I wanted to do a series of posts on how I maintain my Urban Worm Bag (UWB). I set up this system in mid-October 2020 after years of using a similar Worm Inn system. My decision to purchase a UWB had to do with the size of the system. The Worm Inn I had set up was the original Worm Inn, not the Worm Inn Mega so it is a considerably smaller system. Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced me to be at home more, my family produced more scraps than the Worm Inn could reasonably handle. Since the Worm Inn Mega was no longer available at that time, I decided to go with the UWB. The system is the UWB version 2.0 and not the original UWB.
Since the last feeding on 4-29-21, I have not added any additional scraps to the system. I had some non-worm activities that I needed to take care of and wasn’t able to check in on the UWB. The UWB like tote systems can be neglected for quite some time. Tote systems can actually benefit from neglect for a couple of months so the worms can process bedding materials.
It has been two weeks since I fed the system 4 pounds of scraps. There was additional weight for the bedding but I don’t bother weighing this material.
When I opened the UWB, there was moisture on the underside of the lid. This is typical of this system unless a lot of dry bedding is added. As scraps break down, they will release moisture. Tote systems will often have moisture on the lids as well. I didn’t see any worms on the lid but it is normal to see a few crawling around.
The level of the material has dropped down a few inches as expected. Also, the dry bedding added at the last feeding appears to be worked over some. The most noticeable item is a dark mango pit that the isopods have been munching on.
Just below the surface, I picked up a ton of worms. You cannot tell from the photo but this handful of material was moving around and full of worms. There wasn’t any sign of scraps at this point.
I was digging around the sides and it appeared that all the scraps have been processed. Outside of the occasional avocado shell and mango pit, there were no noticeable scraps. The worms were also spread out throughout evenly and not clumped in one area. One aspect of using UWBs is that I recommend digging out the sides of the system at least every other month. When harvesting vermicast, the majority of the material that comes through is in the middle section. The outer areas can hold their shape and cause a cavity in the system. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have a cavity, but that open pocket is wasted space in the system. Also, the outer areas can clump up and compress a bit. By digging it out and moving the material to the center, you will avoid causing the cavity to occur. It also helps to spread the worms out.
The system still has a lot of bedding material that hasn’t been processed. The worms have been working through this material since I didn’t feed the system last week. I’ll pass on feeding this week as well to allow the worms to continue processing the bedding material. At this point, I could probably get away with doing a harvest of the system but I am going to hold off a bit longer.
Here are a few observations to take away:
- The worms are on the smaller side but there are tons of them
- The density of worms is impressive throughout the entire system
- Currently, the system can easily handle 4 pounds of scraps (the system likely contains 3-4 pounds of red wigglers)
- The moisture level is consistent throughout and not overly wet