Talk:Vermicompost

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Former good article nominee Vermicompost was a Sports and recreation good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
August 9, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
WikiProject Horticulture and Gardening (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
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Does anybody want to help me organize this site? It's a great topic but fairly unorganized

-Stefeyboy, August 12, 2005

I tried to do some major editing here. The kitchen waste section seems to be just a lumping of disorganised bits of data. I do plan to try to break it up better, but in the mean time anyone feel free to help. I also intend to creating a section that could group together conditions such as PH, Moisture and Temperature. Any thoughts? --Jake 23:14, August 12, 2005 (UTC)

On merging worm ranch[edit]

I'm not sure they should be the same article. This article needs cleaning up in any case. Worm ranches, worm bins, worm beds, worm farms, etc. aren't exactly the same thing. I do think that this page might be better with less "how-to" on it, maybe have that sort of thing on the pages I just mentioned. SB Johnny 11:32, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Yeah, it currently sounds like an instruction booklet. --Mr. Dude †@£КÇøת†яĭβü†ĬŎИ 22:42, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Agree. Merge worm ranch into this one, keep worm ranch as a redirect and lose the instruction manual style. Also possibly give more insight into commercial scale operations. Some of the science behind the process is also rather dubious (please see the 'odour' section under the 'problems' headline - patently false).--ChrisJMoor 03:12, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Nutrient value of castings[edit]

The article says that castings "contain five times more nitrogen, seven times more phosphorus and 11 times more potassium". Can someone provide a reference for that? Barrylb 14:40, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

I've moved this from the article since there has been no response:

"Compared to ordinary soil, the earthworm castings (the material produced from the digestive tracts of worms) contain five times more nitrogen, seven times more phosphorus and 11 times more potassium [citation needed]. They are rich in humic acids and improve the structure of the soil."

-- Barrylb 11:42, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I saw this, "Enriches soil with micro-organisms (adding enzymes such as phosphate and cellulose)" in the current article. Phosphate and cellulose are not enzymes, are they? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.105.101.221 (talk) 22:52, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Fecal Matter[edit]

Article says: "Fecal material of omnivores and carnivores is unsuitable for composting due to the dangerous microorganisms it contains, though thermophilic composting or other applied heat can mitigate this problem."

Is there a reference? I don't think we can absolutely say it is 'unsuitable'. There is even a worm farm product for sale called Pet Poo Converter. People also compost these things in regular compost so is worm composting that different?

"If you are vermicomposting inside your home, you may want to avoid including manure or dairy products in your compost because they may have an unpleasant odor."

I use manure and dairy products in my compost inside my home and the odor isn't noticeable. -- Barrylb 15:29, 26 February 2006 (UTC)


Moved this from the article... I don't believe it is true (as written); needs a reference to back it up:

  • Fecal Matter - Fecal material of omnivores and carnivores is unsuitable for composting due to the dangerous microorganisms it contains, though thermophilic composting or other applied heat can mitigate this problem. People have reported successfully using cow, rabbit, or goat manure to help start up the bin. If done, this should be used in small quantities. If you are vermicomposting inside your home, you may want to avoid including manure or dairy products in your compost because they may have an unpleasant odor.

-- Barrylb 12:29, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I believe the section on Fecal matter was correct and appropriate. We use cow manure as our only feed for the worms, but we thermophilically compost it for many days at high temperatures first to kill any pathogens such as E. Coli. Perhaps we could change it to say that animal manures work well as a worm feed, but the castings would not pass USDA regulations to be used on vegetables or other food crops.

--WormPower 17:50, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Move to wikibook?[edit]

This article really does read like a how-to book. It would actually make a great foundation for a wikibook how-to, freeing up this article for a more encyclopedic article. Any thoughts? SB Johnny 14:35, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

FWIW, I went ahead and copied it... hoping to find someone with a 'bot for the red links on the book. The book is titled b: Vermicomposting, and is in the how-to category. It needs editing for formatting and "w: " added to the wikilinks. SB Johnny 15:55, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes it would be good to have the book, and clean up the article. Barrylb 11:43, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

The diagram is all wrong, showing feedstock below bedding ! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.105.170.254 (talkcontribs)

You are right! And it is the worst possible type of worm bin anyway; I would not recommend this type to anyone. We should have a picture of a continuous-vertical-flow type. -- Barrylb 14:41, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree - it's not really encyclopedic in nature.67.166.81.82 22:31, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

I started the book stub here... anyone want to chip in? SB Johnny 01:00, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Vermicast[edit]

I had created a wikipedia entry for "vermicast," and the entry was deleted and redirected to "vermicompost." While the entire "vermicompost" entry describes the composting process of organic material by earthworms, the end product is called "vermicast." Why was the entry for vermicast deleted? Nothing was redundant as the entry soley described the end product, while the "vermicompost" entry describes in detail the entire process to create the end product called vermicast? --Christian025 02:45, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

The end result of vermicomposting is called vermicompost. "Vermicast" or "worm castings" is an integral part of the that process but those terms refer more specifically to the matter excreted by worms after they digest organic matter. I redirected the vermicast article because it seems you only added it because of what I believe is an incorrect usage. -- Barrylb 03:16, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

"I redirected the vermicast article because it seems you only added it because of what I believe is an incorrect usage. -- Barrylb 03:16, 15 March 2006 (UTC)"

I'm not sure if you actually vermicompost, but that is a verb describing "the process of earthworms composting organic materials." "Vermicast" is not a process. Vermicast, a noun widely used by vermiculturists, is the end product of vermicomposting. The entire entry for "vermicast" was solely focused on this end product, not vermicomposting. Deleting the "vermicast" entry and redirecting it here would be like redirecting any entry to the components of vermicomposting, including "mulch," "earthworms" and "compost bins." It makes no sense.

