HOW THE NEW BUGABAY IN-GROUND

                     CEDAR WORM BOX WORKS.                                   


There are four main features of the BugaBay Worm box that separate it from the rest.


  1. 1.It is an In-ground Vermicomposting system. The Worm Bin is installed below grade, this reduces the amount of surface areas exposed to the elements from six sides to one. Below grade the earth acts as a natural insulator keeping the system warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This also reduces extreme fluctuations of temperature in the system.


  1. 2.The BugaBay Worm Box is made of Cedar. Cedar is a non-toxic,

    Biodegradable renewable resource. Cedar breathes and feels

    natural to the Worms.


  1. 3.The BugaBay In-ground Worm Box has no bottom, this allows

   excess moisture to wick away into the soil below and reduces

   the potential of developing a soggy system.


4.There is a center divider in the box can be utilized on a continual

   basis. You feed one side of the box at a time. When one half of

   the box has been filled you may begin filling the other half.

   This allows you to keep recycling your table scraps while the

   conversion of waste in the first half is processed.

   When the second half of the box is nearly full you begin to harvest

   your Dark Rich Castings from the first half of the box that you  

   started with.

BUGABAY COMPANY GREEN SOLUTIONS

Promoting Organic Gardening, Composting and Sustainability

Worm Composting System For On Site Waste Management.

 

                                       TROUBLE SHOOTING A VERMICOMPOSTING SYSTEM.


The two main causes of Vermicomposting system issues are lack of bedding coverage over the food Scraps and the system is too wet or too dry. Both of these issues are easy to avoid or remedy if they do occur.


If your Worm Box develops  strong unpleasant odors cover the surface with more bedding.

You may also be over feeding your system and the worms can not keep up. If you believe this is the case stop feeding the system for a little while and let the worms catch up.


If you develop a Housefly or Fruit fly problem add more bedding so they will not have access the the food scraps.


The moisture level of the bed material in the Worm Box should be similar to a wrung out sponge.

If the bed seems to wet add some dry bedding and leave the lid open on warm sunny days to help dry the system out. If it appear to dry wet the surface with a spray nozzle of a watering can.


When I say bed I am referring to the contents in the Worm Box.



VERMICOMPOSTING IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.


Vermicomposting is a basic, simple process and is a wonderful way to deal responsively with the food waste we all produce and the rewards you receive for your efforts are well worth the small amount of time and energy it takes to do the healthy thing and recycle your food waste.



                                                                             HOME

          USING THE BUGABAY SYSTEM.


Finding a location for your Worm Box is the first           

step you’ll need to take.

Choose a location that will be convenient for you 

to use when you need to dump your compost pail 

into your Worm Box. You need a 2’ x 4’ area for 

your Worm Box and a 2’ x 2’ area beside the box  

for your bedding material. We’ll cover bedding a     

little later on.

Choose a location that provides good drainage. 

You want water to shed away from the Worm 

Box. You do not want your box placed in a low 

lying area where water will collect and saturate 

the system.

                                                                 EXCAVATE YOUR SITE.


Set the Worm Box on the surface of the ground in the location you have chosen. Mark all four corners with stakes then remove the box, leaving the stakes. Dig out the staked area down 12 inches (if you can) then place your Worm Box in the hole. Set the box as level as possible and then backfill around the box. Leave

the backfill soil down a couple of inches from the top of the box and slope the soil away from the box in all directions to provide adequate drainage away from the box.


If you are unable to dig down 12 inches, dig down 6 inches and stack 6 inches of soil up around the box. If you have moles where you live place brick or stepping stones in the bottom of the hole then place the box on top of the bricks this will keep moles from digging under and entering the system. Place your bedding beside the Worm Box.

                                                        WHAT IS BEDDING MATERIAL?


Bedding is the material that is used to cover the food scraps after they’re dumped into the Worm Box. This material prevents odors and flies from becoming and issue in the system. Bedding also gives the Red Worms a soft, comfortable material to move in and out of as they feed, rest, mate and lay their egg capsules.


The bedding material is piled or kept in a container next to the Worm Box and should consist of carbon materials. Aged manures like horse and dairy work excellent as a bedding, shredded leaves mixed in with the manure make a great bedding blend. Peat Moss and compost can be purchased at nurseries for bedding and aged Rabat, llama, chicken manures and deciduous forest mulch work as well .


Be aware of weed seed potential when gathering bedding material, a cold composting system will not kill weed seeds. We prefer manures gathered from stables as opposed to pastures for that very reason. Aged Horse manure mixed with wood shavings is better than horse manure with straw, straw takes a long time to break down unless you have a way to grind it first.


We’re using composted dairy manure that we pickup from a local soils place. About once a month we fill up a 30 gallon tote for a few bucks. We used to get wood shavings and horse manure from the local Fairgrounds for free, but it has too much sand in it right now so we prefer the dairy and so do our worms.

If you find bedding material with worms in it that’s a good sign. If the Worms like there they’ll like it in the Box.

