Worm Inn vs Plastic Bin – 06-02-13

It’s been nearly a month since my last “Worm Inn vs Plastic Bin Challenge” post (see below for links to all previous posts in this series). I haven’t really done anything else with these systems during that time. As I’ve discovered with this project (and in general with RWC projects), when I make things “too complicated” (for my simple mind, anyway – haha), inevitably I end up doing nothing!

In this case, the major issue is that I decided I needed to add the exact same food materials, in (nearly) the exact same quantities, to each system. This obviously makes sense – in theory – but the problem is that it takes a long time to accumulate enough of any particular material (and is a hassle to have multiple waste collection bags etc).

Anyway, griping aside (will revisit this conundrum in a minute) yesterday I decided to get things moving along again by adding a lot of moistened, shredded cardboard, some banana peels, and even some more worms to each system.

As you might imagine, there was no sign of food in either bin, and it looks like the worms have been munching on the bedding materials as well. I was able to find loads of cocoons in the plastic bin and the worms certainly looked healthy. It more challenging to dig around in the Worm Inn so I didn’t explore too much – but based on what I did see, it looked like a similar, yet somewhat drier, situation.

Each system received 2 kg (4.4 lb) of moistened, shredded drink-tray-cardboard. Obviously, it wouldn’t have been nearly this heavy if it had been added dry.

I also added 400 g (0.88 lb) of banana peels (not shown) to each.

As a bit of a twist on the worm front, I decided to add 50 European Nightcrawlers to each system, rather than adding more Red Worms. I figured since I was giving these worms a second chance in my WF-360 stacking bin, it was only fair that I try them in a Worm Inn again. It will be very interesting to compare how they do in the plastic tub system vs the Worm Inn.

Getting back to my feeding conundrum…

Rather than continuing to neglect this project, I am thinking the most realistic approach will be to create food mixes that are as homogeneous as possible (by chopping and mixing really well) – and simply add equal amounts to each system. Even if the particular food materials going into each bin differ somewhat, over time it should average out.

Starting this week, I definitely want to really ramp up my feeding efforts, so as to finally put these systems to the test.

Stay tuned!

Previous Posts in Series
Worm Inn vs Plastic Bin – 05-06-13
Worm Inn vs Plastic Bin – 04-22-13
Worm Inn vs Plastic Bin Challenge

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    • Donni
    • June 10, 2013

    BOY do I have questions for you!! First of all, in another site (actually, it was where I found you!) she started off with a pound of red worms in a seemingly small container. I am planning on doing a container composting and what I am planning is about the same size (perhaps 2 gallons larger) and you use 50 nightcrawlers. how much do these little guys weigh anyway? I did find a website that sells worms but they sold them (red worms) in 500 or 1000, which seemed like almost too much for what I want. Also, she put a sock in hers, why a sock? I am trying to learn how to do this before I begin so it’s possible, if you do answer these questions I might have more for you, I would really hate to kill the little guys!!

    • Bentley
    • June 13, 2013

    Hi Donni – good idea to learn as much as you can before getting started!
    I’m not sure where you can buy smaller quantities of Euros or Reds. If you can find a reputable bait dealer who has the right worms, that could be one possibility. You might also try classified ads like Craigslist etc – may find people just selling wormy material from their own bins.

    I have no clue why someone would add a sock to their bin! haha

    • Steve
    • June 19, 2013

    Bentley I am following this blog with interest since I am a newbie in vermicomposting and like the idea of combining the Reds & Euros. I originally tried a bucket system & managed to kill half my worms when things went thermal. After reading more of your informative material I now have a bin 36″X18″X12″ that is buffering quite nicely. My question is do you manually rotate or recombine the worm bedding & food material on occasion or just if conditions warrant it? It seems like this would give you a good way to monitor progress & assist micobial activity as long as you don’t disrupt the little guys too often.

    • David l
    • June 26, 2013

    Hi there, This is my first attempt with worms. There is one question which i cannot find the answer to. How deep should the compost be. And if i have say 3 bins stacked on top of each other is it ok to let the liquid drain through all three to the bottom before i tap it out.
    Thats all thanks.

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