--Christian025 21:05, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

You are saying 'vermicompost' is a verb. I disagree. Vermicomposting is the process which produces vermicompost. Vermicomposting is a verb, vermicompost is a noun.
Examples/references:
  • "Vermicompost is the product of vermicomposting, a process that relies on earthworms" [1]
  • "Vermicomposting is the process of having redworms and other decomposer organisms process our organic waste and turn it into a great natural fertilizer (called vermicompost)." [2]
  • "The process is called “vermicomposting” and the result is called “vermicompost”." [3]
Your entry for vermicast seems to describe what I call vermicompost, hence the redirect to vermicompost. Yes vermicast is a noun but the term 'vermicast' or 'worm castings' refers purely to the matter excreted by the worms after they digest organic matter, which is the core part of the process of producing vermicompost.
-- Barrylb 00:21, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Vermicompost and vermicast arte synonymous (I added it on the article), however it is true that this article is mostly about vermicomposting. The vermicast article was a bit more along the lines of what this article should look like... a description of VC, it's properties and uses, etc. SB Johnny 11:09, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
How about we have two articles - vermicompost and vermicomposting? -- Barrylb 12:30, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Maybe... see Wikipedia:Abundance_and_redundancy. The two articles would be circular references, of course. I really don't know the going policy on that. SB Johnny 13:02, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I suppose we could stick with the current article. We just need to make sure it is clear what this article is about. We could have a section with the properties of vermicompost (which is quite lacking at the moment) and another section on the process of making it (which seems to be almost the entire focus of the current article). -- Barrylb 13:20, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't want to throw fuel on this issue but isn't the proper term vermiculture? I thought vermicompost(ing) was a generic simplified product name for weekend suburban gardners. I was pretty shocked to find vermiculture redirected here. It's like redirecting femur to big_thigh_bone, kinda backwards. --Jeff —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.112.125.85 (talk) 14:19, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Barrylib, are you faimiliar with the conjugation of English verbs? If 'vermicomposting' is a verb, then so is 'to vermicompost'! GeneCallahan (talk) 12:47, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Calcium Oxide Not Good for Worms[edit]

The section that recommends calcium oxide for controlling pH in worm beds should be changed. Calcium Oxide is quicklime, which is very, very strongly alkaline and will wipe out a whole bin if used this way. The choice would be Calcium Carbonate, made from limestone and sold as either crushed limestone or garden lime.

I can fix this if no one has an issue with it. Psuliin 02:06, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Vermi-composter now redirects here[edit]

That page had about one line of information on it, and a link to this one. I thought it would make much more sense for it to just redirect here. Terraxos 02:23, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Diagram is low quality[edit]

I'm no photoshop whiz...but someone should be able to improve on the diagram in about 5 minutes I would think.

Vermicompost fed to poultry[edit]

I haven't been able to find a copy of the cited article, but it seems highly unlikely that anyone would feed worm castings to an animal. Using castings to grow the feed is possible, as is using worms to compost poultry manure. Both of these could potentially reduce diseases. I have, however, never heard of using vermicompost as food. Worm Power 19:14, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Unsuitable[edit]

I think this section needs to be reevaluated. I have just finished reading "Worms eat my garbage." by Mary Appelhof and several of the stated facts in this section are completely contradictory to a published material. I will attempt to rewrite the section on my own later, hopefully with more references. I just wanted to let the users know that this is unverified section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Elleacampbell (talkcontribs) 16:40, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Any chance you could share with us which of the facts are incorrect before doing a rewrite? Petronivs (talk) 15:53, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I added the sentences about high-water-content foods like watermelon rind, sticky fruit labels and cutlery, based on my two years of experience with a home worm bin. If you think any of these is incorrect, please explain.
Regarding banana peels, I feed my worms a lot of banana peels. This has not harmed them, though it's possible that the vermicompost has a higher toxin level.
The problem of scavengers, if it exists, would be limited to bins kept outdoors or with easy access to outdoors (garages). I would not worry about feeding small amounts of animal foods in a worm bin kept in a home that does not already have mice.
That said, I think this article should state more clearly that fruit flies are inevitable. Opinions? Even if you bury the food, fruit fly eggs come in with fruit and the flies will breed until you open the top of the worm bin - and they all come out. A permanent fruit fly presence has been the only negative I have experienced.Sofia Roberts (talk) 18:50, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

