Inner-city Exterior Worm Bin

lopsidefundipApril 24, 2009

Hi folks,

My name is Heather and I live, work, and garden within 10 square blocks in the south bronx. I currently have two worm bins. One in my apartment (for my houseplants and windowboxes) and one on a nearby rooftop (where I grow vegetables in containers- without permission)

I have acquired another site where I plan to plant ornamentals only. It's a local front and backyard that has been unbelievably neglected. The soil is so compacted that I broke a trowel on the first day digging. I have dug up just everything terrible that you can imagine.

The small front yard was so time consuming and it was so expensive to buy soil amendments, that I haven't touched the large back yard yet.

I am going to need a LOT of compost.

I've never had to worry about an exterior bin before. On the roof, it's pretty sheltered and I don't have to worry about roaches, rats, stray cats, or raccoons (seriously, where do they even come from?)

I would also really like to start vermicomposting the kitchen prep waste from the restaurant where I work. I'd start slowly of course, but I'd really like to step up the scale and turnover compared to my other two bins.

My idea so far is to build a 2x4x2 toy-box style wood bin, with two chicken wire compartment screens so I could do a flow-through style harvesting. For my other bins, I pick out all the little worms and eggs by hand. For this I'd really prefer not to do that.

I really like the vertical stacking bins you can buy online, but I feel like I could more easily put a padlock on the toybox. I don't know how tough raccoons are?

The other thing is that I see "SuperReds" for sale online and they are supposedly more temperature tolerant and active than the normal reds I'm used to. New York City snaps hot and cold- are they really worth the extra cost?

Any advice at all is much appreciated.

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anewgarden

Good luck with all that!! I love the idea of you gardening in various Bronx places!

I can't help you with your questions-but I have one for you: can you tell me where you read about Super Reds???

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 4:11PM
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briansttt(5)

Lopsidefundip,

I'm by no means an expert on any of this but I hope this helps.... Here are a few things to check out in this forum (ps. just search and you'll come up with MANY more things in this awesome forum...) The second link the barrels aren't to hard to get if you have any car washes around you you just have to wash the barrels out really good and let them sit out in the weather with the tops cut off for a bit but the soap is usually biodegradable so it's not too toxic (I built a composter and have all sorts of things living in it with no problems), or being in the restaurant business you might even be able to find a food grade one some where that would be even better.

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/verm/msg0107440211315.html

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/verm/msg042040421641.html?137

As for the "Super Reds" that your speaking of they are not really reds at all ("Uncle Jim's Worm Farm" the place I ordered mine from had the same thing, If your thinking of ordering from there their prices are great and my worms were nice and all arrived on schedule and healthy with no problems. I ordered the 2lbs cause I thought it was the best deal but now I think I might order more and take some to school for the kids).... They are actually European night crawlers which are also another worm used for composting. I don't personally have them so I can't tell you how well they work but I was under the impression that they breed less often and each cocoon contains less baby worms in it. I have heard how ever that they are supposed to be a bit more tolerant of the climate changes and also the other day I read something that said that they also tolerate acidity better.. Not sure how true that is but hopefully someone on here might know better for you. Well hope all this rambling helped and good luck with your project!

Brian

Just thought I'd through this in cause I can't seem to sleep....

"European Nightcrawlers"

"European nightcrawlers, also known as, Belgian worms, Super Red, Carolina Crawler, Blue worm, and half a dozen other names. The scientific name for this worm is Eisenia Hortensis. These worms are prolific breeders once they get established into a new environment or worm farm. D&S Worm Farm provides a quality established breeding environment for your worm farm, which is necessary for the success of this breed." (Copied from D&S Worm Farms web site)

I've also seen them called Alabama Jumpers in several places best thing to do is just call the company and get the scientific name for their "Super Reds" though and look it up...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 12:35AM
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