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Worm composter

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Worm composter

Post  Drpepperz on 5/5/2014, 7:48 pm

Hey folks! since i pretty much did all i can do in the gardens in this cool weather, I have to get busy doing something else...

So I started building a worm bin!

I'm making it for probably under 10$ + prince of worms, I followed these  instructions from GradenFrugal



I already had the big bin and 1 of the smaller ones so here it goes:



I started with drilling holes all around the lip with a 1/8 bit and then proceeded to to drill holes in the bottom with the biggest bit i could find

Then i drilled holes all along the side of my big bin so water can get out if need be but mostly so air can get in.



I'll need a 2nd smaller bin but it's not necessary to start so i can wait until they come on sale.

I'll get it started as soon as i get enough stuffto put in and then order my worms so they have rotten stuff ready when they come in...More pics to come!


Last edited by Drpepperz on 5/5/2014, 8:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Marc Iverson on 5/5/2014, 7:55 pm

Questions:

1. Why did you drill holes in the rim?

2. Why do you need a smaller bin?

I'm curious as to your design. In the ones I recall seeing before:

1. The holes in the rims would lead to nowhere if the boxes weren't nested tight, and simply to another rim if they were; and

2. The bins nesting inside each other were the same size.

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Drpepperz on 5/5/2014, 8:06 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Questions:

1.  Why did you drill holes in the rim?
The lid isn't air tight so it's supposed to help with air circulation

2.  Why do you need a smaller bin?
The bigger bin is there to collect the moisture that will be added to my compost tea, since the smaller one doesn't touch the bottom of the big one, the worms in the top one won't drown if i don't get to drain the bottom one on time.
I'm curious as to your design. In the ones I recall seeing before:

1.  The holes in the rims would lead to nowhere if the boxes weren't nested tight, and simply to another rim if they were; and
The hole are only there for the top bin which will have the lid on since this setup will be outside for the summer and i don't want too much rain water to go into it. I'll drill holes in one of my other lides for when i put then in the basement for the winter

2.  The bins nesting inside each other were the same size.
Keep in mind that I am still missing a bin, I only used what I had on hand for ow, but i won't need the 3rd one until i have 1 full one. 2 two on top will be the same size, this is where the magic happens, the bigger one at the bottom is just a moisture collector


 This is my 1st one and i'm new at this, I only went with the design in the video, which seemed the easiest for me since I already had most of the material laying around.

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Drpepperz on 5/5/2014, 8:09 pm

Also i just realised i put the same picture twice! fixed it!

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Marc Iverson on 5/5/2014, 11:10 pm

"The hole are only there for the top bin which will have the lid on since this setup will be outside for the summer and i don't want too much rain water to go into it. I'll drill holes in one of my other lides for when i put then in the basement for the winter"

Still not sure I follow. The bin with the lid on it will have its rim's holes covered by the lid on top, and the underside of the rim doesn't lead to the inside of the box, so no air will be circulated into the box. I suppose I'm misunderstanding. But the way I'm picturing it now, the holes I see in your rim are a road to nowhere for oxygen.

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Re: Worm composter

Post  pryz123 on 5/5/2014, 11:43 pm

Hi, I just thought I would share how I have my worm bin set up because I feel people over think the process. My bin was so simple to set up.  I got a bin, put a piece of cardboard in the bottom. Then put in the bedding then added enough water to make it moist but not soggy. I then put the worms in and gave them some scraps for food. I have another piece of cardboard laying lose on top. That's it. Over time the worms eat threw the cardboard on the bottom and then I harvest the castings and refresh the bedding and start over with new cardboard on the bottom.  I never put holes anywhere and they are fine.. I have never had a problem with excess liquid in the bottom.  To prevent the bin from going anaerobic I stir the bedding and castings and food every few days to a week. I feel this also gives you a good idea of if they are keeping up with the amount of food you are giving them.

I have had this worm bin for about 2 years now and it has been just fine. I keep it in the basement all winter and out in the garage in the summer.
I hope this helps in some way. Smile

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Drpepperz on 5/6/2014, 7:33 am

But the way I'm picturing it now, the holes I see in your rim are a road to nowhere for oxygen.