GA Failed[edit]

I have reviewed this article, but have quick-failed it according to the Quick-Fail criteria due to insufficient references and sources. Other editors have already scattered a few {{fact}} tags throughout the article to indicate some statements that need to be referenced or clarified, and there are other untagged examples that I noticed myself. I have not done an extensive review of the article otherwise. Please feel free to re-submit the article as a good article candidate after this has been fixed. Thanks. Neil916 (Talk) 00:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Unclear as to goal[edit]

After reading the introductory paragraphs of this article, it is unclear to me what the point/goal of vermicomposting is. I am not an unintelligent person, so I don't think that is the problem. Could someone familiar with this topic please add a few lines about the motivations for doing such a thing? I'm sure reasons are manifold, so please add as many as you know of. The improved quality of this article will thank you, if such a thing is possible.--Hraefen Talk 06:11, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Requests for More Info[edit]

I'd like to know more about flora and fauna of a bin. There are bits and pieces available on the net, but it's all very vague. Also (and perhaps related) whether and what might be kill threats to worms in a bin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.5.197.18 (talk) 17:09, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Links[edit]

following links were removed. Reinclude as they provide practical information on how to vermicompost.

Thanks. KVDP (talk) 17:34, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Grammatical note[edit]

Shirushalem, you reverted the minor edit I made which deleted the word "other" from the phrase "worms and other microorganisms". The reason I deleted the word is that worms are not microorganisms; therefore, "other" is not an appropriate modifier. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.253.148.163 (talk) 22:11, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

You are correct. Sorry for the revert. In the future, it would be helpful if you typed an explanation in the edit summary. The edit summary is there to prevent these kinds of misunderstandings. Shirulashem (talk) 01:39, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I have left a note for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Brynnab[edit]

"Thank you for your additions to the Vermicompost article. Can you reformat it to not be a list of instructions as wikipedians will revert to the previous version as wikipedia is not a how-to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:NOT#HOWTO Thanks, rkmlai (talk) 01:07, 12 November 2008 (UTC)" so can we pause before deleting Brynnab's additions ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Please_do_not_bite_the_newcomers ) ? Thanks, rkmlai (talk) 01:14, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

    • As promised, I have redone the page and moved most of the how-to material to an article I am creating on Vermicomposting in Wikiversity. Please use add details to that article on HOW to vermicompost, not to this overview article. The Wikipedia article needs information on history of vermicomposting, commercial production, and uses in agriculture. Sofia Roberts (talk) 23:37, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Vermiculture[edit]

The word "vermiculture" redirects here. However, vermiculture is not the same as vermicomposting. Vermiculture is raising worms, in general, while vermicomposting is raising worms for the specific purpose of composting. I am engaged in vermiculture, for the purpose of providing worms for fishing. But I'm not engaged in vermicomposting. o Also, I know there's some debate here on whether the article should be allowed to stand as an "instruction manual", but if it is ultimately decided to allow this format, someone should edit the part about adding egg shells. RAW egg shells are bad for worm bins, as they can cause both odor problems and, sometimes, disease. Only shells from BOILED eggs should be added to worm bins. But, if you have a bunch of raw egg shells, they can be washed to remove any of the egg white that might still be clinging to them, then boiled for 5 minutes. (Also, in case anyone wants to know, the thin, flexible membrane on the inside of the egg shell is also good for worms. They like to lay their eggs on it. I don't have a source for that, except my own personal experience.)

Mooreds (talk) 05:44, 5 March 2009 (UTC) I agree that vermiculture (raising of worms for more worms) should have a page separate from vermicompost (raising worms to process wastes and for castings).

I disagree about raw eggshells--I've fed them to my worms numerous times with no ill effects.

Citrus peels - Suitable food??[edit]

Have you fed your worms citrus peels without harming them? Do you think citrus peels are ok to feed in small quantities? Mary Appelhof writes in Worms Eat My Garbage, "Users have reported to me that excessquantities of citrus will kill worms." I have fed small quantities of citrus pulp with no adverse effects, but the peel contains the potent oil. Please post response here, thanks. Sofia Roberts (talk) 04:22, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Sofia, I have fed my worms small amounts of citrus peels successfully, and large amounts unsuccessfully. By small, I mean I put 2-3 oranges worth of peels in a bin that is 2x2x3 feet. Mooreds (talk) 03:52, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Temperature?[edit]

Right now, this article seems to state both that: 1) Worms cannot survive under 50 degrees; and 2) Occasional freezing is good for them.

This should be clarified. GeneCallahan (talk) 12:47, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

time take?[edit]

what would be the time taken for the final product to be obtained, if that could be included it would be easy to make an recipe out of it (as in vermiculture). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 183.82.25.236 (talk) 09:54, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

benefits section[edit]

This really needs some work...I removed the "improves physical qualities of the soil" benefit and replaced it with "improves soil aeration. I don't think this needs to be cited because it's a lot more specific and quite obviously true. Adding Styrofoam balls to soil would also increase aeration, and that also would not have to be cited... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.220.252.2 (talk) 19:50, 14 March 2013 (UTC)