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How to Harvest Red Wiggler Worm Castings

Updated on June 17, 2011

Collecting Your Vermicompost

After months of patiently waiting for your Red Wiggler worms to do their work now comes the exciting part. It's time to reap the benefits from your worm compost bin and harvest your worm castings.

Click HERE to buy Red Wiggler Worms

Want To Find Out More About Composting With Red Wiggler Worms?

Check out this site for more helpful information about Red Wiggler worm farming:

To Do List

~ Help Environment

~ Buy Worm Compost Bin

~ Buy Red Wiggler Worms

~ Start Vermicomposting!

When to Harvest the Red Wiggler Worm Castings

Compost is ready to harvest when your worm compost bin is filled with a dark, peat-like substance. Or in other words, food scraps can no longer be identified. After about six weeks you will start to see worm castings, which are a soil-like material that has moved through the worms' digestive tracts. The worm castings are designed to fertilize and boost plant growth. In about three to four months your worm castings will be ready to harvest. Next we will look at the various methods you can use to harvest the worm castings.

Method 1: Migration Method

Place food scraps on only one side of your worm farm for several weeks. This will encourage most of the worms to migrate to that side of the bin. Once they migrate you can remove the vermicompost from the other side of the worm compost bin where you have not been adding food scraps. After harvesting the compost add fresh bedding, and repeat this process on the other side of the worm compost bin. When you've harvested both sides you can begin adding food scraps to the entire worm farm again.

Method 2: Light Method

Empty the contents of your worm compost bin onto a plastic sheet or used shower curtain where there is strong sunlight or artificial light. Wait 20-30 minutes, and then scrape off the top layer of vermicompost (worm castings). The worms will keep moving away from the light, so you can scrape more compost off every 20 minutes or so. After several scrapings, you will find worms in clusters; just pick up the worms and gently return them to the worm compost bin in fresh bedding.

Be on the lookout for worm eggs, they are lemon-shaped and about the size of a match head, with a shiny appearance, and light-brownish color. The eggs contain between two and twenty baby worms. Place the eggs back inside your worm compost bin so they can hatch and thrive in your bin system.

Method 3: Worm Trap Method

Another method is to fill a plastic citrus or potato bag with food scraps, and bury the bag in the worm compost bin. The worms will enter the bag to feed on the food scraps. After a few days you can retrieve the bag and scoop out the compost left in the bin. You will need to do this several times to get most of the worms out.

Method 4: Easy Method

Finally, we have the easiest method of a Worm Factory 360! This worm compost bin makes harvesting compost a painless experience due to its unique design.

Simply add a handful of worms and your organic waste to the bottom tray of the Worm Factory 360. The worms will start processing the food. Once the bottom tray is filled add another tray. The worms migrate upward to the newest food source leaving the bottom tray full of nutrient-rich compost.

As waste is broken down, moisture filters through the system, taking nutrient-rich particles with it. This makes it possible to harvest organic liquid fertilizer right from the spigot.

Top of the Line Worm Compost Bin

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Questions or Comments?

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    • Vallygems1 profile image

      Vallygems1 6 years ago

      Thanks for a great lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great lens - I wish I found this site before I started my composter. I've been trying to collect my worm castings, and it is taking me forever. I think I'll buy myself a Worm Factory for Christmas...I just don't have the patience for the manual ways! ;)

    • SallyCin profile image

      SallyCin 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Glad to be of help! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I've been looking for an easier way to compost, and I think I've found it now. Lots of great information on here.

    • SallyCin profile image

      SallyCin 7 years ago

      @WritingforYourW: Awesome! :D

    • WritingforYourW profile image

      WritingforYourW 7 years ago

      Cool, I've actually got a worm bin but have to get started this year. :)

    • SallyCin profile image

      SallyCin 7 years ago

      @GonnaFly: It's quite rewarding to see all your food waste turned into super-food for plants. :) Thanks for stopping by.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      Very informative lens. Worm farming is something I haven't tried yet. Have to put it on the list!