Worm bin getting started 1.6.4,healthy dinner ideas toddlers,best books spring 2016 colors - Reviews

05.01.2015 admin
Sufficient water availability – Like all living thing, the bacteria that do the work of composting need water to live and reproduce.
A proper carbon-to-nitrogen ratio – Living things are mostly water, but if you take away the water, most of what remains is carbon, which is used for all sorts of purposes (in plants, for example, carbon makes up most of the weight of cellulose, the material that plants use to build their stems).
If you're looking to fertilize your garden without having to buy expensive products, making your own compost tea might be the solution you've been looking for. A worm composting system harnesses red compost worms, Eisinea foetida, and a contained forest floor ecosystem to convert kitchen scraps and shredded paper into worm castings, one of the best organic fertilizers you can get. Beneficial bacteria and fungi are concentrated in the last chamber of the worm gut, and inoculate the worm castings as they pass through.
Organic soil amendments and potting mixes need the soil food web to break organic materials in the mix down into plant-usable nutrients. Fresh worm castingsa€”complete with worms and worm cocoonsa€”are the best way to introduce this forest floor ecosystem to container gardens. All of my houseplants, potted vegetables and salad table trays use red worms composting to cycle nutrients. In landfills, kitchen scraps are compacted, and the carbon in them produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas that traps 26 times as much heat as carbon dioxide. A worm composting bin allows you to convert kitchen waste and shredded junk mail into a rich, odorless organic fertilizer for houseplants, vegetable container gardens, salad table trays, and balcony farms.
Some carbon dioxide is released as a waste product, but the amount is small, and ita€™s much less damaging than the methane that the same scraps would produce in a landfill.
The most basic worm composting system is a simply a plastic tote with a snap-on lid, holes drilled in the bottom for drainage, and a few holes drilled in the sides for ventilation. Rest the bin in a 24a€? x 18a€? (60 x 45 cm) plastic concrete mixing tray, purchased from the same hardware store you bought the tote from, to catch the leachate that drains from the bin. If the leachate wasna€™t drained off occasionally, fluids would accumulate and the bottom of the bin would go anaerobic, producing odors and toxins that could eventually kill your worms. Drilling holes in the bottom and allowing the leachate to collect in a tray below the bin solved this problem, but it can still be messy and cumbersome emptying the leachate, especially when therea€™s a lot of it. Harvesting worm castings is also more problematic than it is with an upward migrating worm composting system. Upward migrating worm composting bins like the Worm Factory 360 have a leachate collecting tray with a spigot at the bottom, and a series of stacking trays with grid bottoms above.
The leachate is collected in a closed container below the trays, and the spigot makes it easy to drain this a€?worm teaa€? from the bins. Diluted 50-50 with water, worm tea makes an excellent quick-release organic fertilizer for houseplants and container vegetable gardens. When the first tray is nearly full, simply add bedding and food to the tray above, and most of the red compost worms will follow the food and migrate up into the new tray, allowing you to harvest the castings from the first tray.
Although red compost worms are the main players in any worm composting system, a fully functional worm composting system relies on other compost critters, not just red wriggler worms, to break down wastes.
Red compost worms dona€™t really eat the kitchen scraps you put in the bin, they eat the bacteria and fungi that thrive in the mixture of bedding and food scraps that you provide. Forest floor denizens like millipedes, orabitid turtle mites, and other a€?shreddersa€? chew and shred paper, cardboard, and leaves, breaking them into smaller pieces that bacteria and fungi can consume. These are some of the compost critters you can see in a mature worm composting system, but there are billions of microscopic bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes that you cana€™t see, working their way through the bin.
All of them contribute to the richness of the worm castings you harvest from your worm composting system. Bedding Materials like corrugated cardboard, paper towel and toilet paper tubes, egg cartons, shredded newspaper, and shredded bank statements.
Food, like ends and peels of vegetables, chopped kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and filters and dried, crushed eggshells.
A Source of Grit, like fine sand, a handful or two of good garden soil, dried eggshells ground in a food processor, or ground oyster shell.
Composting Red Worms can be dug up from under any leaf pile, or purchased below, along with any other worm composting supplies you need.
Ia€™ve found that the worms adjust much more quickly to their new surroundings if some of their forest floor allies are there to help break the materials down. If you order your worms the same day you order your worm bin, the worms will arrive first, and youa€™ll have a problem.
