June 24, 2012

Lessons in Worm Wigwam-ing

Way back in 2008, I moved all of my smaller bins into a Worm Wigwam.  With 4 years of experience now, I'd like to share the three things that would have made worming life a little easier getting started:

1. Plan for size and space.

When the Wigwam (or other worm farm container) arrives, take a measurement of the top or bottom and realize that once it's assembled, you may not be able to get it out the doorway you brought it in.  Also, if some vermicompost spills out or some water leaks, you want to make sure you leave enough room to get to the sides or behind for quick cleanup.

2. Let the Wigwam make its home on a tarp or other piece of plastic.  This will make it easy to move, and you won't have to worry about staining or watermarking the pavement, concrete, floor, decking, or whatever you have it resting on.  If some of the compost (or a stray worm!) gets out onto the tarp, you can shake the sides into a quick pile to sweep up.

3. Based on location, make the top "breathable".  
I found that in my basement/garage, the solid Wigwam top blocked in so much moisture that it caused problems like condensation and weird growths.  Plus, the worms seemed confused and were crawling all over the place.  The modification was to simply cut a large hole in the top cover and caulk in some screen.  This not only eliminated most of the condensation, but also allowed in a little bit of light to keep the worms down underground.

Any other set up advice for the Wigwam?  In the future, I'm going to cover more tips I've gathered along the Wigwam way in relation to feeding, maintaining, and harvesting.

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