gonna try worm composting..help

steeltowninwvJuly 17, 2014

I have a 100 gallon Rubbermaid trough I would like to use..it has a drain in the bottom I can adapt a spigot to...heres a pic

my question is do I need drainage holes with the spigot?..would really hate to put drainage holes in this trough

also where is the best place to buy 1 lb of red wigglers?

my question is do I need drainage holes with the spigot?
also where is the best place to buy 1 lb of red wigglers?

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That would do fine IMO, no need to put holes in it as it has a drain, Not sure your long term plan but you could start with a lot more then 1000 worms in that. you might find a local worm farm or there are many on line places to order worms.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:02AM
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If you are going to start with 1 lb of worms, you probably want to start with something smaller and let the herd grow into this bin.

And, no, no need for drainage holes. The drain in the bottom is sufficient.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 1:55PM
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I would like to start with many more worms...but at 30 bucks a pound including shipping..it would be a lot of money to buy what I would need for that bin

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:54PM
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then if your going to use that bin i would only start with about 4" of material or so and add to it as the multiply, or you buy more. I have heard the # from several sources of 1000 worms (1lb) per sq ft..

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 12:33PM
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When they talk about "1000 worms/sq ft", overcrowding is what's being referred to. If you have 1 lb of worms in a much larger sq footage area, just feed them in a small section of it.

They WILL stay where the food is....unless you get some of those worms who don't eat.

Carlos Danger

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:31PM
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I would put a barrier across the middle of it (wooden or plastic board, styrofoam etc), so that only half of the trough is utilized, until your herd grows.
They will easily be able to find each other to eat and mate.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:23PM
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It's funny, but, everyone talks about those "drainage holes". I have been using the large plastic bins from the beginning (1 year ago). I have never drilled a single drain hole. Even after the time I accidentally left a bin outside and it rained. I tipped the bin up and let it remain tilted for 24 hours. Then I scooped out the rain water. Did not lose a single worm. My bedding is a mix of NP and thick card board pieces, the worms wiggle through a mix of cow manure, soil, sand, topped off with shredded NP. I keep a spray bottle of distilled water next to my bins. All the worm food it put through the Nutri Bullet so it is a puree soupy texture and consistency. I spritz my beds everyday as needed. The food puree adds good moisture. Finally, I check my worms every morning and turn off their nightlight. The thought of having all that draining unusable liquid grosses me out.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:58AM
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priswell(9 CA)

There's nothing wrong with starting with "only" 1 lb of worms. Starting small lets you and your worms grow together. You'll learn about them as you go. By the time you have a bin full, you'll be a confident worm wrancher.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 7:00PM
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"There's nothing wrong with starting with "only" 1 lb of worms."

Not only nothing wrong, but the absolute best way to start. Almost all failures happen when newbies overreach using techniques that they would never use later when they've become acquainted with their worms.

And, if you kill off a pound of worms at first, it's better than sacrificing 10 lbs.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:26PM
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"There's nothing wrong with starting with "only" 1 lb of worms." I'm just repeating here but the benefit of starting with one pound of worms in a non industrial setting is vermicomposting is an art not a science. One pound per one person is a nice ratio. With 5 pounds the pendulum is not as balanced because the base is more prone to tipping and the fix is more massive. One pound is starter size. Less than one pound is micro starter size. That is good too. Some start with that much. And... we all, well many, kill their first worms. How many worms do you want to kill? Or more accurately dead worms may tell no tales but how many do you want to smell?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 11:48PM
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I use almost that exact container for worms, and find that it works wonderfully. Even though there is a drain, I've never used it. The advantage of such a large container is that you can allow some moisture to pool at the bottom. The worms may or may not avoid that very wet area; I often find mine almost swimming at the bottom, and appearing happy. However, with such a large container, I don't worry about the excess moisture since the worms can just move up if they don't like the supper wet environs. Also, if part of the tub starts to lose too much moisture, you have a reservoir to replenish by wicking. Another advantage I've seen with these large containers is that a small number of worms really take off multiplying. I've put a few hundred (maybe 4 ounces) in such a bin, fed them through a few months, and had many more.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:21PM
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A pound of worms in that container is "fine". More would be fine too. Less would be fine too.


There are nice folks here at The Forum that might help you with your first start. Some did for me. As soon as my initial batch has grown substantially, I will "pay it forward" as well. Barring that, you (and I) just have to bit the bullet and pay for worms by the pound.

The most recent lesson I have learned is "LEAVE THEM ALONE AND THEY DO JUST FINE!"

However, I sincerely appreciate that when starting a new venture, one wants to "learn", and observing is often learning. So, I will say the following: "Play with them (disturb) them as much as you like until you are bored of it. Then leave them alone for a month or two, and you will have a VERY pleasant surprise when you do look in on them. ("Not disturbing" includes raising the lid once a week or so to make sure 'things' are OK.)


    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:53PM
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