Red compost worms are shipped overnight, and arrive at your door a day or two after you order them.
You can try to time the orders to arrive the same day, but if therea€™s a shipping delay with your bins, your worms will suffer. Ita€™s a good idea to mix the bedding and food for your first worm composting system a few days before your red compost worms arrive. Bedding consists of torn-up corrugated cardboard, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, shredded newspaper, and shredded paper. I do use coir to fix problems with fungus gnats or excess aciditya€”see troubleshooting below. Food consists of chopped-up kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and filters, and other items from your kitchen waste stream. Temperature and moisture are critical to the health and vigor of your worm composting system.

Unfortunately, he left it on the sunny balcony when he went camping during the first heat wave of summer, and came back to a horrible mess. It smelled like a combination of road kill and dead fish, and the larger worms, which had fled through the open leachate spigot, had fallen onto the hot brick below, forming a 2a€? thick, platter-sized latke of dead, dried worms.
If your worm composting system stays consistently above or below these temperature ranges, youa€™re going to have problems. At the upper end of this range, worm populations climb rapidly, oxygen is used up more quickly, and problems with increased acidity arise, especially in a crowded bin.
Some sun on the bin is usually okay from late fall to mid-spring, but make sure you move the bin to full shade once it starts warming up toward summer. Soak the coir brick that comes with the bin in a large bowl or bucket with a gallon of water. Dip 2 full sheets of newspaper in water to moisten, and fold them to fit over the bottom of the bin while the cardboard and coir are soaking.
Dip 2 full sheets of newspaper in the cardboard soaking water to wet the paper, then spread it out on top of the bedding. Dona€™t feed them again until the bin ecosystem kicks in and castings start accumulating under the newspaper. Worms eat less in fall and winter, when the nights are long and the days are cool, and more in the spring and summer, when ita€™s hot during the day and warm at night.
The way you gauge how much food to give your worms is by how much is left of the food you put in the last time you fed them. Excessive amounts of any particular food all at oncea€”even foods worms normally lovea€”will create problems in your worm composting system.
Carrot peels are strongly anti-fungal, and citrus peels contain citrus terpenes that can only be broken down by blue-green molds. Since bacteria and fungi are the main diet of red compost worms, dona€™t overload your bins with peelings. Peels from a few potatoes are fine, but dona€™t try running all the potato peels from mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner for 10 through your worm composting system at the same time. A few lemon or lime halves thrown into your worm bin now and then wona€™t be a problem, but dona€™t dump a pail of lime rinds from a mojito party into the bin. Some people insist you should never put citrus in a worm bin, or even a compost pile, but once blue-green molds have broken down the terpenes in the peel, other organisms can break down whata€™s left. Inorganic materialsa€”like plastic, glass, and metala€”obviously wona€™t break down, and should be avoided. Salty and vinegary materials inhibit bacteria and fungi in a worm composting system, so pickles are a no-no. Worms graze on the bacteria and fungi that thrive in the mixture of bedding and food scraps you provide for them. Kitchen scraps contain a lot of nitrogen, and have to be balanced by high-carbon materials like shredded paper or cardboard in a worm composting system. Most problems with odors, flies, or worms that fail to thrive arise from excess nitrogen in the worm bin.
Use a 50-50 mixture of finely-shredded paper and chopped kitchen scraps when you feed your worms. Mix the bedding and scraps together in a large bowl, instead of layering them on separately. Chopping kitchen scraps into small pieces results in a more even breakdown, and faster conversion into worm castings.
Ita€™s not necessary, but if you dona€™t chop, you may have to fish out larger pieces that havena€™t broken down when you harvest the castings, and run them back through the bin another time. In sheet feeding, the mixture of bedding and food is spread in an even layer over the top of the worm bin.
In Pocket Feeding, you dig a hole big enough to accommodate bedding and food in one part of the bin, bury the food, then dig in another part of the bin the next time you feed your worms. When the castings in your worm composting system form a uniform, black mass, ita€™s time to harvest the tray. If the castings are wet and muddy, you may want to reverse the trays for a few days, putting the bottom tray on top, and moving the other trays down. Once they've dried a little, dump the tray to be harvested onto a small tarp or into a concrete mixing tub. Contrary to popular belief, cutting a worm in two will produce two halves of a dead worm, not two new worms (this works with microscopic flatworms, not red compost worms).