If you’re in a cooler climate a sunny location is best but not crucial. In a hot climate shade in the summer can help keep the system a little cooler but again it’s not crucial. The optimum bed temperature for Red Worms and Vermicomposting is between 55 to 75 degrees. The soil organisms responsible for mesophilic (cold composting) decomposition function most efficiently at in this temperature range. However the system still works very well with temperatures 10 degrees higher or lower than the optimum temps.

          PREPARING THE BOX FOR THE RED WORMS.


When your Worm Box in installed and the bedding material is in place it’s time to cover the bottom of the box with food scraps then covered with bedding so you can order your Red Worms and start converting your food scrap resource to Worm Castings. You’ll start by dumping the contents your compost pail (that you keep in your kitchen or pantry) on the bottom of one side of the Worm Box. Leave the scraps in a pile, and cover it with an inch or two of bedding material. Don’t spread the food scraps out across the bottom it will take to much bedding to cover them when they’re spread out. Repeat this process until the entire bottom of one side of the box is completely covered with 2 to 4 inches of food scraps and 1 to 2 inches of bedding material. This may take a week or more depending on how much food waste you generate.

You are now ready to order your Red Worms. Spread the Red Worms over the surface of the bedding that you placed in the bottom of the Worm Box. You may also want to place a layer of food scraps, covered by bedding in the other half of the Worm Box and spread a handful of Red Worms on that side as well just to

get a colony established on that side of the box as well, but put most of your Red Worms on the side you will be feeding and filling first. You should start your system with one pound of Red Worms for every square foot of surface area of one half of the Worm Box. The BugaBay Worm Box is 2’ x 4’ so half the box is 2’ x 2’ and that equals 4 square feet so we recommend 4 pounds of Red Worms to kick start the system into high gear.

Now it’s time to start feeding the second half of the Worm Box the same way you did the first half. When the second half is filled within 6 inches of the top it’s time to start harvesting your Dark, Rich, Worm

Castings from the half of the box you started with.Try not to over feed your Worm Box. Red Worms will eat one half to their full body weight of table scraps per day so if you have 4 pounds of worms don’t feed more than 4 pounds of scraps per day. If you have more scraps to convert get the larger BugaBay Worm Box or

use two Worm Boxes.

                WHAT CAN YOU FEED YOUR WORMS?


You can feed your Red Worms just about anything organic.

Red Worms are not picky eaters although they do have their

favorites. We feed our worms everything we would eat and a lot

of things we wouldn’t eat. All our table scraps including meat, fish

and dairy goes in our box. Citrus, paper towels, tea bags, coffee

grounds and the filters EVERYTHING!

And we don’t chop it up either. We dump, cover and we are done.

Don’t use Pine Needles, large quantities of cooking oil, grass

clippings, weeds that have gone to seed of carnivore manures

like dog and cat. Don’t use Newspaper, it doesn’t work well as a

bedding and it’s better to recycle it back into paper products to

save trees. All our kitchen, table and garden slash goes into our

Wormbox.

You should feed what you are comfortable feeding and if you use

meat and dairy in your box cover it well with plenty of quality bedding.

The point is it does not have to be complicated, keep it simple and

it’ll be a piece of cake, they’ll eat that too.

      HARVESTING THOSE WONDERFUL WORM CASTINGS.


When the second half of your Worm Box is almost full use a garden

claw (either long handle of short) to loosen up the top 3 to 5 inches

of Castings on the side of the box you started with. Leave it for a

day or so, to allow the Worms to move down out of the castings

and to the other side of the box. This will also motivate the worms

to finish up any material that has not been completely decomposed

or eaten yet. If it’s a nice day leave the lid of the Worm Box open

that will help stimulate the Red Worms into action.


When it’s convenient go back to your box and rake the top layer of

Castings you loosened in a long pile up against the inside, front of

the Worm Box. Leave it sit for 5 or 10 minutes and to let any slow

poke worms crawl down. Then scoop up your castings in a bucket

and go use them where you’d like or store them in bags for spring

use. We store our Castings in poly sandbags burlap works too and

keep the bags protected from the rain. A bag that breathes is

important for storing Castings, the organisms in the Castings will

stay alive and active if they have oxogen.


Repeat the same harvesting process until you have only 2 or 3

inches of castings left in the bottom of the Worm Box. When the

second half is full you can start feeding the first your table scraps

once again. That’s how the system works and you’ll get the hang

of it quickly and your plants will love the Castings you create. We

like to mix our Castings into the top inch or two of our soil in our

garden or spread it around established plants on the surface of

the soil to give them a boost.

     START FEEDING YOUR RED WORMS AND CONVERTING      

                    YOUR FOOD SCRAPS TO CASTINGS!


It is now time to start feeding your Worm Box food scraps on a regular basis. We use a 6 quart enameled cooking pot with a lid as our compost pail and we keep it under our sink. When it’s full which usually takes 2 to 3 days we take it out dump it in the half of the Worm Box we started with, leave it in a pile and cover it with bedding material. So it’s dump, cover we’re done! When your pail is full again take it out and dump it next the pile before it until another layer is complete. Continue this method until the first half is full then put a nice layer of bedding over it and leave it alone. Don’t disturb your Worms, let them do their job they don’t like to be bugged. It should take 25 to 45 days to fill one half of the Worm Box. If your filling it faster than that you are probable over feeding the system.