Composting Worm Mix Critters

May 24, 2014

Here is a video I created for my other website (Red Worm Composting), but with “Composting Worm Mix” customers in mind. A lot of people have wondered about the springtails in particular, so hopefully this will help!

In general, as stated in the video, most of the organisms you find in a worm composting system should NOT be a cause for major concern. If you are seeing huge numbers of any particular creature it is likely an indication that the system is out of balance. The one exception I can think of is the springtails – I often have HUGE numbers of them even in really well-optimized systems (like my Worm Inn Mega system for example – will write more about that very soon).

Sorry there is not audio for the video. I decided it was more important to get the video finished and released than to take extra time to add voice narration (I knew music would be too risky, since people have a huge range of tastes).

Hopefully you find it interesting/helpful!

Comments

4 Responses to “Composting Worm Mix Critters”

  1. MARC ARSENEAU on September 22nd, 2014 10:49 pm

    I started my own hobby farm of earthworms in August and I did everything wrong when i started I made many mistake,but it look like it is going better now. I have a little bit of the Red, some the Tiger, some the Night-crawler and lots of the White-worms I doing this to sell to fishermen.
    My question is How often do you have to feed your worm? let say if you have a thousand of red in a bin.

    I really like your Website
    If you have personal advise for me. go ahead
    thank you and keep-up the good work,
    God Bless you and your family.
    Marc Arseneau
    Fredericton New Brunswick

  2. Bentley on September 30th, 2014 3:36 pm

    Hi Marc
    If you have lots of white worms it sounds like you are overfeeding.
    How often you feed completely depends on the system and environmental conditions. My rule of thumb is simply to “let the worms be your guide”. In other words, only add new food as they get close to processing the food you’ve already added. Something that can really help to keep you out of trouble is well-aged horse manure (should almost be like compost – NOT fresh manure) – this mixed with other foods can be fantastic for promoting a thriving worm population.

  3. Lou on November 10th, 2014 7:22 pm

    Your video was very informative, and took away some concerns I had about how it all worked. I live in an apartment after several years of living in the country with a garden and composter outside. What to do with one’s food scraps is trickier in an apartment for sure. I am not sure though if a vermiculture set up can be arranged on a balcony in a milder coastal climate or if it needs to be indoors. And I am not sure if I want to be responsible for the wellbeing of a bunch of worms unless they actually do thrive well in an indoor composting situation. I have the option of saving up my scraps and taking them to someone else’s outdoor composter, but this seems to breed a lot of fruit flies. Trying to find an answer that both I and the composte situation will be happy with. Thanks for the video.

  4. Bentley on November 12th, 2014 10:34 am

    Hi Lou,
    Vermicomposting is essentially the “ultimate” indoor method, since you are not limited by scale. You won’t necessarily be able to process ALL your compostable scraps (will depend on the quantity you produce and the size of you system(s)), but it’s still a much better option and no composting at all.
    Temperature is a hugely important factor. My guess is that worms would survive on a balcony as long as temps didn’t dip too far below the freezing mark during the winter, but the problem is that the processing speed of the system would drop way down as temps dropped below 15 c or so.

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