Do I need to drill holes at the bottom of RM worms container?

house_first_timer(9)June 12, 2010

Newbie here, it took me a while to get the worms and started a rubbermaid container about a month ago. I drilled some holes along the side of container. But I didn't drill any drain hole at the bottom. Are they required? I just don't want smelly juice/liquid leaking onto my garage floor.

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Some people do and others don't.
I have drilled about 120 - 5/8" holes at the bottom of my RM bins. Since I have a stack of 4 bins + 1 leachate bin, I drilled the lids at the same time I drilled the bottom so as to get them to line up, sort of, so the worms will and can travel up when the lower bin is finished. So that lid will be the lid to the bin underneath it. I marked/named the corners so I know which one is which and where.

The leachate bin has holes only on the upper sides about 3" wide with 1/16" bit.

I have this set-up for over a year now, starting with 1 bin only with adult worms I found (not that many) in my Worm Factory at that time. I made a partition with cardboard so the space wouldn't be too big for so little amount of worms.

I am happy with how they turned out, better than the Worm Factory even.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 12:52AM
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Adding bedding will prevent liquid.

An 18 gallon RM is pretty much unmoveable.

A 10 gallon is more versatile because it can be moved. One bin can be flipped into another making the bottom now the top.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 3:46AM
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I drilled holes in the bottom of my first bins because I kept reading that was how you set up a worm bin. Since then, I do not bother and I see no difference in the health and wellbeing of my worms.

I would not waste the tub by drilling holes in the bottom. Then you always have a tub that can be used for some other purpose.

I keep my worms inside in a carpeted bedroom, so I have to be extra careful about making a mess. I set my bins in large plastic trays I get from the hospital where I work. Inevitably when I am feeding or messing with the worms, something falls out and I'm glad that tray is there.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 9:33AM
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Since you are a newbie, I would say 100% to drill holes in the bottom, but not the bottom, bottom -- around the bottom edge facing to the side, so that they don't get blocked when you set the bin down on someting.

Then place the bin on another RM lid or on a tray, or basically anything that will catch any drippings.

You can maintain bins without leachate, but you probably need to get your hands dirty for a while to find that find line between no leachate and too dry.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 9:41AM
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Thanks everyone for your feedback, really appreciate it.

When I started to add worms, they all climbed to the sides. I added more bedding material and it seems to fix the issue. I will probably have to add bedding from time to time to soak up the extra moisture.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 12:09PM
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I have found that "add bedding" is pretty much the answer to all my worm questions. The worms will need both food and bedding because the micro-herd will eat both. I try to keep at least 4" on top of everything and 6" if I have it available

To answer your first question -- I put holes in my first bin but haven't on any others.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 2:46PM
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Pjames- What are you using in your bins for bedding and how do you feed as to not attract flies inside? Thanks - Jim

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 3:05PM
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I use mainly shredded junk mail/office paper with a little cardboard for bedding. I do use alot of UCG, mainly because I make a pot on the days I stay home plus I go by Starbucks several times a week.

My wife and I really do not produce much in the way of food scraps. We eat fruit.. but rarely is therr more than a banana peel or apple core left over. No melons-(wife has major food allergies to alot of stuff). We eat alot of frozen vegetables and cook just about enough for the two of us with almost no leftover. Even when I make a salad, I have been pulling leaves off the Romaine and other lettuces in the garden so I don't have much waste afterwards. We do use alot of onion so there are a few ends and skins left over, and the ends of green beans and squash which are producing well right now.

This also is to reply to the "how much food scrap do ou generate" thread.

Lately I have been bringing in compost from my outside tumbler. I had some very questionable stuff in a regular pile so I added a bunch of grass clippings and UCG and the pile has been hot for a few weeks now. The stuff I brought in a little while ago is still pretty hot but since I did not put more than 1/2 gallon into each bin and it is cool inside, I should not have a problem.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 5:07PM
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