Tag Archives: when is compost finished

Collecting Worm Castings…and the Other Stuff, Too.

Emptying the Worm Inn vermicomposting system is a breeze- check out the gorgeous castings!  I don’t miss my old worm bin at all.

The contaminants are pretty funny, too- a few fruit labels, a shredded envelope window, and some uncrushed eggshells didn’t make it.

Sifting out the extras is easy when using a basket with 1/4″ to 1/2″ spacing.

Are you getting the results you’d like with your worm bin or outdoor composting system?

Lots and Lots of Worm Poop – Now What?

worm inn castings 1

It’s been six months since I’ve emptied the Worm Inn system– I admit I forgot about the worms for a bit, but now I have a ton of castings.

Every time I empty the Worm Inn, I’m always so impressed with the quality of the castings compared to the results from a standard worm bin.

When looking at the outlying “contaminants”, it’s like looking back in time at mistakes that were made- as you can see, I have a few!

worm inn castings + contaminants 2

  1. I’m such a stickler about removing labels from fruit, but I guess I wasn’t on a few occasions.  Luckily, these are easy to spot.

2. All those plastic shreds were clearly from an envelope that has a plastic window.  I like to shred my paper, but I must have shredded a whole junk mail envelope without looking inside to remove a return envelope.  Whoops!

3. I read everywhere that worms like crushed egg shells… clearly I haven’t tried that yet.  I’m going to crush these egg shells as fine as I can and then throw them back in.

The screening process is pretty easy- Empty the castings until some unprocessed food or worms pop up, then throw them back in the top of the system and zip up the bottom.

I have a wire basket that I dump the castings through, which removes the larger pieces.

The resulting materials are those excellent castings we all yearn for… if you’re having any challenges with vermicomposting, the Worm Inn really makes the whole process pretty easy.

Video to come shortly.  🙂

Cured Compost Bin Nearly Ready to Empty!

cured compost bin

It’s been about a year since I stopped adding to this compost bin and started a new one.

It’ll be interesting to see what all is in here besides finished compost.

I know I added plenty of paper products that most likely had a plastic liner sandwiched in between layers.

There’s also plenty of bags of leaf cleanup dumped in here, so there’s most likely some pieces of litter.

This doesn’t bother me.

The bottom line is I avoided the landfill with a massive portion of organic materials and now I will have some great compost, too.

When is Your Compost Ready to Use? (video)

When is Your Compost Ready to Use?

When is your compost ready to use? Some questions to ask yourself include:

How does it look?
Can you recognize any of the material?
How does it smell?
Is the material warm?

Here I have a few different samples of compost…vermicompost, tumbler compost, commercial compost, and trench compost.

What do you think of these samples?  I feel like my tumbler compost and vermicastings could both go even longer before using them, but that they’re still OK if I were to use them now.  In fact, I’m going to use these samples for my next “Clash of The Composts!” experiment coming soon… stay tuned!

Basic Gardening Tips: When is the Compost Pile Finished?

Basic Gardening Tips : When Is the Compost Pile Finished?

How long does the composting process take? How do you know when it’s finished?

These are two questions that have so many variables that it’s hard to answer succinctly.

You can expect 6 weeks as a quicker (and not normal) turnaround time, but more like several months and up to a year, depending on how often the material is turned, how shredded the content is, how balanced the pile is, etc.

To know when it’s finished is to look at it and not recognize anything in there. I like to run my finished material through a sieve to check and make sure i don’t have anything else lurking in there somewhere…it can happen.

In the video above, Tia talks about this and shows us what some finished material looks like. It should smell good, too.