Sunday, April 5, 2009

Posh New Annelid Digs

Early morning rain meant no garden work today but there was stuff inside to keep me busy. My Guasanito worm composter has arrived! It came unassembled but only required two bolts, some simple stacking and screwing on the faucet to put together. My eight year old had it together in ten minutes.

It came with two bags of coconut coir, they were not generous bags. I had to supplement with the newspaper bedding I already had in use for the shoebox size worm bin I've had going 9 months.

The instructions for the bin said to add three handfuls of garden soil to the mix to kick things off. It's interesting, an hour after I put the worms into their posh new digs, they were swarming the dirt. Seems they prefer the taste of dirt to apple bits and cucumbers. Or maybe they were just missing it since they haven't seen it, well ever.

I'm relatively new to vermiculture but I enjoy it. It couldn't be simpler. There is no real work and its much faster than composting. It makes me feel good to be not only recycling veggie scraps, but returning them back to the soil so quickly.

Worms make lots of castings. They eat their own weight daily and most of that comes right back out of them. The castings are great for the structure of the soil The things I was worried about, odor and bugs haven't occurred at all. Now that I have this fancy new contraption, I'll be able to collect casting tea to feed the plants too!

I had planned to put the Guasanito outside on the deck today but it's snowing/icing again and I don't want to shock the poor things. Huge posh new digs and a big temperature shift might be too much for a group that has been living in a plastic shoebox on a warm kitchen counter for months. I'm a tiny bit sad to see my counter worm bin go. Lara made it in camp and had it decorated for the worms. It was also a constant irritant for the mother in law. (snicker)
Once fully populated, this thing should give me about a pound of castings a month. At the price of castings here, it will have paid for itself in 3.5 months. Fully populated means ten pounds of worms. Right now I have about a handful. It's time to dim the lights and encourage some worm magic. I wonder what kind of music gets them in the mood?


Anonymous said...

That looks/sounds really neat. We're thinking about trying it and now I'm super interested. The counter worm bin sounds fabulous to me.

I've followed your gardening posts at the IOW for a while. Always informative stuff~!

Stacy said...

The counter set-up is honestly a great way to start. It really takes no work and it's kind of a neat learning experience for the kids. Welcome BTW!