- New Worm Beds
Winter arrived 2 weeks ago. Consistently below freezing temps requires I move my worms into the greenhouse where they will double in size and numbers over the next 2 months.
Highest Life Forms
Worms are the top tier of the compost cycle of life. Bacteria, fungi, nematodes, actinomycetes and many others are the first- and second-tier consumers of wastes. The comprise what I call Soil Organisms. They are the highest life forms on Earth. Without them we do not have plants. Without plants, there would be no animals, and certainly no humans.
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New worm bed prep
About 8" of soil was removed into bushels seen at left. Then spading fork used to break up the hard clay below it. Worms will naturally gravitate into this broken up clay area because it's slightly warmer.
Not as many mature worms as there are baby worms.
Those small wriggling whitish lines are in fact baby worms.
The small 3' diameter worm pit was frozen on top, and soft on the bottom. These are where the worms were. Lots of them. This entire wheelbarrow is full of worms. You don't see the mature red ones because they dislike the cold and sunlight. So they hurry down to where it's darker.
Tines of Life
After dumping the worms into their new, warmer home within the confines of the greenhouse, I used a rake to spread them out. Here are 2-3 tines full of life. And death. I killed hundreds of worms no doubt, but that's life. I mean death. When it comes to composting with worms you come in direct contact with the cycle of life.
Look for the whitish short lines smaller than what my finger is pointing at. If it's really small, it's a brand new baby worm. It takes 8-10 weeks for these to mature into sexually reproducing worms. I assume that when they turn red, they are mature.
I dump the feed on top. Then I spread it around with a heavy duty rake.
Not chopped enough
I deliberately didn't chop up the grapefruit rinds so that you could see what not to do. I use a spade to chop up the food waste in the 5 gallon buckets. I chop it up every other day. It takes about a week to fill up the bucket. It really helps your composting operation to eat lots of organic fruits and veggies. Worms also love coffee grinds, but I keep a separate traditional compost pile for most of my grinds. Blueberries love acid compost that coffee grinds make.
The first layer of carpet is thin and ratty. It fills in all the dips and valleys. The next 2 layers are pieces of carpet that I found at carpet dumpsters. Yes, it's gross but that's life when it comes to vermicompost.