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Too Many Worms in Compost to Harvest


October 14, 2021

I have 2 large tubs of compost I’ve been composting for a couple of years. I would like to harvest my compost, but I have too many worms. The soil is moist, spongey, and not dry enough to go through a screen. It does not smell bad. What is your recommendation for how to harvest it?


Answer by JZ: Great that you have been so successful with your worm composting setup. Here are my thoughts: You could spread out a small tarp, then scoop out small amounts, about 2 cups at a time, of your worm castings.  With gloved hands spread out the small pile, remove the worms and set them aside for “re-use”. This is a bit of a tedious process, which may done over many days / when you have the time.  You will be rewarded with a fine soil amendment.

After that, If you wish to screen the castings then you would have to expose them to air for a few days.  Once dry, they will easily pass thru a 1/4 “ hardware cloth screen, available at most hardware stores.  I would not recommend using window screen as the holes are too small and will plug up quite easily.

Hope that this helpful.   Get back if you have further questions.

Answer by MR: I second JZ’s advice and would simply suggest that you think of it as a “meditative” rather than a “tedious” process. Then you can celebrate, because one can never have too many worms. Congratulations!

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