Is it good or bad bacteria in my worm bin?

Is It good or bad bacteria in my worm bin?

When you look into your worm bin you are used to seeing worms, worm bedding, worm castings and worm food. What you can’t see is the billions of bacteria, hundreds of feet of fugal hypae, thousands of protozoa and finally nematodes living in your bin. Those things might not mean much to you but they are an important part to your worm bin health.

These little guys and girls are in your bin working hard with your worms to break down food for your worms, and get digested by your worms and help your plants get nutrients when it’s all finished in the bin.

So, what are Bacteria?

Well Bacteria are the most abundant organisms in your vermicomposting system. These microscopic little things are the primary decomposers in your worm bin! Surprise Right! I bet some of you though it was your worms. You know that’s ok because this is a learning channel. Bacteria in your worm bin are able to simplify other organics matter and make it more available to your composting worms and also other organisms in your worm bin as well.

Bacteria exist in two places in your worm bin, in the bin itself in the bedding and worm castings and also in the worm’s gut. The cool thing about this is that a degree of a worm’s nutrition is from the microorganisms in your worm bin, the same ones that are colonizing your organics matter.

What type of Bacteria in your bin gives it that nice earthy smell?

Have you every wonder what type of bacteria gives you bin a nice earthy smell that you like and lets you know your bin is healthy? These bacteria are called Actinomycetes and are a higher form of bacteria in your worm bin. Another cool thing about these bacteria is that they also crucial for the formation of humus in your worm bin. Not only that but they also help release various nutrients for your plants in your vermicompost.

So, what is the difference?

Well, there are two types of bacteria, one that lives with oxygen and one that lives without oxygen.  The ones you want in your worm bin are the ones that live with oxygen. Like that one we discussed earlier, you can tell that you have these types of bacteria in your bin by the smell, you bin should look healthy and smell healthy. If this is the case you have good healthy bacteria in your worm bin. On the other hand, if you have the kind of bacteria, you don’t want or without oxygen you will smell it in your bin before you will see anything. These bacteria will make your bin smell foul and you worms will not be happy in the bin and may even be trying to escape if it really bad. The same goes for your worm castings in storage, if they have these bad bacteria, they will smell foul and these worm castings are not good for your plants or worms.

The importance of keeping your castings damp

If is very import to keep you worm bin moist in order to keep the bacteria healthy in the bin. Once the bin is completely dry not only will it kill the worms but also the micro life in the bin. After harvest if the worm castings do dry out they will no longer contain and bacteria however you can still use them in your garden and they will pick up new micro life once added.

Well, that will rap up our talk about bacteria in your worm bin and worm castings. You don’t have to see these hard-working microorganisms but they are there and working to make your vermicomposting bin that much better.

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