How to set up bins, beds,windrows, and reactors
Bin designs vary depending on the amount of organic matter to be vermicomposted, where the bin will situated (i.e. inside or outside of the house), and the climate of the area where the bin is situated. It is important to know this information before beginning to build your bin. These factors will determine the most advantageous placement and design of your bin.
“In a composting bin, redworms can eat half their weight in food each day. That means worms in a modest-sizes bin can convert 430 pounds of food scraps per year into usable fertilizer.” (The PriceCostco Connection, Vol. 11, No. 4, p 21). Therefore it is necessary to do some calculations after measuring the amount of organic matter needed to be recycled each month. Humidity can change drastically from a bin being stored inside a house or outside of a house. It is more difficult to keep bins outside in a dry location without having a water source nearby to keep the beds moist. Bins can be bought wholesale although these are not always best if the climate is unique. It can be to your benefit to try and read up on different designs and come up with parts of each that are better for your situation. Remember, there are many factors involved in sustaining a bin as well.
some helpful hints
· Wooden bins have the advantage that they're more absorbent and provide better insulation.
· Do not use redwood or other highly aromatic woods that may kill the worms.
· Plastic tends to keep the compost too moist. Plastic, however, tends to be less messy and easier to maintain.
· Be sure containers are well cleaned and have never stored pesticides or other chemicals.
· Drilling air/drainage holes (1/4- to 1/2-inch diameter) in the bottom and sides of the bin will ensure good water drainage and air circulation. Place the bin on bricks or wooden blocks in a tray to catch excess water that drains from the bin. George W. Dickerson, Extension Horticulture Specialist http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/h-164.html)
There are many different problems that you may encounter in sustaining your vermicompost bin. There is a forum and many websites that have experts available to answer questions you may have.
A couple of hints to help avoid common problems:
Websites on how to build worm bins
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