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Worms and compost

The HOTBIN team were recently asked if the partially composted material in the base of the HOTBIN could be moved out and placed in a wormery.

Worms will eat both old or new organic plant & food waste.  We are not sure what benefit you get by taking waste from your HOTBIN into a wormery.  If you are seeking a fine small grain vermicompost, then might be worth noting worms do not eat large woody type pieces – so the large bits will still be in the wormery at the end as well as in the compost. Both process end up with very similar products.

(We have already blogged on the topic of what makes good compost and what it look like – you may find this blog post useful).

You also need to look at the practicalities. It depends on what type of wormery you will use as they come in all shapes and sizes. If you are thinking of a typical tower/beehive type stack, my guess is it would be impractical to take out a wheelbarrow of rough mulching compost to add to a small wormery tray. As I understand the tray design – they work best on ‘little and often’. With lots of rough grade compost, in our view a maturing bin is a much better option.

If you are thinking about this because you are running out of capacity, there might be better ways of managing – such as using a maturing bin within (see our post managing multiple HOTBINS).  The worms will inhabit this type of maturing heap so you get ease of use and worms. There are circumstances where worms will inhabit the HOTBIN – our post worms in the HOTBIN might be useful.

Sarah (the compostwoman) and some of the other Master Composters all run multiple systems (the job requires it!) so we will open up the blog/post and see if they can advise….

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