Worm Composting

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Well, this will be interesting. My daughter joined the "Apprentice Gardeners" program (for third graders) at her school and has been having fun all year. The "lesson" this week is worm composting. She is now the proud owner of a shoe box with 40 red wigglers and some damp shredded newspaper and the complete instructions for their care and feeding. We'll see how it goes.
Wish me luck explaining this one to my husband.
Cheryl
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Corn Meal
Bill
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Has your husband ever seen the worms & dirt snack that some kids think is so cool? If he objects to the worms, make him that snack as a form of shock therapy. Chocolate pudding, with oreo cookies (minus the cream) crumbled on top, like dirt. Stick gummy worms into some holes in the pudding, as if they're crawling out.
As far as the real worms, keep them cool. The warmest spot in the refrigerator is good, or the coolest spot in your basement. I prefer the refrigerator, though, since that usually means the top shelf, toward the front. Every time he opens the fridge...hello worms.
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Yikes! That seems cold. Why do you put them intot the frig.?
message

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Three reasons:
1) If they're not in the fridge, their "home", whatever it may be (box, plant tray) will be exposed to house heat, which means drying. You *KNOW* somebody's gonna forget to keep the worm bedding damp. Not wet. Damp.
2) Because *all* sources of worm-raising information suggest keeping them cool.
3) Stick your hand 6" down into the outdoor soil in April. It's pretty cold, and the worms are perfectly happy.

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Aren't they also dormant when they are cool? How much composting gets done when the worms aren't doing anything?
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At some temperature, yes. I don't know where the cutoff point is. But, they're still quite active during cooler times of year when the soil's chilly enough to be uncomfortable to work with bare hands.
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That's strange, MOST of the sources I've seen say that optimum worm composting occurs at 65-80 and the worms stop composting at around 40, including this reference from wormdigest.org:
Best Temperature & OK Temperatures A worm bin will eat up the most food waste when the bedding is 70F-80F. All the bacteria are happy, and worms are most comfortable. Down at 45F, the bin slows down, and at 30 worms can freeze.

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In article

My Dad made a box out of brick and mortar. Placed it in our basement ~ about 60 F. 4 feet long 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall. Worked. Grew tired of it about 5 years latter. 50 years ago. Now I just look at my wood chip piles for crawlers and transplant them to areas in my garden that need work. They all do :))
Bill
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DWW wrote:

65degF AIR will 'feel' slightly cool to a human, 65deg water, stone or soil, will likely feel very cold as it sucks the heat right out of you. Worms are not mammals and are not generating heat. I'd expect 65-70 degs to be a decent comfort zone for them, a little higher and their metabolism probably speeds up but their lifespan may shorten. A typical refrigerator probably extends their lifespan and slows their metabolism.
Most anywhere on earth, 12 feet down is about 65degs or so.
Carl
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to reply, change ( .not) to ( .net)

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On Wed, 24 Jan 2007 20:59:17 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

True. My bin is plastic so there is no mosture loss

Been doing it for ten years and never heard of putting them in the fridge. I agree that over 80d is too warm (but won't harm them). Over the long term, worms in an enclosed environment will adjust their population to the environment and food volume.

I've been asking my womr bin fellas for years how happy they are and they will not tell me!
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wrote:

Mine are unionized worms. Our written agreement specifies that they communicate, to avoid disagreements. Their health plan's a bitch, though.
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On Tue, 23 Jan 2007 21:21:59 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

Don't put the worms in the fridge! The colder it gets, the slower they work. In the winter, I cut back on the volume of food I feed them. They like it dark and warm. No light. In fact, think of where you find worms in nature - under leaves etc. I cover my worms with a layer (6 sheets) of damp newspaper laid flat. When I can get shredded newsprint I use that.
To prevent fruit flies (which are found mostly in banana peel skins) freeze the scraps first. A fruit fly infestation is a nuisance.
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Yeah....I realized I should not have posted that. Refrigeration is for worms used for fishing, and it works. But they do get lethargic. I hereby retract my statement.
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You must be punished! 99% gold and 1 % dross for all your posts.
Bill who is more like 10% gold and 90% dross and half of my gold is silver. But me and my dad used to go out to the the local school yard after a heavy rain and drive in two copper rods about ten feet apart and hook them to a car battery. Drove the night crawlers up.
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I think that violates the Geneva Convention. :-)
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I think you mean the Wormeva Convention. ;)
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On Sat, 27 Jan 2007 15:54:08 -0500, William Wagner wrote:

30 years ago I knew a girl that did something similar only the ones she used were shorter and plugged into a wall socket. 110 Volts. They had bicycle grips as handles and you just pushed them into the damp ground. It was actually kind of cool to put your hand on the ground in between the spikes. You got a tickle. Not sure I'd want to try that today but I was young...........
Steve
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THISEMAIL@IS_FAKE.COM says...

Ever try licking a 9-volt battery across both terminals?
It wasn't especially traumatic, or anything, but I only did it once.
But, oddly, I think there were about four times of putting a device plug halfway into a wall socket, and then touching my finger accosts both of the still-exposed metal contacts. A kind of vibrating sensation.
But I turned out to be a rather safety oriented adult. Really.
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fun
tell him he is taking up fishing as a hobby. In a few months you will buy him the rod.
rob
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