Sunday, July 9, 2017

What To Do With Wet Castings

After the many years of drought I think that Californians were not allowed to complain about any rain that we got... but last winter we got A LOT of rain. It was wonderful to have full rain barrels and my garden didn't need to be watered, but there becomes a point when enough is enough.

One of the consequences of all this rain was that my outside bins were quite soggy.  I cover the bins with plastic to keep the water from dripping into them but I didn't consider that my yard would actually flood and they would get soaked from underneath.

I got the bins put up on bricks so they would drip dry but even when the dripping stopped the castings were still like mud.  I have several Rubbermaid bins that hold a lot of water and usually I just add more dry bedding, like shredded newspaper or tore up egg cartons, to soak up the excess moisture.  This works as long as I am not looking to harvest the castings.

In order to harvest my soggy castings I decided I needed to dry them out enough to to be able to sort out the worms and also dry enough to sift. This process would be impossible to do in the mud like state they were in.

What I did was line a mason tray with two egg flats and pile the soggy castings on top of them.  I alternated a layers of egg flats and castings till I filled the mason tray.  I let it sit there for two days then I transferred the castings into another tray with more dry egg flats.  I tore up the soggy egg flats and used them as bedding for a new bin.

The process took a total of four days and after the second time using dry cartons the castings were dry enough to manipulate.  I was able to proceed with my normal process of light sorting the worms and then sifting the castings through a 1/4 inch sifter.

If you are ready to harvest your worm bin and the castings are too wet to work with, this process should help get them to a moist but not muddy point so you can to use them more easily.
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Brenda says...

Worm Fancy is the greatest place to get your worms in the Sacramento area. They have the best customer service!

Doug and Tammy, Yuba City

Tammy and I would just like to thank you for your professionalism and patience in answering all our questions about vermiculture. We are very interested in the difference it will make in our garden this year. Even our son will be using the new Worm Factory 360 in his science fair project that compares plants with and without worm castings. We're already noticing the better health with it. Our time with you was pleasant and we will be sure to return! Thank you again and we'll keep you posted. composted. :D

Scott R. from Sacramento

I picked my worms today and it sure looks like a lot more than 2 pounds worth. I ordered a pound from another vendor and you gave me 5 times more than they did.