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Does a compost tube count as gear? Cause I am loving mine!

 
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After seeing a similar item in several YouTube videos we made our selves a compost tube for my tomato box. We used 4 in ribbed plumbing pipe (much cheaper and easier to cut to size!) A vented drain cover on the bottom and a connecter and screw cap on the top. Cut the pipe to 6 inches short of the hight of the box (or the difference of the height minus the other parts, you need to be able to unscrew the cap, but keep all the other holes covered), drilled holes all over with a pinky sized bit, up and down and all around, attached the drain cover and the connecter/screw cap and stood it in the center of the box drain cover at the bottom (helps keep water from pooling in the bottom of the pipe and assures the worms can get in and out even if they get bigger than the drill holes) then buried it in. We fill the center with what ever kitchen scraps we have, and as long as we keep it mounded so the flies can get in we don't have an issue with that. My tomatoes are very very happy, had to add some bone dust eventually because there where no flowers but I think a system like this would be absolutely awesome for any leafy green etc... If my lettuce was doing nearly as well as those tomatoes I could feed salad to a small army for days in a 3 X 3 box!
 
gardener
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I will be making one(or more) soon using a 5 gallon bucket.  It should be easy to fill with kitchen scraps.
 
Victoria Jankowski
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wayne fajkus wrote:I will be making one(or more) soon using a 5 gallon bucket.  It should be easy to fill with kitchen scraps.

We make sooo many scraps, as a WHolefood plant based Vegan, we process a rediculouse amount of food! We are actually backed up right now I have 2 3 gallon buckets and most of a storage tote full of scraps waiting to go places! I'm planning on reaping my tube, filling in a tire already growing spaghetti squash, and maybe setting up another tire or 2 for more squash that I rested seed from!. Also thinking to get a 5 gallon and 'spike' it with scraps to start a lemon tree in!
 
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I read somewhere that its best to have a large surface area for worms rather than a vertical system so the bucket would likely be better but i can help but think it would be better to bury the scraps/manures to make lil garden beds. Apparently its safer to bury bioactive meterial too.
 
pollinator
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This is less of an issue with exclusively plant-based composting, but some materials really benefit from a hot compost, and some compounds and pathogens are only broken down or killed in a hot compost. This is less a compost tube and more a vermiculture tube.

But I have done similar things with select materials in a hugelbeet with raised bed sides. The only things that went in the tube were fresh kitchen scraps and coffee grounds, so it was really more of a worm feeder, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a fantastic way to take the food energy in my kitchen scraps and distribute it throughout my hugelbeet. And the worms did all the work.

I don't know that I would necessarily classify compost tubes as gear, but rather technique, as it's a rather simple setup that you build and install yourself, with no set parameters other than those imposed by its function. That said, I like the idea, especially in a situation where it can be advantageous for soil fertility in planters and container gardens in living conditions that would otherwise not allow soil-based (rather than bucket- or container-based) composting.

-CK
 
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