COUNTRY RUBES FARMS
RED WORMS, EGGS & CASTINGS
IMPORTANT, PLEASE DO NOT SCATTER WORMS. THEY MUST START IN THEIR PROVIDED BEDDING. THAT BEDDING MUST STAY INTACT. You can split the worms and bedding into several piles or compost heaps. Adult worms will wand to migrate home. It is the worm eggs that will hatch and those worms that will stay and thrive.
Put your worms along with the bedding into a corner of your container or box or compost heap. Surround the bedding with shredded newspaper, cardboard, peat moss, leaves or any combination of these, lightly covering the top of the original worms and bedding. You may surround this layer with your kitchen scrapes and/or animal manure (vegetarian animals only). Sprinkle with water until all is wet as a wrung-out sponge. You only need to do this when you bring your worm’s home. They will quickly spread through the paper layer into the food layer. After a few weeks, you will find worms throughout the food and you can introduce new food by putting in on top or burying it in the compost.
Your new worms will be at home in their original bedding and will decide when the kitchen scrapes or manures are ready for them to eat. Manures and kitchen scrapes often will compost or heat up. The worms will need a place to retreat to if your compost heats up. Soon you will find them through out the bin.
IMPORTANT: KEEP WORMS AND BEDDING TOGETHER. DO NOT SCATTER!
Opaque plastic storage bins are ideal for vermicomposting INDOORS. They have lids, they are moisture proof, inexpensive and they come in several sizes. Packing crates and foam plastic chests are also fine. Outside, you can build a container out of redwood, about 12 to 18” deep, as long and as wide as you like. Worms tend to try and migrate back to home so you might want to initially line the bed of your container with newspaper. They still might leave, but the eggs in the bedding will hatch and the new worms will consider it home and stay. If outside, you will need to cover the container with something non-porous like a piece of corrugated roofing or plywood so if it rains your worms will not be flooded. On the other hand, you must sprinkle them with water every day, so they do not dry out.
Containers, made from plastic, should have air holes in the top or the sides. It should also be no more than 12 to 18 inches (30cm - 46cm) deep. Do not keep these in the sun, the worms will cook.
The size of the bin depends on the amount of waste food being produced. A worm bin should have about one square foot of surface area for each pound of food waste added each week. A 2' x 4' box, for example, is large enough for eight pounds of kitchen scraps a week.
Feeding the Worms
Worms are fed by burying food scraps in the bin or covering the top of the bed with a few inches of manure. To discourage flies and odors always cover food scraps with a few inches of bedding or vermicompost. Bury the scraps in a different spot each time to evenly distribute the food for the worms. They especially like melons, lettuce, and apples but you can feed them any vegetable scraps. Try to give them a variety of foods, and only a small amount of citrus fruits, so that the pH stays neutral. The smaller you cut up your food scraps (you can put it in a blender) the faster they will disappear. Out of food, add shredded paper or put pieces of cardboard on top. You can also feed them chicken pellets.
Yecch!!! Worms should NOT be feed the following: Animal products, Oily foods, Cheese, Butter, Meat, Fish, dog, or cat feces.
Mmmmm... Worms should be fed the following: Coffee grounds & filters, Fruit rinds and peels, Vegetable scraps, Grains, Breads, shredded newspapers, cardboard, and Animal manures from vegetarian animals like horses, cows, goats, rabbits, and chickens.
Harvesting. After a few months, you will find the worms eating on the top layer and the worm compost on the bottom. Remove the top 4 to 6 inches, retaining the worms and newer food and use the bottom layers for your compost. Replace the top layer and put that in a corner of your bin, surround with shredded paper and repeat the process.