what you all think about this setup? no holes

jeanwedding(6 ky)August 20, 2012

newbie here

I am posting this to several forums... need all the adviser I can get....

I got my 2 pounds of mixed worms and 2 starter.....

Have them in a new 24 wide by 6 ft oval metal tank that has drain plug in center bottom... Up on two high concrete blocks Did not want to drill into this tank since it is new.

Now can tilt if needed forward toward drain... Hubby made tank slope slightly downhill since it kind of on some what incline anyway..... 2 concrete blocks high....

Put a nice large heavy pieces of large cardboard on bottom,,, then the new straw and mostly dry leaves. put a cardboard divider down middle....so the right half of tank just has the cardboard flooring. then the worms, starter than some hand torn newspaper on top , sprinkled all this with some rainwater I collected...then another piece of heavy cardboard... Then the piece of metal roofing......

will all this mold??? since I have no air holes in it..... It is outside out out the sun It will get no sun.....

I put in and buried a handful of mixture of sweet potato peelings with some eyes sprouting, eggplant peeling skin,

Got plenty of fruit and veggie scraps everyday but prob more than worms could handle. since it is local gardening season... So had to give all the melon rinds, etc to down the road neighbors' chickens, or throw down hill into woods...

thought I saw something move in the right top corner day or so when took off metal roof...piece..... are skinks, frogs bad???

Gonna make a underneath frame for the roof metal piece and maybe attach with metal roofing screws.

and maybe put on hinges>>>>and cut the corners of metal roof so it does not stick out much and cut me. Also to shape more closely the oval shape of the big tank

Please chime in with comments, suggestions.....

I know I should have only put in half of new worms... but then I would have to make another temp bin????

Oh someone is bringing me some coir this week. SUGGESTIONS>>>>>>>

Now I hope to be able to put most all veggie scraps into bin

My purpose of worms,

  1. Is to compost... since critter wont leave my compost bin alone

  2. to get worm castings to make tea to fertilize my veggie garden.... and make compost

Oh have access to neighbors fresh chicken manure......

Okay ?



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boreal_wormer(Alta Canada)

"Have them in a new 24 wide by 6 ft oval metal tank"

24ft wide?? 6 ft high??

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:30PM
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I think this is a standard six foot galvanized stock tank.

But I'm afraid I can't understand most of the writing.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 3:21AM
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buckstarchaser(5 MI)

This sounds somewhat similar to my setup. It works well. Some things that I learned are:
-Two pounds of worms was not sufficient for starting a bin of this size. I should have used a divider until the population rose.
-Straw and grass is a worm food of last resort until after the mushrooms are finished blooming. At that point, they have damaged it enough that the worms can start into it.
-If the worms eat the newspaper and cardboard but leave the grass and straw, then they are out of food and need more immediately. They generally eat the paper after all the desirable stuff is gone.
-Chicken manure will turbo-boost the composting process, thus making more food for the worms.
-The side drain is too high. Water will stagnate on the bottom.
-If the bedding is deep enough, and the area large enough, you can make a deep hole in the bedding and hot compost everything right in the bin, to the worm's delight.
-The bedding must be kept very deep in an outdoors bin. My worms traverse the entire height of the bedding on a daily basis, depending on where the temperature, moisture, light, and food are just right for them. An outdoor bin does not have a stable and even temperature, so you have to make it large enough that there will be a 'Goldilocks zone' large enough to fit all the worms that want to be there.
-An outdoors bin can steam and smell however it wants and nobody will complain.
-"Critters" as in all sorts of insects, will be in the bin. It does not matter though because spiders will come in with them and keep some control on that.

Now you asked about skinks and frogs... They both eat worms. Move them to the garden so that they can eat bugs instead. I found that by lining a hole that my dog dug with a piece of plastic (the corner of my winter garden cover tarp), rain collected there, my dog could drink from it, and a pair of frogs soon launched a flotilla of tadpoles there. Of course there are also mosquito larva in the puddle with them, but I have not been attacked since spring (I live by a stagnant water basin, so mosquito control wouldn't really do anything but kill the tadpoles that I want near my garden when they grow up).

Yeah, anyway, what I did to fix the stagnating water problem was to put the bin up on blocks like you did, and then drill some holes in the bottom center. This let the water drain into a water heater pan, that my plumber friend piped to a faucet, that I keep a 5 gallon bucket under. The bucket (and it's backup bucket) have aquarium air stones in them to keep the juice fresh while it matures into some fine liquid gold.

I'm concerned about your choice of a metal tub and no sun in an area that I think has a hard frost, but I'd like to know how it goes.

I'm sure by now you have noticed that your cardboard is loosing its structural integrity. You may want to replace your divider with outdoors-grade plywood.

Also, with the anticipation that water would collect on the bottom of the tub, but before I realized it could not stay there, I dumped a few inches of pine bark wood mulch on the bottom and covered it with about 1/8" of newspaper. This payed dividends when I finally said "enough" and drilled the drain holes though the bottom. Your tub is galvanized steel though, so drilling holes may cause it to rust out prematurely. Unfortunately, those metal stock tanks probably cost twice as much as the rubber stock tank (which is why I bought the rubber one) and likely, less durable. Mine is supported by its ends, with a few hundred pounds in it. Checking with a straightedge, it is not bowing... yet.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 6:06AM
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For 2 lbs. of worms I would make the worm-living area even smaller, say just to the 1/4 mark assuming you meant 24 x 6ft is the surface area. That will make it easier for the worms to meet and mate, rather than travelling the longer distance. Then I would use the remaining empty space to pile up the scraps etc. starting at the farthest end. That way the worms won't be directly effected when it does heat up. And you will always have "worm-ready" food at hand which they will process faster.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 2:23PM
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I am sure you means 24" (2')x 6". I think 2 lbs of worms is fine to start unless you are in a hurry. In 6-8 months it should be at capacity if you do well.

Mold is icky but quite OK.

I think you need some ventilation in your roof.Maybe have it raised 1/2 inch or so. Screen in to keep out critters.

Caution with fresh chicken manure. Mix it into your regular compost pile first. You should also add lots of compost if you already have a pile. Get your worms comfortable with compost or aged horse manure BEFORE adding lots of other things.Easy does it the first few weeks.

What is 2 lbs mixed worms and 2 starter mean?

I have never used coir or purchased anything to feed my worms. I like free cardboard, straw/hay or aged horse manure for bedding. Use lots!

I see no reason to section it off. Just start at one end with all the worms and pre-compost food on the other end. Before long your bin will be full.

Tilt toward the drain. No need to elevate much if any, as long as the liquid drains out. Remember, what goes in (food & bedding) must come out(castings). Higher is a bigger backache.

You are doig great! keep it up!!!!

Hope this helps. Good luck. Pete

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:10PM
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