Today’s post is part 1 of 2 in learning what to do with this “black gold.” In this post I’ll share how to harvest worm castings. In the next installment I’ll share how to use worm castings.
It seems like forever ago since I last talked about compost worms without giving them away. I‘ve been long overdue to curl up on the couch (well, actually my desk chair), a latte within reach, and tap away on my keyboard about these amazing little creatures.
If you’re a worm farm newbie maybe you’ve entertained a thought something like this:
“I have a large container in my kitchen FULL of worms and worm pooh. I’ve been TOLD this is a good thing. Of course it is. Why would a container full of manure next to my small children and food prepping area NOT be good?! What have I gotten myself into?”
WHAT is worm castings harvesting?
The whole point of keeping a compost worm bin is to end up with worm castings (or manure) and composted organic matter to use in your garden. While it does, indeed, take longer to get a lot of manure from worms as opposed to large homestead critters, I can think of at least 14 reasons to have compost worms instead of homestead critters.
Harvesting worm castings is the act of separating the worms from the composted bedding and worm castings.
WHEN is the worm bin ready to harvest?
When your worm bin bedding – try saying that 10 times – turns from wet, fluffy, shredded newspaper and cardboard to a slightly slimy and muddy consistency to a nice crumbly dirt-like product you’re ready to harvest the goodies.
As far as how long it takes to get to this point, it depends. I’ve heard people give estimations, but it really depends on the number of worms, the amount of scraps, and how much bedding they have to break down. But, a rule of thumb is always nice to have. I’ve read it takes around three months. (My bin took longer.) Again, it depends on a number of factors.
HOW do you harvest worm castings?