Work bins/vermicomposting/ topdressing

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Seedman06, Oct 23, 2017.


    Seedman06 Member

    Hello, just wondering if any one on here uses worm bins or composts with worms? I'm looking to set up a good size bin this week. I ordered 2000 bed run worms mostly red Wiggler's but others will be included as well.

    I plan to use the castings for my cannabis as well as my other plants and fruit trees, garden beds.

    Is it worth while to top dress new fruit trees with a light coat of castings in the spring for the first few years or just a waste?

    I have about 1500 lbs of well composted manure that was delivered this weekend. Can I use some of that as well as Coco coir, shredded black and white news paper, yard soil, sand, and maybe some semi composted grass clippings and pretty well composted/leaf mold as bedding? Any recomenations for a bedding mix? If that isn't. A good mix?

    Any plans for a large composter? I have a big rubbermaid bin. Maybe 45-50 gallon that I was thinking would make a good base and then getting a few smaller ones to stack side by side on top to feed additional into/grow into. Or better to use all the same size bins? This will be kept in my basement so temp won't be an issue.

    Any tips tricks or advice would be great thanks.
    calliandra likes this.

    calliandra Well-Known Member

    Yes tons of people on here use vermicompost :D

    Here's the main RIU vermicomposting thread:

    When feeding, I'd just recommend you watch the C:N balance.
    That is, that you have good amounts of "browns" or carbon-heavy inputs (that would be your coco, newspaper, soil, leafmold - woody stuff!) to match your "greens" or nitrogen-heavy inputs (like grass clippings, veggie & fruit scraps, seeds, just about everything green!).
    It's easiest to moisten up those browns before they go in the bin btw.

    If you do that, along with making sure you have good humidity of about 50%, you should be fine!

    Depends on the compost.
    Trees need fungal-heavy soil to truly flourish. That would be a compost that had lots of browns in it (and of course the fungi to process them ;) ).
    But then again, there's the "better than nothing" approach too, which then would depend on the soil, is it sooo bad it would make a positive difference?

    You may be better advised to apply a really thick layer of woodchips around the trees every year, they'll decompose on their own and help push the soil into a more fungal state over time.

    Oh! and about the amount of worms and bin sizes - you may want to ask or do a search on the VC thread - if 2K worms is what you're starting out with, that does actually tell you how big your bin can be.

    I remember I got 1k, just red wigglers, for my indoor flowthrough bin, whose trays are only 30x50x15cm in dimension - and I think amount of worms goes per surface area? But yeah better ask over on the VC thread, I'm just braindead from a long day here :razz:

    hth, cheers :bigjoint:
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017

    Wetdog Well-Known Member

    I make a peat based bedding (peat moss, perlite, lime), for both ease and consistancy. Takes care of the 'browns' @calliandra mentioned. Have 6 bins going ATM with different inputs in some and the consistant bedding helps with both adding the inputs and judging the results.

    As Calli mentioned, visiting the VC thread in the Organics forum is your best bet.
    calliandra likes this.

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    I had a bad exp with coco coir, I ended up with K toxicity because I used it for worm bedding. Could I suggest using leaves to compost your manure? Some of my best compost came from leaf mold. Here is a look at my worm bin, recycled plastic pallets... I collected my grass clippings all summer long to add to the leaves, but your manure should be a good N source instead.

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    Here is a load of rabbit manure that I started with. I just put it in the bin by itself and I think that was a mistake, I should have used more leaves. I mean, it had worms in it but it took a while. DSC00369.JPG DSC00374.JPG

    This actually made some good compost. The biggest problem that I had was the "Extra" stuff that I added like GreenSand and Rock Phosphate. I was having one of my best grow seasons then everything went to shit. I had my soil tested for the first time and K and P was through the roof, everything else was perfect though. The PH and trace elements were all there, just a little low on N but that is the easy fix. I would suggest staying away from things that have K and P. I still use Kelp but sparingly because it also has K.
    calliandra likes this.

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    This was a section that I mixed leaves with and it looked much better than the rest of it. The manure that didn't have leaves still had big clumps and fewer worms. Plus, the red looking color went away after I composted it. Ohh, I forgot. I have chickens so I was able to use an ample supply of crushed egg shells. My PH, Ca, and Mg were perfect. PH was 6.8.
    DSC00481.JPG DSC00484.JPG

    This is how I recycle my old soil. It would be a lot like WetDog was talking about, using peat for your brown instead of leaves. Right now is the best time to collect leaves though... I added a good amount of manure to recycled soil too.
    calliandra likes this.

    RetiredGuerilla Well-Known Member

    Worms love corn meal ! Gotta add that to your leaves. I like to get some dried sticks and run them through a chipper then add some cow manure. Cover in black plastic during the winter.

    farmerfischer Well-Known Member

    I need to get a worm bin going indoors for my house plants..

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