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School Projects with Compost Worms

 As a school learning exercise you might wish to purchase some compost worms. You can use well washed and rinsed round take away food containers ( perhaps safer for kids than jars or cans ) and they are typically larger in size. Depending on number containers and what learning outcomes you are trying to achieve, will influence how many compost worms you need. If it's just for learning by observation, you might aim at say about 20 worms per container. Expect some spillage of worms during the project etc..

Note: You would need have the containers covered by some foil or wrapping of some sort, secured by a rubber band or two, as worms don't like sunlight. Taking a look now and then wont do any harm though. Also be sure to Google up on worm food and preferred environment, i.e. temperature range, moisture levels, soil pH etc...

The worms are typically shipped with a coconut fibre bedding, however we also found some success with mixing 50% Breeders Choice un-used cat litter pellets ( recycled paper no additives or chemicals ), well mixed with 50% Debco Seed Raising Mix, watered in. The worms took about a week to settle into this environment. Need to water in a bit and mix before adding your worms on top. We used the round take away food containers with this experiment. Compost Worms don't like plain soil on its own for bedding as for their smaller size than earth worms, it makes burrowing more difficult.

Compost Worms prefer a mixed soil bedding, which often consists of their own worm castings, but can be artificially substituted with natural fibres. i.e. when they are not feeding on top of the soil at night when dark. No need to burry the worms, they will burrow themselves, so long as the moisture levels are right, they will find a path to their bedding and come to the surface to feed at night on small amounts of chopped up vegetable matter you might place on the surface.

If you don't have drainage, be very frugal on the watering, as you don't want them to drown and you want to avoid rotting, that can occur over a period of weeks if their bedding gets too wet. A bit of trial and error getting the ideal environmental balance. It's certainly a good learning experience for kids.

This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 20 July, 2011.

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