Saturday, May 2, 2009

Of Worms and Seedlings

It's been a banner week in my household. Not only are all the seeds outdoors (onion, carrots, cilantro and garlic) sprouting into lovely little seedlings, but I also inherited five pole bean plants, two cucumber plants and a sunflower from work. It literally made my day when I realized that they were there for the taking! Now, I am giving two of my inherited bean plants to a friend, because I already have nine and fourteen total bean plants would produce enough beans to feed far more than me for a year (should it all go well!), but I am still thrilled. I'm not quite sure where I'm going to put all of them, but a coworker is bringing in some pots I can use/borrow/have so that will help a little bit too. I think my windowsills will be getting quite the work out from all the plants that are small enough to be kept indoors.

I am now also the proud mama of approximately 800-1200 worms. It may be less than that now, though, as I don't think they all made it, sadly enough. I do admit to shuddering a little when I spread them out. It seems I have absolutely no problem with picking up single worms, but when they're clumped together, I'm embarrassed to admit that I get a little skeeved.

This was especially apparent when on Friday morning, I got up and went to check on them.
I pulled off the top of the worm bin (I used the method outlined here to make my bin - and even bought a drill to accomplish it!) to reveal that many of my new "darlings" were attempting to escape. Predictably to anyone who knows me, I shrieked, probably waking the neighbors at 6:20 in the morning. I then used a bit of cardboard to "encourage" my new guests to get back into the darn bin. And then I discovered that several had fallen/migrated out the holes in the bottom - I was terribly grateful to have put another bin without holes underneath the original bin, rather than just using the extra lid to catch worm tea, otherwise I might have had worms everywhere. The whole thing went on the porch.

In the day since that happened, I have become a bit less freaked by multiple worms, especially when (wearing a rubber glove - I'm working on weaning myself away from it, really!) I rooted around in the damp newspaper to see if they were eating the feast of Cheerios, stale bread and stale rice that I had ready for them. Enough were happily munching away (and producing vermicompost) for me to be quite pleased. My apple core and a few small slices of cucumber also went in this morning. I'm feeding them lightly for the first week, as per instructions. I hope they'll work up to bunny droppings as well, as that'd be a great way to get rid of them other than tossing them in the garbage. Aanyone know if worms can compost Carefresh, a recycled paper litter? I'm also a tad worried about the urine being too acidic for them, so that might be out.


  1. I hope you like worm composting as much as I do - its an awesome thing! I know they like manure and can easily handle paper but as you said the urine might be too much - try a little in a different bin with just a few worms and see what happens.

  2. The worms and I are having our differences, but so far none of us has decided to call the whole thing off! We're working on staying IN the bin. Most are, there are just a few deviants who want to go exploring.

    Once things settle down, I definitely might try another bin for the bunny droppings. That is my ultimate goal anyway, so I'm hopeful! Thanks for the idea of trying a few worms out on it first.