Worm Composting Videos!

I am pleased to announce the launch of a vermicomposting video section here at RedWormComposting.com with the recent creation of my very first ‘how to’ video! I decided to create videos for the benefit of all those who learn more easily via video/audio format and also hope they will help get the word out about the site (since they can be embedded on other people’s blogs/sites.

I only have one video so far, but am planning to create a bunch more over time! Video #1 shows you how to create your own ‘deluxe’ Rubbermaid worm bin. This type of bin is a little fancier than the basic worm bins I normally set up (I’ll be making a video showing how to make one of those soon), but it should be an ideal system for someone just starting out since it provides ample aeration and drainage, while keeping things fairly neat and tidy (all liquids simply drain down into lower reservoir bin).

I wish I could provide the original videos here on the site (since they are so much better quality), but alas the bandwidth usage would be off the charts! I may try hosting a few videos at some point just to test this out, but for now I will stick with the YouTube format.

Hope you find the vids interesting/useful!
Any comments/suggestions/requests you have will certainly be welcomed.

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Comments

  1. Very interesting article. I just tried making my own bin following those instructions and I can’t wait to see how the worms do.

    Thanks!

    • Bentley
    • October 23, 2007

    Great, Samantha!
    Good luck with your new bin!

    B.

  2. What size rubber maid tub did you use? Looks like the 18 gallon ones, but wanted to verify. How many worms do you recommend for that sized tub? Right now I’m trying to get one started in a small 3 gallon bucket, but I think you said in another post that something that small can be tough because the worms can’t get to an area that is more to their liking.
    Ultimately I’d like to get built up to having the worms process the alpaca manure into worm castings, but have to start somewhere. I am putting small amounts of alpaca manure in the bin to try to get the worms used to it.

    Allen

    • Bentley
    • October 25, 2007

    Hi Allen,
    Thanks for stopping by!
    Believe it or not I used pretty well the smallest Roughneck tub they have (think it’s 5 gallons or so). To be totally honest, that is not the size I would recommend others using. I simply like having tiny, easy-to-move bins. The downside is that they have a limited lifespan (before needing to be emptied and started ove) – also keep in my the fact that my bins are the “basic” version (see my videos page if you are unsure what I’m talking about).
    You are definitely right about the risks of small bins – this is why I didn’t mention the size, and don’t recommend this size for newcomers. Something larger would work much better.

    One other thing to mention – with larger bins a couple milk carton supports definitely won’t support the weight of the upper bin. You’ll need something stronger.

    I’d definitely be interested to hear how you make out with the Alpaca manure!

    B.

    • Christina
    • November 12, 2007

    hey bentley, nice video. makes it less scary looking. i’d love to see how your bins look now and what results you are getting, how much water is collecting in the bottom and other results. how long do you think it would take before you can harvest compost?
    best wishes
    christina

    • Bentley
    • November 12, 2007

    Thanks Christina!
    I totally understand your desire to follow the process all the way along. I realize I make everything look so straight-forward, but believe me I still run into problems myself! Aside from that, there are plenty of things I forgot to mention (or didn’t have time)
    The hilarious thing is the two bins I set up for the videos ended up infested with fruit flies (still have not added worms yet)! haha
    They are now outside (we’ve been having freezing temps over night recently)

    Anyway, many more videos on the way – will actually be dedicating an entire site just to worm vids (good quality ones – not YouTube versions). More on that very soon!

    B.

    • Wine Stained
    • November 26, 2007

    FIRST OFF: Loved to have found your website !!

    SECOND: I am looking to start up a worm bin following your video. I am planning to use larger tubs as you suggested in earlier comments. I will use something like tuna cans with the tops and bottoms removed for my supports. My question is regarding the liquid collection .. Do you like the liquid in some type of compost tea ?

    THIRD: Before placing the lid (with air holes) on the upper bin, I was planning to add a layer of landscape fabric to impede the fruit flies. Do you think that this will also impede the aeration needed for the bin ?

    Looking forward to your response ….. will probably have more questions or concerns along the way.

