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Newbie vermicomposting - the drain

 
Mariamne Ingalls
pollinator
Posts: 166
Location: NE Ohio (Zone 6a, on the cusp of 6b) 38.7" annual precip
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Hi All--

I've just set up my vermicomposting bin, and I have a question about the drain.

I have an outdoor bin, made of a plastic laundry tub on legs, which has a drain.
I've covered the stuff in the bin (bedding / worms / scraps / soil) loosely with large sheets of torn lawn leaf bags (brown paper).
I placed a bucket under the drain to catch any leachate, etc.

About the drain:
- Do you think I would do better to seal it off, with something that will allow me to open the drain at will?
- Possible reasons to seal it off:
-- keep small critters out
-- keep any worms from escaping (I have red wigglers)

Thanks a bunch!
Mariamne
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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I used to have handmade bucket worm bins in my garage. I had a hole for liquid to drain out and a container under the bucket to catch the liquid. i always felt like if I am doing a good job at keeping the worms happy then they won't try and escape. I think if I was you I might on the inside of the sink put some sort of mesh over the hole to keep critters out but so liquid can drain. if too much liquid pools on the bottom of the worm bin and is just stuck in thee the worms will get unhappy and try and crawl out the top so it is probably best to let the liquid drain out as it needs to.
 
Mariamne Ingalls
pollinator
Posts: 166
Location: NE Ohio (Zone 6a, on the cusp of 6b) 38.7" annual precip
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Thanks, Olivia, for the benefit of your experience and advice! I will try the mesh.

Best wishes, Mariamne
 
Michael Vormwald
Posts: 154
Location: Central New York - Finger Lakes - Zone 5
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I have had many, many bins over the years (as well as outside bins and windrows. Photo: worm bin in upper left).

In many cases, I've had worms in plastic bins with no drain although most often I have holes drilled in the bottom and it sets on a boot tray. You could fashion a screen inside to leave the drain open...or you might just keep the drain closed and only open to drain every few days relative to the moist food waste you add to the bin.
2014-05-13 10.17.21-w.jpg
[Thumbnail for 2014-05-13 10.17.21-w.jpg]
 
Mariamne Ingalls
pollinator
Posts: 166
Location: NE Ohio (Zone 6a, on the cusp of 6b) 38.7" annual precip
27
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Thanks, Michael-

I think I will try the mesh / screen, and leave the drain open.

I do have a drain plug that came with the laundry tub. However, I'd have to stick my hand in the composting gick to open and close it. I considered inserting the plug from the bottom of the drain, but there is a plastic crosshatch molded into the drain that I'd have to cut out to try that.

So, I'll try the mesh / screen first.

Thanks again for the benefit of your experience! Mariamne
 
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