• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

worm composting - want to go big - flow from side to side?  RSS feed

 
Tys Sniffen
Posts: 54
Location: Northern California
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Right now, I'm succeeding with 3 rubbermaid bins (2 stacked, 1 by itself) with happy worms, breeding well. (there's enough in there that they make noise moving when I pull off the cardboard cover) but they don't seem to be moving UP like they say, and they don't seem to be processing as much, as fast, as I'd like.

I'm thinking about a really big flow through sort of system, but I'm not sure if I have enough compost to keep it going. I'm thinking of building something like:

http://www.wormfarmingrevealed.com/flowthrough-outdoor-vermicompost-system.html

two bins, with 1/4 inch screen between them. fill one up, then, as the worms work through it, fill the second one, and they migrate. Once they're in the second one, dig out the first.

concerns:
- it'd quickly become too deep, and the red wigglers wouldn't go process the stuff down low. am I right?
- they'd not move, and I'd kill bunches trying to get stuff out
- it'd take so long it's not worth all this building effort.
- my one household may not make enough interesting compost (especially as some stuff goes to the chickens already) and I don't want to go collecting, as I don't go by other places often enough.

Advice?
 
Joe Camarena
Posts: 76
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Build it. I have one and it works great. Just don't fill it too quick and don't worry about the bottom. Check the finished material to ensure it is finished before adding more bedding material.

Joe
 
Tys Sniffen
Posts: 54
Location: Northern California
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Joe! I do have it on my long term project list.

what do you mean by 'don't worry about the bottom'? you mean, don't try and get the bottom stuff?

how much material do you put in and how much do you get out? I'm finding that my little family of 3, with 3 chickens and a dog, don't create that much kitchen scraps... and we don't 'go to town' often enough to get stuff from a restaurant or something.

also, is this the only composting you're doing? or do you do hot as well?

Tys
 
Ronnie Ugulano
Posts: 66
Location: Zone 9, CA
4
books urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

- it'd quickly become too deep, and the red wigglers wouldn't go process the stuff down low. am I right?

Redworms usually work the top 12" or so. But let's say you've got a bin 2 feet deep, just for fun. You pile a bunch of stuff in there up to the top, and let's also say that the worms live mostly on the top. Well, when the worms finish processing the topmost layers, that will compact what they've processed into a tiny amount. Now the pile in your box is only, say 14". They work on it a little more, further processing what is there until now, the bin is only 12" full. The worms (figuratively) take a deep breath, and keep going. Now what is in your bin is only about 6-8 inches deep, well within their preferred depth. Ta DA! The worms processed 2 ft deep worth of material even though they prefer to live in the top 8-12". Once they've processed what is in that side of the bin well, fill up the other side, and let them migrate there. Then you can harvest whatever is in the 1st bin.
 
Joe Camarena
Posts: 76
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ronnie Ugulano wrote:
- it'd quickly become too deep, and the red wigglers wouldn't go process the stuff down low. am I right?

Redworms usually work the top 12" or so. But let's say you've got a bin 2 feet deep, just for fun. You pile a bunch of stuff in there up to the top, and let's also say that the worms live mostly on the top. Well, when the worms finish processing the topmost layers, that will compact what they've processed into a tiny amount. Now the pile in your box is only, say 14". They work on it a little more, further processing what is there until now, the bin is only 12" full. The worms (figuratively) take a deep breath, and keep going. Now what is in your bin is only about 6-8 inches deep, well within their preferred depth. Ta DA! The worms processed 2 ft deep worth of material even though they prefer to live in the top 8-12". Once they've processed what is in that side of the bin well, fill up the other side, and let them migrate there. Then you can harvest whatever is in the 1st bin.


Perfectly put. The alternative is to just not fill it more than 12" at a time...

Joe
 
Meghan Orbek
Posts: 52
Location: Yonkers, NY/ Berkshires, MA USA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cool! I assume that outdoor design is for environments with temperate winters? I'm pretty sure it would freeze solid where I live.

I have an old trough in my basement for vermiculture. It's a big step up from (worm factory style) bins for me. This summer most scraps are going outdoors to the garden compost pile, but come winter i will refocus on the worms downstairs.

I got the trough idea from am old magazine. Some folks were using them for a bigger vermiculture operation in Hawaii?
 
Ronnie Ugulano
Posts: 66
Location: Zone 9, CA
4
books urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have an old trough in my basement for vermiculture.

One of my bins is an old bathtub. I live in Zone 8/9, and my worms do live outside, but worms can be grown anywhere - they don't have to be outside. Sounds like your inside winter bins will do pretty well.
 
David Good
gardener
Posts: 522
Location: Equatorial tropics
30
books forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great plan.
 
Mark Ferguson
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tys Sniffen wrote:
Right now, I'm succeeding with 3 rubbermaid bins (2 stacked, 1 by itself) with happy worms, breeding well. (there's enough in there that they make noise moving when I pull off the cardboard cover) but they don't seem to be moving UP like they say, and they don't seem to be processing as much, as fast, as I'd like.

I'm thinking about a really big flow through sort of system, but I'm not sure if I have enough compost to keep it going. I'm thinking of building something like:

http://www.wormfarmingrevealed.com/flowthrough-outdoor-vermicompost-system.html

two bins, with 1/4 inch screen between them. fill one up, then, as the worms work through it, fill the second one, and they migrate. Once they're in the second one, dig out the first.

concerns:
- it'd quickly become too deep, and the red wigglers wouldn't go process the stuff down low. am I right?
- they'd not move, and I'd kill bunches trying to get stuff out
- it'd take so long it's not worth all this building effort.
- my one household may not make enough interesting compost (especially as some stuff goes to the chickens already) and I don't want to go collecting, as I don't go by other places often enough.

Advice?
I have created a different type of flow through bin system that can be heated in the winter. I feed my worms rabbit manure from a couple hundred rabbits. A custom built casting saw must be made, its not that hard. Just follow the instructions at http://kferg9804.wix.com/aharabbits#!worms/igit7. I also feed a lot of card board see the diy grinder I built at http://kferg9804.wix.com/aharabbits#!nestbox-info/c21wr
 
Poop goes in a willow feeder. Wipe with this tiny ad:
Ernie and Erica Wisner's Rocket Mass Heater Everything Combo
https://permies.com/t/40993/digital-market/digital-market/Ernie-Erica-Wisner-Rocket-Mass
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!