    • Bentley
    • November 26, 2007

    Hi Wine Stained,
    Some great questions (and I’m glad you found the site too!)

    Tuna cans would definitely be more structurally sound (than milk carton sections) for a larger bin. Just make sure the top bin isn’t so far down that its sides are wedged against the sides of the reservoir bin. This will impede airflow. You may want to try larger cans instead, but you are definitely on the right track.

    As for the liquid that collects in the bottom – while there has been some evidence to indicate that plain leachate (technical term for this sort of liquid) can be beneficial, it is widely thought that the best compost teas are 1) Aerated (oxygenated via an air pump) and 2) Made using high quality compost (not by collecting the liquid from partially decomposed materials).

    Anaerobic (without oxygen) materials/liquids often contain compounds that can impede plant growth, but if you add these liquids (or composts that have been allowed to go anaerobic) to your garden they will become aerobic and harmful compounds will be broken down relatively quickly.

    If you happen to have an aquarium air pump you might want to try aerating the liquid before using it.

    As for landscape cloth under the lid, thats a cool idea for keeping them out (although the holes in the side of the bin will provide access), but if they hatch from inside, every time you feed the worms they will fly out anyway. The cloth should still allow a decent amount of oyxygen in. Landscape cloth at the bottom of the (upper) bin is also not a bad idea – would prevent the worms from crawling through your drainage holes.

    Anyway, hope this helps!
    🙂

  3. Love your video and your instructions. I have had very similar worm bins in the past which I kept indoors. I was very successful for many years until a house remodel forced me to put them outside… it was too hot in the summer for the worms to survive (temperatures above 100 in the shade). I am still very sad about that.

    A question about the cardboard – do you use any particular type of cardboard or is there any type of cardboard that you avoid? I used shredded newspaper but first removed the colored sections because I had heard they were toxic. Do you use cardboard that has colors or is inked? What are the sources of your cardboard?

    Also, do you have any ideas about how to keep worms cool in the summer in extreme temperatures? I would like to get a worm box going again but would need to keep it outside.

    Finally, please make a video about how and when you add new food to your wormbox, and when and how to take down or freshen a wormbox. Removing the worms and changing out the box was the part I liked least about managing my box.

    Thanks!

    • Bentley
    • January 2, 2008

    Hi Jackie,
    Thanks for popping by!
    My favourite cardboard is the stuff used to make egg cartons and drink holders (from fast food restaurants and coffee shops). It absorbs water very effectively and very quickly, plus the worms just seem to plow right through it in no time. I also like corrugated cardboard as well, although it takes longer to absorb moisture (and longer to break down). It is best used for ‘false bottoms’ and other temporary structural elements (for example, the inside walls of my outdoor worm bin are lined with multiple layers of corrugated cardboard).

    The cardboard/paper I avoid (and instead add to the recycling box) are those with a shiny colour finish. I’ve read that there can be heavy metals in some colour inks – not much, but if you add these materials over and over again I’m sure it can accumulate.
    I don’t really use newsprint all that much anymore and I when I do, like yourself I tend to stick with the black and white pages only.

    As for keeping worms cool, one obvious suggestion is to place your worm bin in a very shady spot, or at least create shade my setting up some sort of shelter. Also, having your worm bed partially or fully in-ground can help a lot. When it gets really hot the worms can move downward into cooler zones.

    Great ideas re: new videos! I’ve been meaning to do a harvesting video, and I like the idea of showing people how often (and how) to feed – I think a lot of people get into trouble with worm bins due to overfeeding.

    Regards,

    Bentley

    • Maria
    • February 2, 2009

    I would love to see a harvesting video — as a new worm composter, I do struggle to figure out whether I’ve got too much food/bedding/moisture. Your video about set up was very informative though, and has already provided some guidance.

    Cheers!
    Maria

    • Bentley
    • February 4, 2009

    Hi Maria,
    Please check out my Worm Video page (look for “video” link in upper navigation). I finally added my ‘garbage bag harvesting method’ video.
    This is basically a passive method of getting worms out of wet sloppy vermicompost, although it can take a bit of time.

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