Worm Composting Week 2: Ants

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We are in our second week with the worm composting bin. Naturally, the soil and food supply attracted some ants. While they do no harm to the bin, they are a nuisance, so I got rid of them.

Here are a few easy tricks.

  1. Wipe the bin and surrounding area with water and lemon juice or lemon oil. This will get rid of the ants and their scent trail.
  2. If the composting bin has legs, stick it in a tray of soapy water. I added lemon oil to mine because the ants dislike it.
  3. Ants like exposed food so stir the compost. I enlisted Joshua to help with this one. I also added some ground up leaves and a little extra dirt to help the process along.
  4. Make sure the soil is a little damp. It’s nice to have a spray bottle with water designated for the compost bin. Ants like a dry environment and the compost needs a little moisture to thrive anyhow.

Additionally, the CA temperatures have exceeded the ideal range for worms (which is 40-80 degrees F.) I have been keeping the bin shaded with a box. It seems to have helped and the worms are thriving.

I’d love to hear about your suggestions and experiences!

Worm Composting

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For years I’ve had guilt about tossing out my compostable items.  I was too lazy to take this “gardner’s gold” to feed a friends chickens, local farm or… (what else do you do with compost when you don’t live in a town that collects it?  Please do tell).  A few weeks ago I gave up the word lazy and ordered this worm composting bin from Amazon.  I set it up per the included DVD instructions, laying down one sheet of newspaper and then a combination of moist cork and shredded paper.  I mixed in some dirt and a few composting items then put it in a relatively cool corner outside and waited for my worms (these ones on Amazon) to arrive, which happened today!

When the worms arrived they required a drink (half cup of water into their soil) before putting them into the compost.  I then laid a sheet of wet newspaper on top to seal in the moisture.  They seem healthy and have acclimated quickly into their new environment. I’ll report on the progress, in the meantime, please send me your tips!  If you don’t compost yet, perhaps you’ll consider sharing the journey with me.

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