Vermicomposting (Make your own Worm Castings)

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by OldPork, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Wow. Went to the farmer's market, and a lady was selling (or trying to sell) worm tea for $40 a gallon! She had very basic wood bins that were essentially rubbermaid tubs of wood for $170.

    Kind of glad I'm smart enough to 'grow' my own. :)
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  2. ty ty ty:hello:
  3. mine has been going for about a month or so now and they are doing very well in there. Working hard. ;)
  4. Is there a way to do this without using newspaper and cardboard? I really would prefer to not have these products in there. What about coco and/or peat moss?
  5. Yes, you can use coir. I probably wouldn't use peat because of sustainability and ph issues. Usually the bin manufacturers recommend a combo of coir and torn up cardboard, paper, or fibers such as cotton. In addition to the bedding, you need to add some grit. I usually save egg shells, grind well, and mix in. Worms love cheesecloth, too.

    The benefit of the paper over just coir is that the paper gives them an area to get out of their own castings. After awhile, their castings become slightly toxic to them. Coir gets mixed in very easily, which is great for making compost, but poor for keeping a bedding area in the bin.

    You can also use dryer lint as long as you don't use strongly scented detergent and fabric softener.
  6. Another bedding choice for some folks is to use organic rice hulls. These can be sourced from commercial horticulture distributors, brewing supply companies, etc.

    Lundberg Farms out of Central California is one of the largest and oldest rice producers in the US. The rice hulls that are available in Oregon are more often than not the organic rice hulls from these folks.


  7. Corn cob chunks would probably work as well, but it would take longer to decompose. You can find it at feed and pet stores as animal bedding.
  8. Couple questions about the liquid from the bin.

    First how long can it be stored?

    Second what conditions to keep it in for maximum shelf life?

    Sorry if these questions have been answered.I did not catch the answers on my way through.

    Thanks in advance for any answers you may provide.:D
  9. The liquid from the bottom of the bin is called leachate. If it stinks, throw it out and don't use it. If not, you can water it down with 1 part leachate to 10 parts water and use as a soil drench. I would not store leachate.
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  10. So is it harmful to use plastic bins like Rubbermaids? I'm not paying $170 for one made of wood, but I could slap something together I'm sure. Thanks for the coir tip, and thanks LD for the rice hulls tip. Why not both? Diversity, yes?
  11. Yep - diversity is best. Peat moss, coir, fir shavings (not pine for some reason that I can't recall), shredded newspaper, etc. They all have their advantages and used collectively will give you a healthy environment.

    Plastic is fine - just aerate, aerate, aerate, aerate and you'll be fine.

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  12. Yep - I agree. I'd rather provide a mixture of bedding and food. You could build a stacked bin out of wood for WAY less than it costs to buy. One benefit of wood is that they manage moisture better. Plastic bins can get muddy and anaerobic if the bedding isn't kept up.
  13. pinkpipe said it better than I did.

    I had one of those 'Can-O-Worms' product (made from recycled plastic) and it absolutely SUCKED. I never could get the damn moisture/air ratio correct.

    And it's designed to be a worm bin!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Probably user error (kudos to Microsoft for that cultural lexicon)

  14. I have a Worm Farm brand, and the main problem is compaction. If I actually run all four trays, the bottom trays get anaerobic and compacted. With a wood bin, you could put in supports so that the weight of the top layers does not compact lower layers. The other downside to plastic is that it leaches a LOT. I leave the tap open with a large cup underneath to prevent too much moisture in the bin. With wood, the extra moisture can evaporate. They rarely leach out.

    We're kind of in transition and staying with family for a bit, but I'd like to build a wood bin. I'd venture to guess that it would cost less than $30 to build a nice bin.
  15. #95 LumperDawgz, Aug 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2010

    The center divider is a wood frame with 1/4" mesh to divide one side from the other. The same mesh is used on the bottom of the bin for aeration.

    You start with only one side and when it's getting close to finishing you begin adding bedding and food items to the other side. The worms seek out the new food supply and you harvest the castings with little effort.



    EDIT: This is not my design. It comes from the gentleman that Chunk & I have bought EWC from in the past. Great man - Northwest Redworms in beautiful Camas, Washingon. Check out his other designs for some great ideas and concepts. Both the cedar bins as well as the plywood versions.

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  16. I'd love to build a split system like that. We don't normally have too many freezes, so it would be easy to insulate in the winter here.

    BTW, I believe pine shavings aren't used because of the VOC's. The oils can irritate small mammals, so I'd assume it'll bug worms. Fir and aspen bedding doesn't do that for whatever reason. We found that aspen pellets are fantastic at absorbing liquids and odors in our rabbit cage, and it works in the worm bin. I need to add more greens to speed up the composting, though.
  17. PP

    Yep - that was the gist of the warning. Thanks for the memory update.

    Much needed these days - LOL


  18. I must have missed the memo.:confused:

    I started with a DIY rubbermaid bin 11 months ago. I now have a second rubbermaid bin and 2, 5 gallon Homer buckets all full of worms.

    They sure did reproduce well in those 'harmful' rubbermaids.

    I'll elaborate later, my wife is yelling at me for honey-do time.

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  19. No - the Rubbermaid bins aren't harmful to the worms as long as you keep them up. They're a little more difficult to maintain because they can get soggy. Just gently turn the mix and add new bedding regularly, and you'll be fine. In fact, if you can leave the lid off completely, it would be even better. (Don't worry, worms will not escape unless the bedding becomes extremely wet.)
  20. Ok, I understand.

    The rubbermaid have 1/8" holes in the bottom for drainage, the Homer buckets don't and I have to keep a close eye on them.

    They are a batch thing I'm trying out.


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