Does anyone use a single bin system?

Minnesota_EricJune 5, 2013

I am about a month into my vermi-career and things are going pretty well. After much research, I decided to take the simple route and start a single bin system. As evidenced by this forum, there are many varying opinions on worm beds. I figured that I would start with a single bin, and if things don't work out, I can always add more bins. I saw an article/video that suggested if I kept the correct moisture content, there would be no need for drainage or multiple bins. I saw another article that suggested that the liquid (juice) was really not that beneficial to my plants anyhow, therefore not worth the effort of collecting. (I have a large outdoor yard waste compost bin if I need another source of compost tea). However, after reading many posts on this site, it seems that most people use a multi-bin system, and I may be on the wrong track here... looking for advice.

My questions are:
How many single bin systems are out there?
Do I need to make a change to a multi bin system?
Is the worm tea really that great?

Thanks for your input!

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Does anyone use a single bin system?


Single bin is, IMHO, THE way to start.

OK, you shouldn't be having a lot of excess leachate (and don't confuse leachate with worm tea, or AVCT), Leachate has a little bit of quality, but just pour it on a plant or something. BUT YOU SHOULD NOT BE HAVING A LOT OF LEACHATE.

There are a whole bunch of singles out here. There are probably less multi-bin systems out there than you and prospective buyers of them are led to believe because the sellers of those want you to think they are superior to stupid old, regular, simple, unprofitable home-made ingenuity-produced bins.

That is, of course, BS.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:34PM
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boreal_wormer(Alta Canada)

I've always used single bin systems. Had a RubberMaid tote bin for 9 years, a small flow through for a couple and now I've converted the flow through to an inverting type.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inverting Worm Bin

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:21PM
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I use two single bins, which I've used from the beginning (almost four years ago); actually it was one bin to start and then I advanced to two. My bins are large Rubbermaid-type plastic bins (16- gal.), black color with tight-fitting lids and 1/2" holes drilled all around the sides for airflow (no holes in top or bottom). You are not on the wrong track for there is no single track, but multiple ones. Definitely start off with a single bin and then when you become proficient, you can try your hand at something else. But don't be mislead into blowing a wad of cash on a fancy bin of one sort or another. There are many companies out there, each trying to convince you that their system is the best.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 2:37AM
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gardenmom(z4 WA)

I, too, was worried about excess moisture when I started. I use 2 stacked Rubbermaid tubs. The store only had blue, so that's what I've got. I drilled 3/8" holes all around the sides near the top and 1/2" holes in the low spots (4 corners) of the bottom. I covered the bottom with a layer of screening so the worms wouldn't fall through. Then I placed some small clay flowerpots in the lower tub to provide a 3" gap between the tub layers, and lowered the worm tub into this.

I've had this bin going over a year now and have only seen one or 2 small drops of leachate in the lower bin. I use shredded cardboard for my bedding. I'm guessing with my set up a single bin would have worked fine.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 1:42PM
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I am on a single-bin system and it's been awesome. Personally, I didn't want the hassle of having to monitor bin moisture too closely, so I built an in-ground system outside. Way easy. I took an 18-gallon rubbermaid roughneck, cut the bottom out, and dropped a piece of cardboard in, like a false bottom. I also drilled holes throughout the lid for air flow. Then I buried the tote up to its neck in an especially shady area of the yard. From there I layered compost, hay, peat, cardboard, and newspaper and soaked it down. That's it. I water if the bedding gets dry, but I've only had to do that once to remedy an ant invasion. I've since learned to bury and cover my scraps well, and the ants haven't dared to go in since. My worms are extremely happy, and moisture is never a concern for me. Also, the bin is always at least 10 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature. If you have the room, I would definitely suggest you go in-ground.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 9:57PM
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King_Kale: You are in zone 7? How do you protect your worms from the cold of winter?
I am in zone 8 and have to use reptile heater cables in my bins.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 1:09AM
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I also use the single bin method currently. I bought two 9gal tubs which are 24x17x7 the second one being a catchall which is not needed as I just recently had my first harvest and there still is no drainage in the bottom tub which I understand there should not be. But the tub can be used as second tub and I may soon do that.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 9:30AM
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Otis11: Yeah man I'm in zone 7, southern Virginia to be exact. I just started my bin about a month ago, so I honestly hadn't given much thought to Winter. I probably won't go out of my way to beat back mother nature. I've heard worms are pretty cold-tolerant, and even if my little buggers freeze, the eggs should make it through to the Spring.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 10:28PM
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13 years and running with my 6' cedar coffin bin ( not really a coffin, but that's how it is lovingly referred to by my family..... And it just might be involved in my ultimate recycling plan as a part of my last will & testament...) which is stored in the garage. I snuck (shhhh!) a Rubbermaid bin into our "mud room" to increase winter feeding. It is kept outside in the summer. I just don't have the inertia to do more!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 10:41PM
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