Bin Covers

mbirgenJune 1, 2013

Hello everyone. I have been reading the forum for a couple of months now, but decided to join in because I have a statement/question. My bin is a simple medium-sized plastic bin with no holes involved (except the really big one at the top). A dear friend got me an ice cream bucket full of worms and well enjoyed shredded paper. I didn't make too many mistakes at the beginning and the squirmers are happy and have taken the command to be fruitful and multiply to heart.

I had to move my bin outside to the garage because of a small fly/gnat infestation and they really weren't welcome in the kitchen any longer. I am hoping to fix this issue before things get cold here in Iowa. I read on another forum that - if I get desperate I could just bathe my worms and transfer to a new bin.

Now to the question - because my bin has no added holes, I have been trying to keep the air supplied by leaving the top off. This seems to work well, except that I would worry about moisture levels because the top dried off quickly. So, I have added a large plastic bag from a department store as a "soft cover". This seems to be working quite well. The bottom of the bag often has sqirmy friends, but they don't migrate to the dry top. No one tries to leave the bin. Now, I am sure there are some that will tell me my worms are no longer organic, but for me the reason for my bin is to reduce the waste I put out for the trash.

Has anyone else tried this and what issues am I missing that I should be thinking about? I am going on a long vacation soon and will move the bin to the basement so that it doesn't cook in an unexpected heat wave.

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I am all in favor of having a topper on your bin, but covering a plastic tote with a plastic bag seems wrong to me. The worms need air, the more the better.

Maybe try covering with a burlap bag or old cotton garment or towel. A piece of cardboard laid on top flat, or several inches of shredded cardboard would also help.

Good luck! Pete

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 7:08PM
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For a long vacation, I would go with several inches of shredded cardboard. But when I had my worms, my bins had lids. Even with lids, I would go for several inches of shredded cardboard.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 7:11PM
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The bag is just laying on top of the bedding and not sealing the top of the bin at all. Burlap would be nice, but not available around here. There is about an inch of bedding around the edges between the bag and the wall of the bin. And, of course, there is the daily lift for peeking and feeding. They have been pretty happy for the last month, but I will let you know how it goes.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 8:37PM
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"Now, I am sure there are some that will tell me my worms are no longer organic"

A little hard to get any windage copying Chucks style when Chuck live and in person is here.

Granted half the time I hit send and then figured I would get kicked off :-)

I am of the opinion that your style kept the board hopping.

Well that and I think the worm calculator somehow attracted an assortment of people here from far and wide and although they seemed to pop up, request and disappear even that no doubt had value in strengthening the board. I must admit I capital I never suggested someone get a horse :-). Only the real chuck could do that. Some of us are lacking in some departments. :-)

Back to the topic, see quote at top, I am pretty sure there are no vermicomposting organic police. Thus you are free to do what you want. Paper, plastic or $1 reuseable shopping bag possibly contaminated with lead and e-coli. I guess our real beef with plastic is it does not allow in oxygen. I wonder if *cough* magnimoist *cough* something or other would work well as a cover. I just learned about the product from growingyourgreens . Sometimes rice comes in burlap bags. Tractor Supply also sells burlap bags. I would expect they might work as well as or better than other products.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 9:18PM
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I have to admit it was Chucks posts that made me feel welcome enough to join this forum. I will look for burlap in the discards around town. I love my worms, but not as much as I love my bank account and cheap is as cheap does .

I am a college math professor in the middle of Iowa, but deep in my heart I am a hippy child who grew up in California.

Currently I am eyeing a pair of jeans that have just lost structural control to make into a flow-through container.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:09AM
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I cover my outside plastic bin with screen, the kind for windows. It is held all around with clamps. I also have an umbrella standing over it and in the winter when it rains heavy i do cover with plastic and put a small lightbulb hanging to keep the worms from wanting to escape. Also use light bulbs in winter at night only, for warmth.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:48PM
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Coffee beans come in burlap bags. Find a cafe that roast its own beans. The bags are free.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 1:58AM
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