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Re: Redworms and Steaks

> Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 08:19:52 -0600
> From: William Vannerson <William_Vannerson at ama-assn_org>
> Thanks for the tips.  With the need for holes in the bottom, it sounds as 
> if styro boxes are not as well suited to the task as plastic tubs would be.
> BTW, I know that a damp, but not wet, culture is ideal.  Has anyone tried 
> those moisture probe for houseplants to automatically dampen the culture?

I use a deep plastic tub without drain holes.  If it gets too wet, I add
more crumpled newspaper, which is my bedding medium.  If you have an 8-12"
(20-30cm) layer of medium, even if there's standing water on the bottom, 
the worms can find a level they like the moisture level of.  It's surprising
what dense soggy anaerobic-looking black compost they like.  But then, again,
they are sometimes found at the bottom of manure piles, which are pretty
dense and soggy too, plus heavy on the H2S and ammonia.

I leach the 'compost tea' out of my bin every spring to use as fertilizer
for my garden transplants.  I've found that these worms are apparently
not perturbed by being imbedded in a thick layer of compost under several
inches of water for days.  I.e. soaking the medium will not bring them to
the top.  I've also seen them survive in an aquarium for days to weeks, if
the fish don't get them.  If they get under a sponge filter, they are usually
safe for some time.

Btw, it's not rocket science.  I sometimes don't even look at my bin for
weeks, and it's always full of worms.