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Worm Composting Experiments Create 2 New Worm Composting Systems!
By performing a worm composting experiment back in the end of May, I had a breakthrough and now have 2 new worm composting systems that seem to be thriving!
After reading a article from Bentley Christie over at his red worm composting site that caught my attention,
I decided to perform a worm composting experiment of my own to see if what he was saying had any truth to it.
In his article he describes placing a small amount of red wiggler composting worms in butter containers as a experiment to see if they would breed and multiply and how fast it would happen.
Bentley described the results as it seemed to him that his composting worms appeared to multiply at a faster rate than in a normal full sized worm bin with a larger population.
How Long Does It Take For Worms To Compost?
The minute your composting worms begin to eat the kitchen food scraps and bedding that you supply them is when the composting process begins.
The amount of time it takes for the food to process and pass through the worms body and be excreted is how long it takes them to make the castings for compost.
Depending on the amount of worms you have in your worm bin along with their size will determine how many worm castings you will get and how fast you will get them.
The more composting worms you have the faster they will make the compost.
An average harvest of the castings can be expected around 3 months or or less depending on how well they like their environment they are living in and how well you take care of them.
Visit our post a complete guide to worm composting to get more great information on raising composting worms .
Take a look below to see how a small amount of young composting worms will colonize very quickly to start making compost.
My Experiment Using Red Wiggler Composting Worms
The worm composting experiment I had read about got my curiosity up and I put together a d.i.y. 2 bin 18 gallon tote stacked worm composting bin similar to one that I had seen on the net.
During a worm casting harvest I collected about 100 tiny worms while harvesting the worm castings from my main indoor worm composting bin.
The worms I collected were very young and small because I wanted to see if they would colonize on their own without help from adults and how long it would take them to do it.
Month 1 – I noticed during the first month not much progress in population growth but I did notice an exceptional amount of growth in the size of the worms themselves. The tiny weak little worms had become adults.
Month 2 –I noticed I added another hundred babies during another worm casting harvest a couple of weeks later.
Month 3 – I observed an explosion in population, The tiny worms that had become adults had began colonizing at a rapid pace with no help from adults. It was also noted these little worms seemed to be much more aggressive when it came to colonizing their new home than the adult worms I took them from.
What I learned from this first experiment was that a small amount of young worms put into a large area seem to be much more aggressive and colonize much faster and what Bentley was saying in his article was very true.
It is obvious that worms creating compost to keep our world ecosystem alive and well is the job they were intended to do and no matter what their size is, they can do it very well.
Today, I now have a fully populated worm composting system with a huge appetite and will need to harvest the 5 inches of worm castings soon.
Part 2 Of My Worm Composting Experiment
The second part of this particular worm composting experiment had to do with the worm bedding that I chose to use.
I used 2 inches of screened finished compost from my outdoor compost pile that was used in this system to see if they would be healthier than the worm bin I took them from.
I added damp shredded newspaper over the moistened compost and let them be.
The experiment was a total success and the little composting worms are very active and healthy in their new home.
This technique I tried with the 100% compost taken from a finished compost pile outdoors as bedding proved to be a success and the worms seem to prefer the composted natural resources over the peat moss or coco choir bedding I have used in the past and that most other worm farmers recommend.
I have started many worm composting bins in the past but have never experienced the rapid colonization of the red wiggler worms like I had during this experiment. I must give credit to the compost used to start and raise the little worms that has provided a much healthier food and bedding source that has contributed to their success.
Common sense should tell us that this would be the outcome for it is the natural food source for earthworms and always has been. Go with what was intended in the beginning and you will get much better results!
This experiment also proves that you can start a worm farm with a small amount of worms and have success in a short amount of time.
The New Outdoor Worm Composting Experiment
A couple of years ago I gained access of a couple old bathtubs during some home remodeling jobs I was a part of. I have been using one of these tubs to store all the unfinished compost that I screen out each spring while getting composted material for filling my raised garden beds.
The composting bathtub’s content consists of twigs , bark and other large
pieces of unfinished composting materials that seem to take forever to break down.
Once in a while I’ll throw a load of grass clippings in the homemade composting bin to help regenerate the composting process to help the materials break down a little faster.
During the spring of this year while sifting the compost I ran across some red wiggler composting worms that had escaped from my earlier wooden worm farms from years back that were living in the compost pile I was working with.
In fear of the moles feeding on them, I took the red worms and put them in the old bathtub composting bin.
Knowing how these worms like to migrate I felt they surely wouldn’t stay around long. But to my surprise I was wrong!
Just last week when I was mowing I threw some more grass clippings into the old composting tub and decided to check to see if I might smother the few red worms that I previously added to the bin with nitrogen. I really didn’t expect to find any worms in there.
I dug into the old outdoor composting bin to find the 4 worms or so I had previously put into to the tub were not only still there, but they had taken up residence. There were the original 4 plus an entire young family living in there!
I now have an outdoor worm farm fully colonized and some new compost to use in my garden beds to boot!
The worms had fed on the decomposing materials in the bin and provided a lot of new compost to use in my garden beds in the spring, some that had been there for about 2 years slowly decomposing.
As you can see from the image above I will now have to insulate the new worm farm for winter and give them some protection by adding a lid so my work is just starting with the the new worm composting bin.
What a surprise, a worm farming success!
The indoor worm composting experiment conducted in my new worn farm was expected to work, but I was excited to see how aggressive a colony of small worms could be and how fast they multiplied.
It is true that small amounts of worms in a large space will multiply much faster like Bentley spoke about in his article.
This not only took place in my indoor worm composting bin, but also took place in the outdoor compost bin.
This goes to show the red wiggle worms have their own mission to feed on decomposing material to clean up the earth and to rapidly colonize to be more efficient at it.
I am also very happy with the 2 bin stacked worm farm I put together.
I don’t have any more moisture problems or leachate building up in the new worm farm.
The excess fluids all drain off through the drain holes in the bottom of the top tote into the tote below which has a spigot in place to drain it off.
The new outdoor worm composting bin was totally unexpected, but I am glad the worms have a safe place to hang out in their new outdoor worm farm.
I will appreciate the new compost too!
A win -win for the American Worm Castings worm farm and you can win too! Start your own worm composting experiment today!
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