When to Harvest the Worms

by Clay

Just bought worms from you and I have a couple of questions. How deep should the cardboard and compost be before we add the worms?  Should we put more compost on top of the worms?  I'm a little confused about determining when to harvest the castings and compost for the garden and if the worms sustain themselves once they are started.

Your web site has a lot of good material. Thanks for your help and thanks for the worms!

Comments for When to Harvest the Worms

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Jan 29, 2012
Caring for the worms and when to havest the bin
by: Sierra Worm Compost

Your bedding base should be at least 4"-6" deep.
After you have everything in for your bedding and have added the worms, you don't really need to add anything else just yet. They will burrow down in the bedding and start getting acclimated to their new environment. Let them alone for about a week. Keep them in a cool place and don't put the lid to the tub on tight.

The worms will continue to grow and thrive as long as they have adequate amounts of feedstock, the bin gets enough air and moisture and the bin temperature doesn't get over 80 deg. If you want to make sure things are within those ranges, it's a good idea to buy an inexpensive soil thermometer.

As with any other animal species, worms require some close inspection. Every once in a while, pull back the top layer and see how they look. Doing this routinely could prevent bigger problems. BTW, most composting worms will be found in the top 2-3" of the bin once they start feeding, so you won't have to do much digging.

As far as harvesting goes, you will want to wait at least 4-5 months (no longer than 6 max.) before there's an appreciable amount of castings and by that time, the whole bin will be ready to harvest.

It's best to keep adding feedstock until you get to within 2-3" from the top of the bin.
I have printed a downloadable pamphlet on my “Products” page that goes into detail on the care and feeding of your worms and how to harvest your compost.

Happy Worming!

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