Using Perculate to Boost Degrading Process

by Bram


I was wondering whether or not spraying either the fluids from the bottom over the bin over the top again will boost the degrading process. Does anybody have any experience with this?

Kind regards,

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Dec 09, 2014
Recycling Worm Leachate Back Into the Worm Bin
by: Paul

Hello Bram,

Recycling the leachate back over the top of the bedding will not hurt anything depending on how much you use.

However it is ideal to NOT have any leachate (liquid runoff) at the bottom of any worm bin.
This is an indication that there is too much moisture in the system making it too wet and potentially suffocating the worms.

The worm bin needs to be just moist like a wrung out sponge in order for there to be adequate flow of oxygen for optimal microbial growth.

Sometimes the top bedding can start to dry out which is a reason why one would need to spray or spritz it once in a while.

Should we use the leachate for this?

Leachate can contain more harmful microbes than beneficial ones. It pools at the bottom of the worm bin and oxygen cannot move through it like homemade worm tea for the promotion of beneficial microbes. Instead the unbeneficial microbes begin to take over.

Which is why I generally tell people to throw it out and not use it on there plants unless taking some precautions in which I will not go into at this time.

But what about using it back into the system? Adding the leachate back into the system will not be an issue as worms will be able feed on the microbes again and will also aid in some breaking down of the decaying material. Everything that comes out the opposite end of the worm is 100% beneficial.

However just be careful as to not add too much at once or you risk smothering the worms and microbes.

Also be sure to look at the leachate carefully. Sometimes it can contain unwanted pests such as springtails. The wet and sometimes acidic environment is perfect for their liking.

If you would like to learn more about the difference between "worm tea" and "Leachate" then click the link below.

Thanks for your question Bram,

Dec 10, 2014
leachate vs worm tea
by: Dale Robinson

Now Pauly, you knew I would disagree with you on this subject.
All leachate are not equal. It all depends on how much drainage you have and how much water you add.

My system has a screen that goes the full bottom area so the beds drain very well. I flood the beds daily with the so called leachate. What you call leachate in my system becomes worm tea because it gets aerated every time I flood the bin.

The main problem I have is that the worms double in mass in about 8-12 days and the over crowding keeps them from getting very big. A pound of Alabama jumpers will contain about 8,000 worms while other systems tend to be about 3,000 worms.

The bacteria that is in the recirculated tea helps to break down more food and oils(that may get into the system). You can also use the tea to rid sewer lines of grease build up. Flooding makes the the entire depth of the bed available to the worms but they tend to go where the food is which is mostly on top.

Dec 10, 2014
Flooding Worm Bins Daily?
by: Pauly

Hey Dale,

I do not flood bins daily nor do I recommend it for my readers. Most people that come to the website are beginners and flooding just is not practical for them and quite unconventional.

You stated, "It all depends on how much drainage you have and how much water you add" I said this as well.

This is fine if anyone wants to do this I have no beef with it. But I do not flood bins myself and therefore can't and won't give advice in this area.

I used to flood my bins when I first started years ago and quickly stopped doing it as it was not practical and had much better outcomes with the brewed tea.

We can disagree which is fine but the original question was simply can they put the leachate back on top in which I believe I answered that.

I know not all leachate is the same which is why I have written several times on how to use it safely.

I sell Alabama Jumpers and they weigh anywhere from 2-3 pounds per 1,000. Your Jumpers should be much bigger than red wigglers. Why are your Jumpers so much smaller than the Red Wigglers?

Alabama Jumpers are a class of worm from the Endogeic group that are naturally bigger than composting worms from the Epegeic group.

People have different goals but most getting into vermicomposting want it as simple and less messy as possible. Telling people that they can flood their systems opens up a host of issues that I would rather my readers stay away from.

All the best,

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