I am a newbie, would this work??

lexie1397December 2, 2013

I have always wanted a bin. Hubby thinks I am crazy and with finances a little tight I can't justify the $100 for a commercial layered bin (seems to be the most novice-friendly). I am wondering if one could drill holes into one of those plastic drawer carts and get a similar effect? The sides are usually clear but I plan to keep it in an almost never used room anyway.

This is the type of cart I am referencing: http://m.target.com/p/sterilite-3-drawer-cart-purple-tint/-/A-13167798?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Google_PLA_df&LNM=%7C13167798&CPNG=Furniture&kpid=13167798&LID=PA&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=13167798&gclid=CIXJ_uyMk7sCFclcMgod1EgApg


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plastic drawer carts will not work the same as a worm factory or a can of worms. If it did work and a draw was opened what would happen to a worm that was neither half way up nor half way down but right between two drawers?

Plus the plastic drawer carts are barely sturdy enough to hold a pair of socks and a stick of gum and still work.

If finances are tight you can still get the bin you always wanted without the big bucks. Probably even a better bin. Anybody agree? With worms it is not the bin but the knowledge the worm person brings to the cause. That is all for free in the archives right here. Even worms can be for free.

Bin first. Forget the levels for now and go with a single level bin. Either purchase something like an 18 gallon Rubbermaid container or better yet find something for free like an old dishpan or something the size of a cat litter box. Even a gallon milk jug cut down will work to start. As for drilling holes. Some of us do. Some of us do not. I have bins with zero holes in and bins with zero bottoms on. You may be surprised to find that most of us operate the bins with no cover on. The first night after disturbing the bin or the first three nights after setting up a bin we may leave a light on. Fill whatever you find with your choice of free bedding. Think none of that usually gloss junk mail at least to start. Think cardboard shreds or horse manure as bedding. I prefer cardboard egg carton torn into half inch pieces. Once I even filled the entire bottom of a bin with toilet paper tubes cut and tucked into one another forming six inches tall of cardboard to absorb extra moisture in a 5 gallon bucket. This would be similar to bits of string saved for a big ball of string. Other times I have filled the bottom of bins with toilet paper tubes left whole standing up and covered with shredded cardboard. Eventually all bedding disappears and is only a memory. What do you have access to for free?

Now for the worms. Do you have access to an outdoor compost bin or horse manure? Dig through here to get your worms. Most likely chances are they will be identical to what you will get in the mail. Just less of them. They will however be fresh and not in the mail nine days old. Do not worry. These worms are just as good or better just less of them. That is OK because everybody, save one or two, accidentally kills their first batch of worms. This misadventure stinks and the worms, bedding and bin are then put outside or for free online. Maybe somebody else just had their worms die and you can find the bin of your dreams?

Save your money for those 20 cent seed packets they hide in the back corner of Walmart in the garden section way away from the Burpee seeds. Not as many seeds but really how many zucchini plants that take up 16 square feet each did you really need?

For 100 dollars I would have the broken bbq skewer and the chop stick I poke around my bin with gold plated. Yup I would.

Note: I would like to encourage you to purchase a Worm Inn as I have because I would like somebody else to compare notes with. I think rather than purchase another one I would use similar material and design my own using zero sewing and very sturdy stand such as 2X4 or metal or at least the black PVC. A staple gun and bungee cord would be handy too. Also I too would like a worm factory or can o worms updated versions. Maybe we all do? But many who own these by 3 months show up here with a very sad tale to tell. So maybe it is better you are here with no bin than with bin and not here! :-) Even if I was a millionaire I still might not purchase one of the manufactured bins. It just does not seem to match the ideals of vermicomposting. Some youtubes show owners having a great old time with their purchased bins. Nothing like taking off a tray and having hundreds of dangling, wiggling worms to capture our interest. Good thing they are hook free.

This post was edited by equinoxequinox on Tue, Dec 3, 13 at 1:42

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 12:57AM
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Yup, 18 gallon tote and post-rain worm collection was my first attempt. Failed miserably which is why I wanted to go for something "real".

I suppose if I have it in mind to start small anyway I could go ransack the outdoor compost pile. Need to bury the food scraps from the dog anyway.

How do I know I am getting the right kind?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 3:57AM
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Killing your worms had nothing to do with the container. The worms' environment is the bedding.

Keep it moist...not soaked.

Be prudent with what you feed them.

$$$$'s do not make it work better for the worm. It apparently makes it work better for some wormers....I guess.

Read a lot of all the work all of us have put into this site. Conflicting methods will arise, but if anyone puts up something stupid and incorrect, they will be rebutted by enough posters to nullify the bad info. I know this to be true.

Everyone tweaks their own systems after they've become satisfied with what works for them, but that's not to say lots (most) of the other techniques don't work equally well.

If you want to know the truth, killing worms is really kinda hard to do. They are unbelievably adaptable and co-operative, and can put up with "you" much better than "you" with them.

Some people throw them into a container, feed them...whenever....and brag about how successful they are at worming.


BTW I've experimented with every container imaginable as a worm abode. They all work. Plastic sterilite-type bins of all sizes, old cardboard shoeboxes, plastic nursery plant containers, Halloween pumpkins, blah, blah.

If they hold materials, they'll work...up to a point.

BTW2....Great post, EQ2

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 6:55AM
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Your problem on your first attempt was not the tote. It was the post-rain worm collection. What you gathered was not composting worms. The drawers will be a mess to work with. Go with the tote. Get real composting worms. Use your outdoor compost pile as a bedding source.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 8:58AM
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Read up about the two kinds of worms. Rain worms live in the soil below the ground. Compost worms live in the compost pile above the ground.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 3:07PM
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There are three types of worms. Somewhere in the archives Kelly Slocum explains what they are. Neither of the two that come to the surface during a rain are composting worms.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 5:07PM
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I can't find the Kelly Slocum post in the archives, but I did find this:


    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 7:24PM
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priswell(9 CA)

I started my first bin with only 200 worms that I bought at the pet store. I put them in a redwood tub filled with old potting soil, and forgot them most of the time, just watered them once in a while, and put a few crusts of toast in there, and slowly they multiplied into something more substantial.

I only later learned that redworms don't really like redwood containers, and that it would have been better to start with at least a few more worms.

I think what I did right about that was that my lackadaisical feeding and watering methods meant that I did not over feed them or keep them too wet. And that's pretty much it. If you put them in halfway decent bedding and keep them moist, but not too wet, and you feed them, but not too much, they'll mostly do very well.

I still don't use a fancy bin system, I just use Rubbermaid plastic bins with a few holes made with a heated ice pick, with an old bathtub on the side, and I do pretty well.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 6:31PM
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