I've started my worm compost bin again with new bedding. Which is a mixture of newspapers and dry leaves. Now everyday I pour a little bit of water on the bin to keep it moist. And the water then comes out through the drainage holes below. I've put a bin below to capture the worm juice. Now I see this water in the bin below. Is this the worm juice maybe?
Sure, use it on the garden or fuel a hydro-organic system with it.
You probably don't need to water your worm big nearly so much. The juice that drips out the bottom of a worm bin is not the same as "worm tea" and it may or may not be useful in the garden depending on what you have been putting in the worm bin.
I live on an island where everyday is about 30 degrees celsius. So I know that I DO need to water that bin everyday.
I know what worm tea is. You have to make that yourself. But what I have on the picture there is what we call Leachate.
It is debatable as to how useful leachate from a worm bin is. Now if you are getting a large amount of liquid dripping out the bottom of the bin then you may be watering it more than necessary but seeing as the bin can drain then it probably doesn't make much difference to the worms.
I would probably be pouring the leachate back over the worm bin or use it on tough (as opposed to sensitive things like peas) soil plants near by.
If I pour it again over the bin again, it will immediately come back out through the drainage holes.
Then I will start my new hydroponics system with it.
Nope. Not in my opinion. I'm betting you are using coco coir as your base medium (browns). I'm pretty sure it won't harm anything if it is fresh but not sure how useful it actually is. I'd suggest waiting till you get a good load of actual worm poop to make a good tea if doing AP or add it directly to your compost for garden use.
Unprocessed leachate may cause more harm than its worth. I'd use it to add to the compost pile.
I don't think that leaves and newspapers get to that brown color. I don't use anything else
Looks like you are working diligently with your worms . I am going to point out a few things that will help you with your operation, and get you a more efficient output. I am not the fount of all knowledge when it comes to vermicomposting and vermiculture. I do run a commercail redworm farm, and also teach vermicomposting to schools, clubs, gov't agenices and people who want a vermicomposting bin in their yards. I do have an educational background in natural sceinces and make it my business to keep up on the latest vermiculture and vermicomposting research. We practice what we teach on our farm. Vermicomposting is the backbone of our farm. We grow our own veggies both in traditional soil gardening and using aquaponics. I'm not telling this to you as a brag, but to let you now I do know what I am going to write about here for you. It is a passion to help others get the best they can out of what they are trying to do with vermicomposting. Hopfully this will be of help to you. Really, you are sitting on a gold mine.
A few observations: - keep in mind I am basing this soley on the information in your posts.
By keeping your bin very wet constantly you run the risk of creating anaerobic pockets. These are something you do not want in any vermicomposting situation. These pockets rob the bin of oxygen and your redworms will avoid these areas and these are the places undesirable bacteria will grow. Then when you run water through your bin and catch it in the bottom these bacteria are flushed through your bin and caught below. It then becomes a petri dish. Using this on plants, or in any growing system is akin to playing with fire. And yes, people do use this with impunity...for a time..and many also have a huge 'blow-up' and lose all they have worked so long and hard for. If you are adding water to cool down your redworms, you may be using the wrong species of worm. Eisenia Fetida will be happy and eat and reproduce well past 30 deg. C (86 deg. F) and to the high 90's deg F (37-38 deg C) range. The trick is to be sure they are not sitting exposed to the sun directly beating down on them. If you are worried about evaporation, and thus add ng water, you can combat that with how you set up the bed/bin your redworms are in. Coco coir is great at holding in moisture. Use that or peat as part of your bedding. If you cover the top of the bed with a layer of card board you will keep evaporation to a minimum, or cover the area with dead leaves and accomplish the same thing. This is a great strategy for places that deal with winds such as on islands or on plains.
Another consideration for running your bin by flushing it every day with water, is that redworms are secondary decomposers. They do not have teeth. They rely on beneficial symbiosis. There are beneficial microbes that first begin the decomposition of the matter, then the redworms move in along side them and start consuming. By flushing every day you are most likley inhibiting this process, flushing through the beneficial microbes as well as any bad ones that may be cropping up in the warm overly wet anaerobic pockets forming. In any case, be sure you are using non-treated water, because the chlorine and chemicals of treated water put through your system every day will certainly flsuh away the beneficial microbes the redworms need, and be doing harm to the sensitive skin of your redworms.
All worm castings are not equal. If you look at an online publication from Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada called "Manual of On-Farm Vermicompsting and Vermiculture" (www.allthingsorganic.ca/pdf/Vermiculture_FarmersManual_gm.pdf ) or research from the Ohio State Univ. Soil Lab (published online) you will see research that shows that feed stocks DO MATTER when it comes to what you feed your worms and the nutrient content of the castings they create, and thus the results you can get from them. Using worm castings is better than not using worm castings, but you can create better worm castings by knowing what to feed them. If you only have newspaper and dry leaves in there, you are not creating the best after-product through your worms.Yes your worms may be eating and pooping. The color of the leachate is possibly due to that (but can also be due to inks, and soil clinging to leaves,and bacterial growth). My thought is that using this flush-through starategy is not getting the advantage you could be getting if you let the redworms create their own castings with minimal distrubance and then harvest the castings and make a real Worm Castings Tea out of it, rather than using questionable leachate in your systems. If your leachate sits in that collection bin for any time, you have a 'time bomb' on your hands.
I am not telling this to be critical of your operation. Most people are just not informed as to how to operate a vermicomposting bin to its best advantage. You actually have a 'gold mine' on your hands that can produce for you a much higher quality output with just a few changes in how you operate it...It will be much more environmentally friendly, and have a great output and with little effort. I commend you on working do diligently with your worms. Now you can help them work more efficiently for you.
My best to you in your efforts! If you have any further questions, feel free to send me a private message. I'll gladly answer your questions.
Thanks to the worm juice, my plants in my aquaponic system are growing a lot faster than before!
It surely will make your plants grow. Keep in mind that if you are using raw leachate (what you call worm juice in your earlier posts), you are 'playing with fire'. Many use this with impunity. Many also have used it with disasterous results.