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jcrous
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Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:29 pm
Location: Cape Town (Brackenfell)

Unwanted method for excellent compost.

I have been making worm dropping compost for several years (28 years). Without any fail.

I have two compost heaps of a cubic meter each, with brick sides and back and wooden pallet front that can slide out.

I add lawn clippings (green), daed leaves from silver oak and brazillian pepper, and sometimes shredded prunings from the trees ouround me. Dead material do not effect the my ""Worm compost"" (worm droppings) at all. I also add kitchen scraps, and the bedding waste of my daughter's bunnies. The supply of leaves and law clippings is non-stop throughout the year.
When I plan forward to have more than normal quantities, I add some straw bales as well.
I load the one heap throughout the season and harvest once a year, after the winter. I get about half to two thirds of a cubic meter black compost, smelling like soil, but close inspection reveal that it is indeed droppings. Look like mouse droppings. The compost is used throughout the season till finished and then I will build another heap.

The worms invite themself. They are the worms (larvae) of the fruit scafer beetle:

Image

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The digest even dead material, as long as it is wet. Their pooh is the size of mouse droppings and I have excellent results with this as a compost. I also use this as a mulch.

40% soil and 60% of this make a potting soil for containers that keep the plants well fed and the soil remains damp even in the hot days of our summer.

When I harvest the compost, I just throw all worms back to the side still in the making. I have not yet experienced any problems with the adult beetles.
Regards

Johan

evtubbergh
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Posts: 532
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:52 am
Location: South Africa

Re: Unwanted method for excellent compost.

Oh yes. We get local earth worms and plenty larvae, especially rose beetle larvae. Unfortunately for them I actually feed them to the birds when they have done their job of making me compost. I feel quite guilty about that but I know they will eat my flowers when they grow up!

This month we have hundreds of fly larvae and I am not so sure what to do about them. I might hang a trap near the bin to catch them before they come inside or breed again.

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jcrous
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Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:29 pm
Location: Cape Town (Brackenfell)

Re: Unwanted method for excellent compost.

Fortunately there are not much flies at my heap.

I see you are also from the lovely RSA. Waht town?
Regards

Johan

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Halfway
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Posts: 600
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Northern Rockies

Re: Unwanted method for excellent compost.

They look like little composting bombs!
Zone 4a.

toxcrusadr
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Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: MO

Re: Unwanted method for excellent compost.

Greetings to South Africa!

Well this is new to me, the Fruit Chafer Beetle. It appears to be native to South Africa so we don't see them here in the USA. Usually when you mention 'worms' to an American, they think of 'earthworms'. :)

We do have a fly called the Soldier Fly, which has large larvae that eat organic matter rapidly.
Tox

evtubbergh
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Posts: 532
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:52 am
Location: South Africa

Re: Unwanted method for excellent compost.

jcrous wrote:Fortunately there are not much flies at my heap.

I see you are also from the lovely RSA. Waht town?
Jo'burg.
It appears to be native to South Africa so we don't see them here in the USA.
Don't you also get a flower beetle? Our beetle eats flowers too.

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Unwanted method for excellent compost.

We have Japanese beetles, which as the name suggests are not native, but have become very common across at least the eastern half of the US and we have rose chafers which I think are native.
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evtubbergh
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Posts: 532
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:52 am
Location: South Africa

Re: Unwanted method for excellent compost.

Rose chafers, that's it! My mom always called ours rose beetles but they are actually called fruit beetles, or chafers. I bet your beetle's larvae make good compost too!



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