How to harvest vermicast is an often heard question in the worm composting community. In a 3 tier worm bin the harvesting is really easy as the worms just move up into the bin above once they have converted all the food waste in their bin.
When they are in the upper bin you can just empty the finished castings
they have left behind in the middle bin and you are done. At the
bottom of this article you will find a link to a page that explains in
detail how to harvest worm castings from a 3 bin worm farm.
In a single worm bin the issue is different and the question will be how to separate the
worms from the worm castings?
How to harvest vermicast
If you intend to harvest your worm castings by manually separating the worms from the vermicast you have to do it in a different way which is still quite simple.
Stop feeding the worm farm for about 4 weeks and then
dump the content of your worm farm on a sunny day onto a table outside.
This is an example of a single worm bin
If you intend to harvest your worm castings by manually separating
the worms from the vermicast you have to do it in a different way which
is still quite simple.
Shape the worm castings that are containing your worms into a cone shaped pile and wait for about 10 minutes.
Now remove the outer layers of the castings from the cone till you
see worms appear. The worms will straight away dig deeper into the pile
of castings to escape the sun light.
Wait for another ten minutes before you remove more worm castings.
Remove vermicast till you get to the worms again and wait for another 10
Repeat this process till you end up with all the worms on one side and a pile of vermicast on the other.
Place your worms back into their prepared worm bin filled with fresh bedding and use your worm castings for your garden.
Worm castings can hold a lot of moisture and will therefore become
quite heavy once they are saturated with water. It might be a good idea
to aerate the vermicast a bit before you want to harvest it. This way it
will loose some moisture and the bin containing the castings will be
easier to handle.