Low point and high point of my worm farming experiences
by Mark Carlson
Bin contents as dumped on table
Low point: earlier this year I put a lot of fresh green lawn clippings in the bin, which overheated and promptly killed all my little fishing buddies.
High point: I get my starter worms from our local Big Box, which are standard cartons of fishing worms. Cheap and always available, no shipping or waiting required!
Sorry to hear about your fatal but educational worm farming experience Carl. I too had a high and low point when I first started my very own worm bin. My high point was when I got my worms in the mail. Ever since I opened the box they were doomed. They probably would have lived longer if I would have just kept them inside the box.
I crammed so much food inside that it would have made "Carnival Cruises" jealous. Well, just like you, the ship overheated, but no one jumped ship. They probably tried, but there was no way out. That's one of the reasons I started this website so others could learn from people sharing their stories like you and I.
The best advice that I could give anyone trying anything new in their worm farm would be in one word..."Moderation". Sometimes if you put too much greens in and not enough carbon-based material the bin turns into the "Worm Bin From Hell". Although, you still need to watch the amount of nitrogen-based foods you put in. Always keep in mind the 20:1 Carbon/Nitrogen ratio.
Another helpful hint is to keep the bin big enough so the worms have a place to retreat to in the event there is a nuclear meltdown. I usually use an 18 gal. Rubbermaid or bigger. Many people are successful with smaller containers, but for those just starting out there needs to be a lot of room for error.
Third and last piece of advice is to put the worm food in at one end of the bin. So, if it gets too hot at that end, they can retreat to the other end or if you have plenty of castings in the bin, then they can dive down below under the flames.
...and yes, it is freakin cool that we can dive into the big box and just grab some more worms for whatever or whenever we want.
Thanks Carl for sharing your story with the rest of the worm farming community. Hope to hear from you again. Till then,
Happy Worm Farming