My Flow Through Bins
Hi all, I'd like to thank you for this forum. I barely found it and
because of this forum I was able to make myself some flow thru bins.
I've been worming for about a year now and visited worm digest and
gardenweb forums but haven't heard about the flow thru's till
recently. Finally got some god pics by wellsworms and decided to make
my own. He asked me to post pics so here they are! They're in the
photo section. I'm going to tell you how I made the bins because they
really are great and cheap to make.
Step 1: First of all you need your actual bin. My first one was made
from a 44 gallon trash can bought at home depot. It was around 35.00.
The 55 gallon drum I got from a friend that just gave to me. I used a
utility knife to cut the opening of the trashcan. It was pretty easy
and only required a few strokes. The 55 gallon drum however needed a
jigsaw with metal/plastic blade to cut the opening.
Step 2: I used threaded rods that were 3/8" thick and were zinc coated
to prevent rust. I don't think rust is a problem but my mom says she
heard that it was toxic in the garden so this is just precautionary. 6
foot rods are 5.00 each and you need 3 to 4 of them depending on what
size bin and how far apart you put the rods. I used a jigsaw with
metal blades to cut the rods to length. Drilled holes in the bin with
3/8" drill bit. Again used the drill to spin the rods through the
holes in the bin because it is a pretty tight fit.
Step 3: Put 6 layers of newspaper on top on rods inside of your bin to
hold castings, worms, and starter bedding. The paper will compost and
you can use a garden rake to scrap off castings when you need it.
Others have suggested 18" of castings from the rods to the top before
you start harvesting. I haven't harvested anything yet because I want
my bin to be almost full before I start harvesting.
Step 4: Add bedding and food scraps on the top and when the castings
is ready you can harvest!
A few words I have to say about this design. I've only had it for
about a month or so but so far I am loving it. I used to have worm
factories (2) but they just don't seem as efficient as these and I
hated harvesting because I had to seperate the worms from castings. My
hope with this design is that once the bins are pretty full that there
will be hardly any worms near the bottom of the bin. Hopefully
harvesting will be easier. Like I said I haven't had this long enough
yet so I can't comment on that. When I dig from inside the bin all the
way to the rods, the castings are pretty compact towards the bottom
and I don't have many worms down there. I think when the bin is full
there will be even less worms for a easier and faster harvest.
I have also noticed that the worms can take much more food than my
worms in the worm factories. I'm not sure why but the food disappears
pretty quickly. I might just have more worms in the new bins compared
to the worm factories. Whatever it is, the food is disappearing fast
and so is the bedding which prompted me to make the 2nd blue 55 gallon
bin. I'm going to try to sell my worm factories off to recoup the cost.
I do not add any water in the bins at all. It seems the open bottom
and closed top give perfect moisture level. There is a lot of water on
the lid when I open it but the worms seem to be thriving so I'm not
adding more paper.
Hope this helps people that want to try a flow thru bin! Btw you can
find 55 gallon bins on craigslist and pennywiser for around 25 bucks.
Cheaper than the trash can I bought at home depot. Some of them have
lids that are removable too so you wouldn't need to cut anything.
Wow that was a long post but after watching American Idol I just felt
like I should "Give back" to the forum members and everything I've