HOW TO FEED YOUR WORMS
Don’t expect your worms to be processing compost at the rate of ½ their body weight every day in the beginning. It will take at least a couple of weeks for them to get accustomed to their new surroundings and be fully productive. Be patient and take time to learn from your worms.
The less you disturb your worms, the better they work, so feed them just once or twice a week. To make sure you are not overfeeding, mentally separate your trays into 9 sections.
Feeding: Simply remove the coconut fibre mat, place a handful of kitchen scraps under the bedding in section 1, replace the bedding and coconut fibre to cover the food.
Repeat this action weekly, rotating from section 1 to 9.
Basic Rules: If the worms are not eating the food in the previous feeding section, do not add more food. Wait until the worms are crawling all over the food that you have previously fed them. If you feed your worms too soon or too much, they will not be able to eat everything before the food starts to rot. You will then run into problems such as odour and flies.
As the population of your worms grows, you will not need 9 sections to feed. Many find that 2-4 sections will work.
If you begin to run out of bedding to cover the food, add more shredded paper, natural fibre or coconut coir. Think about ordering more coconut fibre before you run out.
HOW TO ADD A NEW TRAY
When you see the worms making progress and your first tray is at an inch or so from being full, it’s time to start your second tray.
Mix a few handfuls of bedding from your lower tray with some damp shredded paper or even better, use some damp coconut coir. Put the mix into the new tray and then place it on top of your first tray. Make sure the top of the bedding in the lower tray comes in complete contact with the bottom of the tray you are adding.
You can now feed your worms the same way as the last tray. (The coconut fibre mat always goes on as the last layer before the lid.) Worms will migrate upward into the next tray to search for food as they compost the food and bedding in the lower tray. The food material in the trays will naturally settle and condense as worms process it.
Patience is very important. The worms need time and a quiet environment to compost the foods. Try not to disturb them.
To help your worms do their best work, always cover the food in the top working tray with natural waste material such as shredded paper or coconut coir to prevent fruit flies from laying eggs on your kitchen scraps. And remember – you always want your bedding to be moist like a wrung sponge.
WHEN TO HARVEST YOUR CASTINGS
You have stacked up all your trays on your system and you have filled up the last working tray. You are now ready to harvest and start rotating your trays. A good rule of thumb is to expect to harvest every 3 months, but it is not a problem if you wish to leave the castings for longer. Waiting longer between harvests will produce better quality castings.
During their composting process, most of the worms will migrate to the upper trays for food, leaving worm castings behind in your bottom tray.
WHEN IS MY COMPOSTER READY TO HARVEST?
When you harvest your VermiHut Compost Bin for the first time, you will want to make sure you have enough trays in your system by looking at your bottom one. If you don’t see nice black looking soil with only a few small chunks of harder matter, you will need to give your worms more time. Add a new tray to your system until it is time to harvest your bin. Please go to Our Store to purchase a new tray.
We recommend using between 3 (for 2 to 3 people) and no more than 5 trays (for a large family) on the same system for the best results. To choose the best system size, you need to take into consideration the amount of kitchen scraps that you generate. Please feel free to contact us if you are not sure of the size that will work best for you.
If you are looking at a nice black rich casting in your bottom tray … it’s time to harvest!