nutcr0cker
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questions about vermicompost

We have lots of waste greens eggs etc. basically all the ingrediansts necessary are available including using the spam mail in vermicompost. I have been a long time lurker. I think I might be ready ot try vermicompost but I have a few questions before I start.
1. I have option of a 33 gal container or a 55 gallon plastice barrel which one should I go with? considering the high garbage out put
2. For example I go with a 33 gallon setup with 1 lb worms assuming i get the bin 3/4th full how long does it take the worms to form the compost
3. Does the bin need to be opaque or translucent is fine?
4. In one of the pics the user has holes on the side. Wouldn't the worms crawl out of the holes on the sides?
I am amazed at the great info on this forums. The wealth of information share on this forums is astounding. Thanks for you time in advance

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Sage Hermit
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Its just my opinion but a 33 gallon container would make compost faster than a 55 if you are in a hurry. About the issue of them crawling out, I wonder if they would even crawl away from a vital food source, not sure they would.
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Toil
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If they are crawling away something is terribly wrong with your bin environment. If you follow the directions they should stay home.
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rainbowgardener
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I don't know much about vermicomposting, just have an outdoor pile myself. But from what I've read, 1 pound of worms doesn't sound like nearly enough for a big set up like that (and even the 33 gal one sounds very big!).

Here's a previous thread about this:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=104107&highlight=worms#104107

It gives a link where it says:

Mary Appelhof suggests that the correct ratio of worms to food waste should be: for one pound per day of food waste, use two pounds of worms (roughly 2000)

cynthia_h
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Toil wrote:If they are crawling away something is terribly wrong with your bin environment. If you follow the directions they should stay home.
Nothing need be "terribly wrong." Worms don't like new places. But even more than that dislike is their dislike of the light.

Take the lid OFF the container. The worms will hide from it in their bedding. After about 15 or 20 minutes, put the lid back on. Problems should be over.

Every now and then, when you take the lid off to add more worms, bedding, or small amounts of food, you may find "explorers" have gone up the sides. But these *are* explorers and not so much escapers. I knock mine back down into the bedding near some wonderful, worm-mobbed food, and they're right in with the pack again. :)

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Toil
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Good point, I wasn't thinking about introducing worms, but about keeping them in the bin long term. If worms are escaping your bin it's cooking or sour or worse. To me the sign you have things just right is a blanket of worms on top when you first lift the cover. You might get a few coming out the bottom, but most want to stay in the nice moist bin.


I think the explorer worms are following condensation and warmth. They can leave a good amount of castings in the handle areas.
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