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Worm bins and weed seeds?

 
pollinator
Posts: 714
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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Hi all. How well do your worm bins cope with annual weed seeds?

I have pretty large volumes -- several large garbage bins of stems and seeds, chopped fine. I'd love to bring them indoors for our long winter, add worms, and let them work their way through. But maybe that's simplistic?

Thoughts?
 
pollinator
Posts: 973
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
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Worms absolutely love feed and it's used to fatten them for fishing.  I give my worms any mouldy or even questionable feed; it avoids health issues and I don't feel like it's being wasted.  They also love straw bedding and chew through it fine.  With your stems and seeds you've basically got weed grain and straw.  I like to provide a variety of food options and bedding if I can, but I'm happy with cardboard.  If you use that as a base and add some cardboard and some bits of other stuff it might go faster.  

Worms also seem to adapt to their environment if they're hatched in it, so worst case is use adults and their cocoons will hatch out worms better suited.
 
pollinator
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Location: NW California, 1500-1800ft,
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I have found they eat weeds and seeds, and produce great castings after. I haven't figured what may survive their digestion, but its a small minority of seeds. I speculated seeds that may sprout in the castings are likely those that are extremely small, or those well protected by a coating or mucous (ie tomatoes seem to grow out of my bins).
 
pollinator
Posts: 340
Location: SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
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If the goal is to kill the seeds without harming the worms, you could heat sterilize the seeds, then cool (and drain, if you boiled) before putting into the bin. The worms and bacteria would put all the good biology back in, but no seeds would be viable.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
pollinator
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Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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Fair enough. I'm hoping for a one-stop, low maintenance solution. My go-to has always been a rot barrel, but I'm curious about an indoor vermicosting experiment over the winter.
 
Ben Zumeta
pollinator
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In general, I do not worry about weeds from worm castings. If you are worried about it, id go with the heat suggestion, or you could also let them rot/ferment in a barrel of unaerated water, then dump all that over the worm bin when it could use the moisture. You could also sprout them on a tarp or in aerated water then dump onto the bin for the worms to eat.
 
pollinator
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I don't know about weed seeds but my worm castings will definitely sprout tomato seeds. I don't think I the worms are eating the tomato seeds, or at least not all of them and when I add the castings to a garden area wow do I get a large number of tomato volunteers.

I'm feeding the worms all my skins and seeds after running them through my Squeezo for tomato sauce so there are a lot of seeds going into the system.
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