Purity Lopez wrote:This is my first Lovely reason why I live in the California Hi Desert. Its still 90 here. Lived here 15 years now and winter starts on Thanksgiving. Every single year....cold on Thanksgiving. I absolutely love the weather here. I can plant from April and reap to Thanksgiving. We do get snow, I am at 3400', but its gone in a few days and that is enough snow for me, usually only happens once a winter, sometimes we get 2', then its gone. I love the sunny warm days thru winter, then the cold nights. Wimpy.....I DO NOT LIKE cold weather - LOL. Lots of layers of clothes make me claustrophobic. So my answer is.....with this weather where I live, I don't have to be ready and that is great.....no stress living.
Cristo Balete wrote:Emilie, it's not that they escaped, it's that they left to find food they could eat. Most likely the scraps weren't consistently wet enough, were big chunks of things (worms don't have teeth, they just suck in mushy stuff that passes through their systems.) Add the occasional couple of cups of soil in a layer once in a while. They are attracted to wet dirt, and will do just about anything to get into it. If water is added with each addition of kitchen scraps, the kitchen-scrap tea that comes off it will show them the way.
Start with a good layer of wet soil in the bottom of the worm tower, then start adding scraps, then every once in a while add another 1/2" of soil layer. You can add torn-up garden trimmings as well, which adds bacteria and yeast to the mix.
I keep kitchen scraps in a half-gallon pail and empty it almost daily, with water added before I dump it. I cut up banana peels, chop chunks of carrot ends, chop onion skins, not super fine, but a bit so that they will break down faster. It's the bacteria that breaks down the tough part of the scraps, and bacteria also need damp scraps. A lid on the worm tower keeps the scraps damp. The water going through it also sends out finished worm castings. Keeping the interior of the worm tower dark is important, so a clear plastic bag over the top wouldn't help with that. They want darkness and about 50 F degrees.
I have a lot of worms doing a lot of things for me, and I often find that they have climbed into a container where they weren't before because the water dripping out had what they wanted in it and they just followed the water. Once they start laying eggs, the population increases so then they start going out into the damp soil surrounding the tower, and hopefully will find the compost we put there or the neighboring worm tower. It doesn't happen the next day, but within a week you should see them starting to take residence.
If there aren't worms in your garden bed now, it could be because it's not consistently damp enough. If you can find some in wet soil around your yard, dig them up, transport them into the worm tower, they will stay under the right conditions.
I am so impressed with worms, I can't tell you how much work they have saved me in several circumstances.
Cristo Balete wrote:
"...and the worms come and go from them. "
Mike Haasl wrote:How about if you dig some compost holes in your hugel that are maybe 1' diameter and as deep as possible (3+ feet). Maybe insert a cage of chicken wire to keep the hole open. Then just dump food scraps into the hole whenever you have them and cover with some browns (leaves, paper, straw). That should keep the smell down to nearly nothing and allow the worms to put it right to work where you need it