The way the lid is made, it doesn't sit tight on the inner lip so air doe go trough no problem




Pryz:
Thx for the input!  The bottom is mainly there to collect whatever moisture i can, which i will add to my compost tea  Razz  The hole in the bottom are there to let the worms move from bin to bin (when i add the 3rd one)

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Re: Worm composter

Post  llama momma on 5/6/2014, 8:16 am

Hi there drpepperz,
Two things I'd like to recommend to you for excellent reading and advice--
redwormcomposting.com  and a inexpensive small book with solid information called Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof.  Can't go wrong with the extensive experience of those two sources. 

I agree with Prys123 with the easy set up of a bin. 
In two years I went from 1 to 9 un-stacked bins.  Even though its a fantastic idea to use a solid cardboard bottom like Prys123,  I haven't tried that - yet  Wink .  

I been using a mix of both moistened aged bedding and food to start. Then about 10 inches of dry shredded paper on top.  It is easy enough to monitor the moisture so it doesn't become excessive.  Otherwise, what does leak out the bottom is not worm tea quality anyway.  It's called leachate. This is broken down liquid resulting from rotting stuff.  Good quality worm tea is made from the end product meaning pure castings, not liquidized food waste/runoff.   Anyway hope this helps, have fun and best wishes!

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Drpepperz on 5/6/2014, 8:28 am

@llama momma wrote: Anyway hope this helps, have fun and best wishes!

It does! I wasn't 100% sure how to get started and I will get that book Smile

About the moisture...I think that's why they stack the composting bin on top of the one with the finished product...I'll experiment and keep you experts posted!


Last edited by Drpepperz on 5/6/2014, 8:51 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Worm composter

Post  llama momma on 5/6/2014, 8:45 am


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Re: Worm composter

Post  GWN on 5/6/2014, 11:27 am

Hi Drpepperz
I have had the bins with holes for a few years now
One that I bought commercially made and a second one that looks a lot like yours, I have 3 of the blue bins with holes... stacked on top of one without holes to catch the fluid.
I empty the fluid every 3-4 days and put it on my garlic plants and other plants that I figure need, some extra nutrients.
I have found that it works well and I have expanded a few times

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Kelejan on 5/6/2014, 11:39 am

GWN, I seldom get any fluid in my bottom trays,perhaps a stray worm or two. Maybe I keep my stuff a little drier than you do?
LLM, I saw the picture of your latest set-up but cannot remember if your single bins were on top of a catch bin?  When you harvest, how much castings do you get on average from each bin?  I generally get about 7 to 8 pounds.

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Re: Worm composter

Post  llama momma on 5/6/2014, 11:52 am

No catch bin.  Single bins with solid bottoms were lined up on tables in the basement. 

I'd say yes about 7 pounds or so.  The bin could hold a lot more but you know the longer it sits the environment becomes more unhealthy.  I mention this for the benefit of any new worm owners.

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Kelejan on 5/6/2014, 2:44 pm

LLM, I thought they were singles.  I know you do not have a moisture problem but like me, do not overwater. My first wormbin had holes in the bottom and is over a catchbin. My second is on top of the first bin only becasue I prepared it with bottom holes at the time I set it up but I am thinking that single bins are easier to manage if you have the spce.  I know your setup looked good and I could do that if I cleared some of my clutter.  Very Happy

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Drpepperz on 5/6/2014, 4:26 pm

Quick question for the pros!

When starting my bin...i know i put compost in it with kitchen refuse and paper....but i read somewhere i had to sompost without worms for about a month before putting them in what are you thoughts on that?

Thx

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Re: Worm composter

Post  llama momma on 5/6/2014, 4:39 pm

No pro here, the learning is ongoing! 
I started 2 years ago with moist bedding and food in the bin about a week before adding worms.  A week or two is good, every couple days mix the contents to distribute everything and to keep it moist and/or break up any fungus-y looking stuff.  In the future if you start a second bin I just put a couple handfuls of  vermicompost right into a new bin with brand new moist papers and add worms right away-- somewhere in redwormcomposting.com I read about this.  Just letting you know I didn't make things up along the way without checking first.  Wink

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Kelejan on 5/6/2014, 10:05 pm

@Drpepperz wrote:Quick question for the pros!

