I envy the cover material at this place!
Leaves, pine needles (don’t need a lot), dead grass, etc…
I was asked to build up a fresh pile, so I added a good 12″ of base material, then added the food scraps followed by another 6″ of cover materials.
While I doubt it will start up since it’s 20 degrees out, as soon as it’s ready it’ll take off. In the meantime, there’s a few months’ room for weekly contributions until the temperature stays above freezing for a few days.
I’m sure we’ll get our January burst of 70 degree weather for a day out of nowhere, anyway…
A nice one-time leaf source I just found… inside my neighbor’s curbside vent box. Anything I can get right now helps…gotta get creative with scavenging for cover materials.
Here’s my quick tips for how to add food scraps and a new layer of bedding to your worm system. The key is to keep your food scraps covered with damp bedding.
Here’s how a worm system dying for new material looks:
1) Fill bucket with cardboard. I have about half a bucket here, which is enough for my Worm Inn Mega.
2) Add enough water to submerge all the cardboard…you’ll notice it only takes an inch of water…cardboard shrivels up significantly when you push down on it.
3) Let the cardboard soak. I made a smoothie while I waited. Drain out the excess water.
4) Add your food scraps first, followed by your damp bedding. This is key! You want the bedding to cover your food scraps entirely to minimize any flying pests or odors.
There you have it- your worms are happy with new food, and damp bedding to crawl around in (and also eat).
When I went out to the compost pile this past weekend, I noticed that I needed more cover material… how?
It just started getting warmer out, and I noticed that the top of my pile had a lot of bugs flying around… when a pile is covered properly, this won’t happen.
I had been uncovering/depositing without adding new brown material, and since I got lazy this is what happened.
You can see halfway above the compost thermometer that there’s a section of greenish material/hay and then a solid blanket of leaves on top.
I get so happy when I shred a bag of leaves…it gives me several inches of fresh cover, which looks like this:
You’re looking at the solution to most composting issues.
Ample (shredded & dampened) leaf cover on top will:
-Negate any odors
-Kickstart your pile by providing enough carbon for your food scraps
-Insulate the pile (especially in winter, of course)
-Avoid attracting pests, neighbors or pesty neighbors
When making weekly food scrap deposits, dig a hole in the center by pulling back the cover material, dump and cover it up.
I love revisiting Joe’s channel to envy his Humanure Hacienda.
With this video, we can now envy his copious amounts of straw being used to insulate and cover the pile.