Build Your Own Worm Bin

Another cool worm composting video for you today! This time it’s a great how-to video, hosted by EcoHood’s Andrew Millison.
I very highly recommend you check out the site! I recently learned of it’s existence and am very impressed with what they are doing there.

The design they use for the bin in the video is quite intriguing. I really like their idea for drainage and aeration. If you have a large, deep system like that (made of plastic), having the aeration/drainage system in the bottom can definitely help maintain aerobic conditions near the bottom.

That being said, I definitely have some cautionary notes for any beginners who watch this clip.

I probably would have added a thick layer of carboard near the bottom rather than leaves, since it is much more absorbant. Leaves do however make for a fantastic secondary bedding material – red worms seems to absolutely thrive in them as they start rotting.

Also, be careful with the amount of soil you add to the bin. A very small handful is more than enough to kickstart the microbial community and provide grit to help the worms with their digestion. Remember, the type of worms we are using are not soil dwellers per se – they are “surface dwellers”, requiring a habitat of primarily rich organic matter.

One other thing to keep in mind. As I mention in our “Getting Started” section, creating the perfect worm environment before you add the worms can go a LONG way towards ensuring the success of your worm composting system. Adding a lot of moistened bedding, along with a considerable quantity of food scraps, then letting it sit for a few days (or even weeks) is a great way to get your system ready for the wigglers. The microbial community (upon which the worms feed) will be thriving, and moisture levels will have found a balance throughout the bedding materials.

Oh, and one final important thing to mention (sheesh I feel like such a critic! 😆 ). I would highly recommend NOT using a clear container for a worm bin – unless you plan on keeping it in a very dark place all the time. Worms a very sensitive to light and you can cause them considerable stress (and potentially even kill them) if you limit their options for finding darkness. A big clear bin like that would be fantastic in a dark room though – worms are not bothered by red light. It would be a great way to watch the worms in action!

Ok – so there you have it! Please don’t take my additional notes as harsh criticisms of the video – I love it and the other clips put together by EcoHood. I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents worth and help avoid some potential issues.

[tags]worm bin, composting bin, compost bin, red worms, red wigglers, worm composting, vermicomposting, compost tea[/tags]

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