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Winter care of compost bins

Depending on your climate, you may be able to keep a bin of red wiggler compost worms outdoors during the winter. My larger bins are kept outdoors here in Surrey, BC since we have mild coastal winters. However anything under

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Using dry leaves in a worm compost bin

Autumn leaves can be used with or in place of newspaper or cardboard bedding in your worm composting bin. They will be the carbon-rich brown component of the bin to balance out your green kitchen scraps. If you’re just starting

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Summer is prime time for worm composting in Canada

Red wiggler worms thrive in warm temperatures and moist conditions! They reproduce most quickly and break down food scraps before you know it during summer. Keep your compost bin in the shade — it can quickly get too hot if

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Sidedress your vegetables with worm compost

Give your plants a quick shot of nutrients by adding worm compost to your beds during the growing season. Worm compost won’t burn plants like other fertilizers. I put a handfull of worm compost around the base of each plant.

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Ideal amount of worm compost to mix into garden soil is 20 percent

With the planting season beginning, it is a good time to empty worm castings out of your composter and add them to your garden. When adding your finished worm compost into your garden soil, a good rule of thumb is

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Tomato seed germination and planting experiment using vermicompost

This past fall I heard a talk about improved germination of seeds when they’re soaked in an extract or “tea” made of worm castings (notes on the talk are here). I tried my own experiment which I posted recently. The

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Other bugs that may come to live in a compost bin

There are many other insects and bugs that coexist with red wiggler worms in a compost bin. Most are harmless, a few should be removed.  Sow bugs (gray isopods), springtails (tiny white collembola), mites, earwigs, beetles, and other species of

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City of Surrey Composting Resources and Programs

Currently, the city of Surrey “strongly supports backyard composting as a great way to divert some organic wastes generated at home”, according to the city website. The City promotes composting through the sale of backyard composters called Earth Machines to

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FAQ about placing a worm compost bin outdoors

Question: “I am a Surrey resident. If I only use uncooked fruit and vegetable waste, do I need to be concerned about attracting rats? Also, can this composter be placed outside all winter or is that too cold for the

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Worm compost planting experiment

Inspired by studies showing the benefit of soaking seeds in a worm compost mixture, I decided to try my own experiment. Being early November, I decided to try red wiggler compost on my cover crop, fava beans. Here was what

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2013 NCSU Vermiculture Conference topic: Bring Life Back to the Soil: Vermicompost Tea Application

Final speaker of the conference: Dane Terrill, Flowerfield Enterprises. Here are my notes on the topic as added to this live blog of the weekend: Flowerfield Enterprises history, was overviewed (it was the late Mary Appelhof’s company — Mary was

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NCSU Vermiculture Conference topic – Evaluating Compost Extract Applications: Reflections from Laguna Blanca, Argentina

Speaker: Eric Carr, Rodale Institute. To start he thanked people from Laguna Blanca, Rodale Institute, and his family. In this presentation he will talk about evaluating compost materials on a large scale. Here are my notes: At the beginning of

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NCSU Vermiculture Conference topic: Effects on Plant Growth and Pest and Disease Suppression Using Vermicompost Aqueous Extracts (Teas)

Speaker: Norman Q. Arancon, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, University of Hawaii, Hilo This work with vermicompost extracts was done at Ohio State University. Here are the key points I was able to take away from his talk: To

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NCSU Vermiculture Conference topic: Vermicomposting campus food residues in a Passive Solar Greenhouse in a cold climate

Speaker: Dr. John Biernbaum, Michigan State University Dept. of Horticulture where they have a year-round student run organic farm and CSA. Here are my notes from his talk: At Michigan State University they are trying to grow local and have

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Day 2 of NCSU Vermiculture Conference. Topic: Raising and Selling Worms, Castings, Compost Mixes and Soil Amendments

Speaker: John Stewart, The Worm Farm Started in 1994 and now sells over 100 different products. Originally a chicken ranch, then started making compost. Talk started with a joke: What’s the best advice to give to a worm? Get up

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