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worm - red or earth ? - coffee grounds (LOTS)

Posted by greenman62 9b (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 29, 14 at 18:39

I just built a compost bin
and i am getting 20lb of grounds a week from starbucks
problem is, i dont know what kind of worms i have ?
I found a few from an old compost pile and threw them in

i know its cold, but its not composting.

is this a RED or EARTH worm ?

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i get a LOT of grass clippings to add to the compost pile, but thats only in summer.
can i just compost the coffee ?
anything i need to help it along ?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: worm - red or earth ? - coffee grounds (LOTS)

That's an earthworm. You have to buy red worms from a worm farm or bait shop & they don't last long in the soil.
The coffee grounds are a green high in nitrogen so mix them with equal parts or greater brown matl. & you have a hot compost recipe if you'll be making a batch at a time. Also the greater variety of matl. is always better.
If you add to the pile each week just remember to mix browns in & keep moistened. To "help compost along" turning/mixing/aerating & moistening will result in faster compost for either the batch method or add as you go method.
Experiment. Compost will be the result & you really can't screw it up so have fun!

RE: worm - red or earth ? - coffee grounds (LOTS)

Thanks Paleo
Problem is i have no browns to add right now.
when spring gets here i will have a ton of grass from me and 2 neighbors yards, with a little leaf mixed in
The only table scraps worth mentioning is a bit of papaya and some other fruit peels, maybe an occasional bit of lettuce etc...

its a huge wide bin, not very tall, i did it that way to be able to add to one side, and turn the other side with a shovel etc...

On a side note.
I had an old pile of grass i kept adding to (with grounds too)
just laying on the ground. every time i tried to cover it, or turn it before the rain, the rain always seemed to beat me.
So it would rain for hours making the pile soggy and gross

(it rains a LOT here -New Orleans)

There were chunks of grounds that were never turned properly.
Eventually it dried out, but i still had chunks of gooey stuff
its several months old, and starting to break down.

I am wondering if i can add that, or if i would be better breaking it up finely and using it as top dressing compost for weeds and stuff ?

RE: worm - red or earth ? - coffee grounds (LOTS)

In a pinch shredded newspaper or cardboard torn as small as possible & soaked can suffice as brown matl. A big variety of different dead leaves & plants is best though. Those chunks of grounds you mention can be added to to compost or used in your yard at your discretion. The earthworms will love it & they will soon be tilling your soil for you. You will know when you start to see castings appear in your beds. And that means happy plants!

RE: worm - red or earth ? - coffee grounds (LOTS)

Almost all your materials you mentioned are high nitrogen greens, except for the bit of leaves. If you leave grass in a pile it will get disgusting. You must obtain browns. Are there any public yard waste/mulch sites to get some leaves? Woodworking friends for sawdust or wood shavings? Or the aforementioned shredded paper.

Coffee grounds are not as high in N as grass clippings, but they have another problem if composted by themselves: they are so fine that they will compact into clumps and/or get a crust on top that sheds water. Mix something in with them.

RE: worm - red or earth ? - coffee grounds (LOTS)

yeah you need some brown material....a little more than green materials (coffee and grass). So what you can do is use newspaper and cardboard as mentioned. Either shred by hand or use an office shredder machine (thats what I use). If you look in dumpsters you should be able to find your self alot of cardboard. Anther source is sawdust and wood chips. Once you add the browns to your greens your pile should heat up.

RE: worm - red or earth ? - coffee grounds (LOTS)

' its a huge wide bin, not very tall' That is not really the optimum shape for a compost bin. You'd do better with a cube or dumpy cylinder. You want minimum surface area.

As for browns you can put in any cardboard or paper, e.g. boxes, junk mail, cardboard tubes. Also any dead stems and stalks from last year's plants.

Worms are neither here nor there really.

RE: worm - red or earth ? - coffee grounds (LOTS)

Earthworms need a much cooler and moister environment then would be good for the bacteria that digest a normal compost pile, which is why earthworms are not a significant part of composting unless one is vermicomposting. If your compost pile is close to what it should be and the thermophilic bacteria are at work the internal temperatures will be much too hot for earthworm survival.

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