When starting my bin...i know i put compost in it with kitchen refuse and paper....but i read somewhere i had to sompost without worms for about a month before putting them in what are you thoughts on that?

Thx

A few days is OK, they won't starve. If putting in fresh stuff, freeze it first then it will rot more quickly and start producing the stuff that worms actually eat. They don't eat the food we give them but the bacteria and molds etc.Worms really are very forgiving. The easiest pets I have ever had.

Take note of LLM, she is now very knowledgeable and will not give you incorrect information.  Very Happy

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Drpepperz on 5/6/2014, 10:17 pm

I treat all info i get here like GOLD!!!!

I ended up having to order worms tho, all I could find localy were Canadian night crawlers and a friend of mine told me they weren't really good...and besides to get the same quantity as I'm getting online it would've been almost the same price...

http://www.wormcomposting.ca/composting-worms/shipped-order-pricing/

This is what i ordered, they come with some of their original material so i guess it's supposed to start faster??? Anyway, i got a cozy home for them qhen they get here!! Smile

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Re: Worm composter

Post  GWN on 5/6/2014, 10:27 pm

Yes the red wigglers tend to be perfect for home worm composing because they tend to live in the first few inches of the soil, whereas, I believe night crawlers can go much deeper.
I have never seen night crawlers here in BC.

I try to make sure that I do not release any of my wigglers into my garden here because apparently they would not survive here because they do not dive down deep enough in the soil.
I was lucky to find a seller of worms about an hour away from here in central BC.
I have a lot of moisture in my bin but I believe it is because I use so much squash as food.  THEY LOVE IT
and I always have so much left over from the garden, and it is so much fun to put a half of a squash cut half down and come back and it will be totally hollowed out and FULL of worms.

I do not find it that big of a deal to drain off the fluids and my plants just LOVE IT.

It does seem that there are so many ways to raise worms, I think that everyone seems to just get into a system that works the best for them.

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Drpepperz on 5/6/2014, 10:29 pm

Yep my sister tells me all the time that there's no mistakes made in gardening, if you fail at something it's experience! Razz

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Kelejan on 5/6/2014, 10:30 pm

@Drpepperz wrote:I treat all info i get here like GOLD!!!!

I ended up having to order worms tho, all I could find localy were Canadian night crawlers and a friend of mine told me they weren't really good...and besides to get the same quantity as I'm getting online it would've been almost the same price...

http://www.wormcomposting.ca/composting-worms/shipped-order-pricing/

This is what i ordered, they come with some of their original material so i guess it's supposed to start faster??? Anyway, i got a cozy home for them qhen they get here!! Smile

Yes, you have a head-start there. Your order is from Red Worm Composting and he recommend starting with a worm culture, especially for beginners. LLM and I both learn a lot from him, it is an ongoing thing. Worms need to get used to their environment and thrive better when shipped in the original habitat. Newborn worms adapt to their habitat at once. It is transporting worms from one  home to another that takes time for them to adapt and start producing their own offspring.

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Kelejan on 5/6/2014, 10:32 pm

@Drpepperz wrote:Yep my sister tells me all the time that there's no mistakes made in gardening, if you fail at something it's experience! Razz

I think I am one of the most experienced persons in the world.

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Re: Worm composter

Post  llama momma on 5/7/2014, 7:33 am

Razz  Razz That's funny Kelejan.  Made me laugh.  Thank you for that and your other comments.

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Re: Worm composter

Post  Drpepperz on 5/9/2014, 11:08 am

I think I got everything ready for the new pets...I started composting the kitchen refuse, I even had some fruits and veggies gone bad that I had froze in the last couple of months!

I covered everything with wet dead leafs now all I need if for my worms to come in, hopefully sometime around Wednesday next week!



do you guys think it's enough leafs? I fot a LOT that I can add in there!

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THE NEW TENANTS ARE HERE!!!

Post  Drpepperz on 5/16/2014, 5:46 pm

They're here! they're here!

My worms came in today! Here's an unwrapping Smile



Very well packaged!


Someone's excited!  The worms came in 3 "sand bags" each weighting about 5 lbs!


That's the content of 1 bag...they come in vermicompost from their original home.


This is Bob! My new garden helper!

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Re: Worm composter

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