19.12.07

Vermicompost update

You all remember when I started my vermicompost? It's been nine months now and, just like human gestation, the vermicompost is ready to harvest. Hahahahahah, I slay myself!

According to numerous sources, unless you're farming worms to be used as bait in fishing or to be applied to a garden, you don't actually have to harvest or split the worms in your vermicompost. The population will stabilize in response to how much and often it gets fed. Too many worms and some will die off - their bodies decompose and enrich the compost. Too few worms and they will start to lay eggs; you can see the small brown eggs that are oval and look a bit like small grain brown rice. Many people split their vermicomposts twice a year because they think it is necessary to maintain a healthy worm population but that's not actually the case.

So when you're not harvesting worms, you can harvest the castings (worm poo) and the compost tea (I like to think of this as worm pee even though it's definitely not). The 'compost' of vermicompost is both the castings and the tea. Both are rich in nutrients and can be applied to gardens and beds and potted plants. The castings are messier to harvest but the way I set up my vermicompost allows for very easy harvest of the compost tea. The lower bucket catches excess liquid that seeps out of the upper bucket through mesh screens so harvesting is only a matter of separating the two buckets and pouring off the tea that has collected in the lower bucket.


A number of smaller (teenaged?) worms made it through the fine mesh in the bottom of the upper bucket. Actually, maybe the eggs fell through the mesh and the worms hatched in the tea. Anyway, whatever way it happened, there were some worms in the tea and I had to strain the tea in order to collect it and return the worms to the upper bucket.


Now I have a large mason jar full of gorgeous, rich, dark compost tea. I already mixed some in a jug of water in a 1:10 ratio, tea to water, and all my plants are singing its praises. I'm kind of wondering who I can share it with for christmas. Wouldn't you just love to see a large jar of worm pee under the tree, tied with a big fat red ribbon? Well, be careful what you wish for!

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:39 AM

    Well I'm glad someone's plants are doing well.

    Almost all of my plants have died in the past few months. It all started when I bought a cute new plant from Ikea. I brought it home and within a week it was dead. Within two weeks the rest of plants were dead or dying.

    I think the Ikea plant must have had a fungus.

    I'm sad. I'd had most of those plants since I moved out of mom and dad's house eight years ago.

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  2. So, you're saying you might appreciate a large jar of worm pee for christmas to help revive your plants? Excellent! Not sure what Air Canada will think of it...

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  3. Thank God I drink coffee!

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