but I was thinking of mixing the castings with peat moss and planting directly in that, and I'm not sure if that will work or if I need to add anything else. Also, I am going to have to bring my bin in to my basement, and I am worried about possible pests in my bin that might cause a problem inside. There are some small black and red bugs that look hard shelled, and some tiny white quick things that are in the bottom and also in the leachette. Anyone know what those may be and if it's ok. The worms have multiplied like crazy. TIA for any info.
  13. ^ I usually use 10-20% if I have enough available. I don't like to use peat because of the PH issues, and also because it isn't sustainable. I'd suggest coir if you want something similar to peat. The other issue is that you have to keep shredded peat moist. If you don't, it's a pain in the BUTT to get it moist again.
  14. Thanks for the reply. I know peat isn't sustainable ( and is a pain to keep wet) but I have a big bag I purchased awhile back, so I'm trying to use that up. Anyone ever tried growing anything in straight castings?
  15. Oh I gotcha. I've read some studies, and the 20% mark provides the best results. Over 20% and soil compaction starts to become an issue. I have seeds sprout in my bin all the time, but they don't ever make it. (Lack of light.) I haven't ever tried 100% castings.

    I believe he has over at, though. You might want to check his tomato project.
  16. Cool thanks. Psst I'm a girl too. Lol. how do I add a tag line to my avatar?
  17. So glad to see someone else has doubled their worm farm as a compost tea maker too.
    I'm taking a 55-gal. barrel, building a small resevoir in the bottom to catch the drippings, and a spigit on the outside to fill up my watering pail.

    I was wondering though, would it also benefit to take these drippings and grow more micro-organisms using the same methods in making compost tea with the bubbler and molasses?
  18. Could I get you to come over and tell my wife this? :D It was hard enough to get her to go along with having a worm farm in the basement, but she'll have absolutely nothing to do with half a dozen chickens roaming round the yard. She does let me have my secret garden though and I love her for that. Of course, I'm not the only one smoking it either......

    Anyway, loving the symbiotic, perfect circle and complete sustainability everyone is trying to live by.

    Peace, Love and Elbow Grease. :smoke:
  19. :) You know, the only downside I see to the soldier fly larvae is that they don't put out as much waste. So, there isn't as much compost in the end. That being said, they'll eat all kinds of stuff that worms won't.
  20. This is an article by Kelly Slocum who was the former editor of Worm Digest and is regarded as an expert on vermicomposting.
    All rights reserved, Kelly Slocum, 2001
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