Posted: 14/04/2015 at 04:10
I have read a lot of reports with people with large areas of land to clear and lots of compost-able material. I have been trying to get my head around windrow vermicomposting for you. This is not the right title of what I'm trying to tell you about.
Windrows are for commercial farmers and its what your council does and local farmers do if you have the space and land. Its not what you as a small gardeners would do! What I had trouble with explaining ( you might have noticed on this site was) is trenching is what i wanted to explain and not windrows systems. There is a big difference. Before I go into trenching info. I would like to answer a PM from Ethan. I am sure this question has been asked & answers before but its a important one so is worth covering again. Hi Edd, "I have a small home worm bin, stacked like yours. I have been using it with just house hold waste. It has gotten wet from the rain and I have keep it drained and my worms seam to be doing well but I do have a smell and little white worms in it. I'm sure that I put to much green ( food) in it and I have been putting more paper in it as well as some sandy dirt. What do I do about my unwanted worms in the bin." Hello again Ethan,
Your situation is one that is very commonly encountered in home vermicomposting. The little white worms are literally referred to as 'White Worms' AKA 'Pot Worms'. They are very common in compost heaps and bins, and just generally concentrations in decomposing organic matter - especially when there are a lot of rich, wet wastes present.
They seem to thrive in acidic conditions, and in fact can be a good 'indicator species' in your worm bins - if you suddenly see a huge abundance of them it can indicate that the bin may be headed towards becoming 'sour'.
I can still vividly remember my first experience with White Worms in a worm bin. It was last year and ended putting too much free stuff in my bin. Long-story-short, I ended up adding about 10 kilo of old dog biscuits to my bin, thinking my Red worms would happily convert it into black gold for me. What actually happened is that it turned into a nasty anaerobic goo -you could actually smell the fermentation (worm bin moon shine - yum!).
Apart from the strong smell and goo,there was also suddenly a HUGE population of white worms! They were everywhere, even coming out the air holes of the bin (where they formed a dried white crust on the lid and sides of the bin).
As I discovered, combining lots of starchy materials with lots of moisture is an easy way to boost White Worm numbers in your bin - but even just generally adding too much food waste at once can lead to an increase in White Worm abundance as well. Be carefull and keep the mixture right. As I discovered, combining lots of starchy materials with lots of moisture is an easy way to boost White Worm numbers in your bin - but even just generally adding too much food waste at once can lead to an increase in White Worm abundance as well.
I think you are definitely on the right track, Ethan. Aside from adding lots of fresh bedding, I would likely leave the lid off the bin (maybe leave a light shining over it just in case) to let some of the excess moisture evaporate. I know I promised windrows and trenching info at the begging of this but as a worm heads I hate the sunlight so I will have to go back under ground and readjust my next comments about the topic. ( that can't be a bad thing. Can it?
) Kind regards. Edd.