In nature composting worms live in the top layer of a forest floor, which is high in organic matter. In other words, they need high amounts of organic matter (your food scraps) to thrive. Subpod creates this environment, and in the beginning, your worms will spend most of their life just in Subpod.
However, as your worm population builds up, they end up travelling out of the Subpod to try to find more space and food. This also happens when conditions become unfavourable (too hot, pH disturbance), this allows time for the system (Subpod) to balance itself out, so the worms can come back in again to feed.
Not all the worms transverse (move in and out) of the Subpod into the soil. The reason they go out is to cool off. A lot of fruit and veggie pulp creates a lot of heat. Onions create a lot of heat and gases. The gas creates heat.
The aerator is recommended mid-week. A simple plan is to add Food waste on Monday and again Thursday. Don't feed for at least 2 days. Especially pulp needs to be aerated a lot to make sure the clusters are broken up so it doesn't get too hot for the worms. This accelerates the composting system 3 fold.
Moisture creates heat.
Worms move out because of the organic gases. There may not be enough carbon in the system. Carbon helps with the gasses.
The best way to encourage the compost worms to roam widely through a raised garden bed around the Subpod is to cover any bare soil between plants with mulch and keep it from drying out. The worms will move through the layer between the soil and the mulch as long as that region is damp.
Every 6 weeks the worms will multiply. The offspring turns into adults. Then every 6 weeks they produce more offspring.
When they transferse (move out of the Subpod), they cool off, then they aerate the soil. They excrete the castings. They are eating their body weight per day in food scraps.
Every 6 weeks, they eat more and get used to their environment.
The worms normally travel about 120cm.
1 month is 40cm.
2 months is 80cm.
3 months is 120.
up to 150cm - 180cm.
The soil around the subpod becomes more like the leaf litter of the forest so they happily move through it.
Compost worms are classified into categories that are:
1) epigeic: mostly live in the leaf litter layer above the soil
2) endogeic: live in the topsoil but eat large amounts of organic material. Typically a mixed population of compost worms includes both types. The third category of earthworm soil dwellers are not typically compost worms and live deeper down
3) anecic: which dwells in the sub-top soil layer, but still come up to the surface to bring down organic material at the surface layers.
Typically, by having compost worms active in the upper layers, you provide additional food in a form that attracts the deeper dwellers that will work together with the upper dwellers to manage aeration of the upper and lower soil strata. If your subpod is in a raised garden bed and lacks a barrier to the soil below, it is likely that you will attract anecic earthworms to colonize the deeper layers of the soil in the bed.
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