Worm Factory vs. Worm Factory 360

jj_upstatenyAugust 14, 2010

I've been worm composting for six or seven years using a couple of very large Rubbermaid bins. It works, but even with many holes they don't drain well, and my castings are far from light and fluffy. I've decided to try a commercial bin with a better drain.

I can't understand the difference between the Worm Factory and the Worm Factory 360 that they are now pushing. Is it something with the air flow? Anything else? I've not seen a comparison. If you have a Worm Factory 360, are you pleased with it?

Thanks all!

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plumiebear(z9? CA)

I don't have experience with the brand you're referring to, but I have used a similar stacking system for many years. Moisture control will not be any easier than your RM bin. The light and fluffy vermicompost you see photos of are usually screened to 1/8" or 1/4". It takes some work to get stuff like that. I do it when I want to give VC to family & friends, but I use the chunky VC myself.

Some suggestions to consider for controlling moisture better in your current bin:
 If you have a leachate collection bin at the bottom, put some dry bedding (egg cartons, cardboard, etc.) in there to soak up the leachate and give worms that wander down a place to live without drowning. Once a month, dump all that in the top of your bin and start with new dry bedding.
 Add as much dry bedding as you can on the top of your bin. Just move it aside when you add food, then cover the food with bedding again. This top bedding will slowly wick moisture from the decaying material and eventually become food for the worms.
 Carefully slide pieces of cardboard along the sides of your bin...as far down as you can. This can also help a little in wicking excess moisture from the bottom of your bin.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 11:36AM
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I agree with Plumie's advice on managing your bin. I just spent the last few hours sifting compost to remove castings from one of my bins, then separating as many cocoons as I could from the castings. it was labor intensive but I had a reason.
The resulting castings are fine, 'fluffy' and pour like you might see in a TV ad (if anybody bothered to make an ad about worm composting on TV).

I generally sift to remove castings to make tea and return anything that bigger than the sieve to the worm bin, but right now I have a couple trays of compost drying on my patio so I can sift them and am seriously considering simply using them as compost. Most of it looks better than what I produce from my regular compost bins although it is a little chunky and moist right now.

I will probably try to retrieve a few of the cocoons from one of the trays as it is from my ENC bin and the population is nowhere where I want it.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 2:11PM
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I have a worm factory 360 and if I recall correctly, its difference was something to do with a slightly better venitilation system.
I also have a rubbermaid setup, right next to my 360. I made it according to how everyone says to do it.
My rubbermaid does not drain very well at all compared to the 360 setup.
The problem in my mind is the ventilation is much better in the 360, the rubbermaid does ventilate at all. SO when I add new food to the RM, it just keeps adding water. I end up taking the leachate and pouring it on plants. I started to add it back to the top but figured since the moisture is not evaporating hardly at all. That pouring back in would be even worst.

The worms in my 360 are happy, the worms in my RM I have to keep a light on or the crawl out and die. :(

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 11:02AM
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Caution: I'm a verminoob. I started my Worm Factory 360 in January of this year.

The difference between the 360 and the Worm Factory, as I understand it, is the domed top which helps with ventilation. And the instructions printed on the lid.

I love my 360. I did research before I bought it and I continue to be happy. I have not killed my first 1,000 worms - YET. I harvested my first tray of vermicompost/castings two weeks ago. Those castings saved a Black Krim tomato plant that was otherwise just dead. I was amazed. That alone convinced my fiancee that the worms in the kitchen were fine; he even asked to feed them some frozen scraps.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 6:25PM
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If you have to keep a light on a rubbermaid bin to keep the worms from fleeing, you've got an intolerable situation in that bin for those worms.

If things are right in there, it is a resort....not a prison.

I would re-examine the conditions in that bin because an established bin properly conditioned really doesn't even need a lid on it except to keep the moisture content stable.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:12PM
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