Bin recommendations

wendrew8June 16, 2010

I have a COW and have had an okay experience thus far. (I've had it up and running about 2 months now.)A neighbor of mine wants to try his hand with worms and seems, for various reasons, overly concerned about making his own bin. Would those of you more experienced vermiculturists recommend any particular ready-made system above another? The worm inn? worm factory? Or should I just keep encouraging him to drill into a rubbermaid tub?? Thanks!

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mendopete

Have your neighbor build an outdoor open bottom worm bin. It is easy and cheap, if you build it yourself. Basic contruction using 2x6 rot resistive lumber, such as redwood, can quickly create an outdoor wormery. Worms like living in the ground!

Pete

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 2:15AM
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randomz

Sell him your COW and upgrade to a home made Flow-Through!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 3:06AM
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alabamanicole(7b)

I feel the COW is a solid, well-functioning product. The worms just don't migrate up as advertised, but that's not a failing of the bin system. And it has some issues, but they all do.

If he doesn't want to DIY, I think the COW is an excellent alternative.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 7:36AM
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rookie09

Rubbermaid type from wal-mart for $4. No holes, cardboard on the bottom, shredded paper and cardboard throughout. Add worms, water and food.

Save $80 -$125, just don't tell the worms.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 5:10PM
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happyhoosierworms

I have a wood flow through bin with five trays and have had good luck with it so far. It's a few months old as well. But being in a condo in a cold weather area I'm not able to have an outdoor bin and also wanted something that looked ok in the kitchen. I liked the looks of it more than plastic ones. Haven't had any trouble with the worms migrating up, but I make sure that the stuff in the lower tray is touching the grate of the upper tray so the worms can just glide ride up. I was thinking of experimenting with reverse migration though. See if they would go down to the next active bin instead of up. Maybe that would allow me to harvest quicker as I do seem to have some lazy worms that like to hang out in the nonactive bin. Only thing I've had trouble with is knats and the vinegar traps are working great.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 5:41AM
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wendrew8

Rookieo9-How do you harvest? Do you have a lid on the top? And no holes drilled?? This might not be what my neighbor wants, but it intrigues me!!

Mendopete-I live in central Michigan and am wondering if the worms would do alright in an outdoor bin. It gets REALLY cold during the winters and stays cold for quite awhile. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 7:00AM
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steamyb(7)

After almost 2 years of worming, I now have worms in 9 different containers of various sizes and types. If I could start over with what I know now, this would be my simple plan. Start with 1 pound of worms ($30) in a 5 gallon bucket with air holes drilled in the top only ($1 each when I buy 50) add shredded cardboard ($0- free from the liquor store), water ($0- so cheap I canÂt measure it) and food ($0- garbage or table scraps or animal poop or leaf mulch, make it easy on yourself, whatever you have at hand). Every 3 months split the buckets (write the split date on tape and put on the bucket). In 1 year I would have 16 buckets with 16 pounds of worms ready for sale. Sell a bucket for $35 and tell them how you raise worms. Only keep 16 buckets ready to sell (this # would depend on your available space and market, some may need to keep 8 or 32, but you get the idea). After you have the 16 buckets on hand, any time you split the buckets and have worms that donÂt sell, put them in a worm pit (4" cinder blocks 2 high on flat ground and as big as you want it, 4x4, 4x8, whatever) and feed them leaf mulch (free from the city and cover with straw in the winter). If sales are so good that you should run out of buckets, hit the pit and fill some buckets. This would be my simple plan.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 8:23AM
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equinoxequinox

Simply Genius.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 9:22AM
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rookie09

Hand sort, sift or donate worms to the garden. No holes other than those that come in the handles. I cover with a plastic bag except when feeding -- my dog thinks he's a goat -- then I put the lid on.

I agree with Steamy -- the only thing better than simple and cheap is simple and free.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 9:27AM
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thestarjacqui

I use 2 55 gallon drums for my worms, they seem to like it. You can usually find them on craigslist pretty cheap. I bought mine in Mexico for just 20 bucks.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 11:01AM
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equinoxequinox

If they insist and simply won't be happy unless they spend money then maybe direct them towards the Worm Inn. The cloth worm bin. It seems like it avoids many newbie errors because of air everywhere. Thus it needs watering more. They might like that part so they can feel like they are doing something more than just looking at a pail. I personally like sitting and looking at the free pail my worms are in. ~The Thinker

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 6:31PM
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mendopete

Wendrew8, I am blessed with a very mild year round climate. If I lived where you do I would have both indoor and outdoor bins. There is a LOT of info about outdoor cold-climate vermicomposting at redwormcomposting.com.
Good Luck! Pete

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 11:26AM
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monkeyknifefight

Well I have had a worm factory for many (5+) years and I love it. I have tried other methods of DIY bins and the worm factory has always been the source bin for worms for new experiments.

I worked up a nested rubbermade setup that never worked as well as the worm factory since it didn't have any drainage out the bottom and stayed too wet.

I created a flow through attempt out of a plastic trashcan but the plastic was too thin and the whole thing collapsed (and the compost itself got taken over by oyster mushrooms but that's a different issue).

Now a have a new flow through out of a metal trashcan that is working so far. But I guess my point is for a new wormer who might be kind of skeptical I always recommend throwing a few bucks at a work factory since they work so well. It'll cost you less than $100 and there's no chance for failure.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 7:14PM
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