Comb your fingers (or a hand cultivator) through the castings to break them up and aerate them. To harvest worm castings from a simple tote worm bin or box, spread a tarp on the ground on a warm, sunny day, and wet it down with a hose. Starting at the top, scrape the castings into a second, larger bucket, peeling off an inch or so of the mound at a time.
Use worm castings in container vegetable potting mixes, houseplants, or around vegetable plants in your garden. Store unused worm castings in simple tote worm bin, or a bucket with several folds of wet newpaper or a piece of wet cardboard or burlap on top.
DO NOT seal the bucket with a tight-fitting lida€”unless you want to be greeted by a horrible smell the next time you open it.

Adjust the moisture level by adding dry, shredded paper to a bin thata€™s too wet, or fresh vegetable scraps, wet cardboard, or moistened coir to a bin thata€™s too dry.
To reduce odors, aerate the worm castings using a hand cultivating claw to lift and turn the contents.
To reduce fungus gnat and fruit fly problems, add a layer of rehydrated coir to the surface.
Coir and ground oyster shell (or dried, ground eggshells) are two items you might want to have in your worm composting system fix-it kit. Crowded bins are more likely to become excessively acidic or go anaerobic, especially in hot weather. Reduce the worm population by giving a pound of worms to someone whoa€™s starting a worm composting system.
Even under ideal conditions, there are always a few a€?adventurousa€? worms that escape from the bin. If enough carbon is present in your worm composting system, bacteria overrun the food source before any eggs can hatch. Put the newspaper back in place and press the edges down into, but not through, the coir layer. Both can be solved by adding chopped spinach, lettuce, or cabbage leaves and succulent stalks.
Your e-mail address is totally secure.I promise to use it only to send youThe GiO Newsline. Starting a worm farm is a great way to cut down on the amount of food that goes in your bin. Click here to download, or save the worm farm label image below and print it out, so you can have a daily reminder. Sign up to Green Village News and get a monthly dose of great ideas delivered fresh to your inbox!
The bacteria that do the best job of composting thrive on this heat, but they can only maintain the proper heat level if the pile they start working in is big enough.
To allow air movement throughout the pile, the piles you make shouldn’t be too big (see notes on size above). To water it, poke deep holes with a stick or the handle of a garden tool, and put the water into these. Beets: "For a 2013 study in Nutrition Journal, Australian researchers looked at the effects of beet juice on blood pressure among healthy men and women.
Moderation in feedinga€”if the worms arena€™t eating what you put in last week, cut back on their food this week.
If you squeeze a handfula€”after picking out all the worms, of course!a€”only a drop or two of moisture should drip out.
At bin temperatures above 80A° (27A° C), your worm composting system can go south in a hurrya€”see sidebar. Worms will move into a pocket of food in one corner of the bin, allowing you to harvest castings from the rest of the bin. This makes it difficult for adult flies to lay eggs in the castings, and for newly-hatched flies to escape.
As a rule of thumb, a cubical pile 1 m (3 feet) on a side is the minimum size to start with. If you use a bin or container of some sort to hold your compost, it should have a lot of holes on all sides to allow air movement. Nitrogen is needed in much smaller amounts than carbon, but nitrogen is also rarer in nature. The greens are also mostly carbon, but they contain more nitrogen than the browns, and act as the nitrogen source for composting. To get air to all parts of the compost pile, gardeners who manage their compost carefully also tend to “turn” a compost pile two or three times at intervals from 4-14 days. As a general rule, the bacteria that do the work of composting need 30 units (kilograms, pounds, whatever) of carbon for every 1 unit of nitrogen that’s available to them.
Dona€™t overfeed the first month after starting a new worm bin, especially if youa€™re starting the bin in the fall or winter.
This involves digging up the pile with a spade or spading fork and moving it to a spot right next door to the old location. Tear up enough to fill half the tray, then soak with toilet paper and paper towel tubes in a bucket of water for 5 minutes.
If your compost pile does not have enough air moving into it, the oxygen-dependent “aerobic” bacteria that you want will be unable to live and reproduce, and undesirable “anaerobic” bacteria will take over. While you might think that this would require fancy chemical analysis of your yard or kitchen waste, most gardeners do this only very approximately and the process of composting works out just fine.
The anaerobic bacteria can survive without oxygen, and while they will keep breaking down the materials in your compost pile, they do it very slowly compared to the aerobic bacteria.

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