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Vacations and Maintenance

NO worries! No pet-sitting needed. When left unattended, your worms reprocess the food over and over again. Just make sure the bin is moist and add a layer of newspaper for protection. It’s the easiest pet you will own.

Our Crazy Experiment – written by our helper, Andon

WormWatcherSo, I decided to try a little experiment. I left my WormWatcher at Gina's house in May with instructions to NOT TOUCH IT. That's no watering, no feeding, no adding fiber, no stirring the soil, no harvesting, nothing. I would have locked it up in my storage unit but I was afraid it would overheat. The main question was: Will enough worms survive this ordeal to restart the composter when I get back? Or will we have to get new worms?

So before I left, we put a half melon in the unit, covered it up with moist newspaper, and left it in a corner of Gina's worm room. Gina and her new husband, Rich, told me they were so worried and tempted to feed it, water it, and otherwise care for the worms, but they respected my instructions in the end and left it alone.

I got back in August from my voyaging and we decided it was time to check on the worms. We opened the unit to find it was full of finely ground, almost pure worm castings. Rich noted how dry the castings were. Despite this, upon digging around we were able to find lots of healthy worms of all ages, from small juveniles to big fat adults. They had survived!

SUGGESTED, BUT NOT ESSENTIAL MAINTENANCE

moisture meter

  • Check weekly when adding food to see how worms are doing.
  • Observe moisture weekly: Squeeze a handful of soil and observe how much water drains out of soil. If there are more than 5 drops of water, add shredded paper. If the soil is too dry, feed with a little melon or add a little water. Using a moisture meter will give you a better representation of moisture throughout the bin if you take several readings. You will learn how easy it is to have a WormWatcher.
  • You may remove up to half of the soil and worms every 9 weeks. For kicks, perhaps count or weigh the number of worms before and after composting. If you wish to raise worms, remember it takes 6-8 weeks until the worms reach maturity, so it’s best to delay harvesting large amounts of breeders. The soil may be used to fertilize gardens or indoor plants or start seeds. Worms may be used to set up another composter, fishing, and feeding other critters (pet turtles). In nature, red wigglers worms live in the top few inches of the soil.
 
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