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diy worm inn

#1 User is offline   yiid 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 04:44 PM

Just to share, this is a worm bin I set up December 2010, which is about 7 months ago.

It is based on instructions from:
1. http://www.instructa...ing-and-easy-s/ and
2. http://rkimedes.live...com/370812.html

Instead of building a wooden frame (like in Instructables), I used Ikea Antonius parts (like in rkimedes.livejournal.com) to construct the frame.

I chose to make a worm bag as I could sew and had access to a sewing machine. The size could also be customized accordingly.


What my worm bin looks like:
http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m495/yiid/felt%20worm%20bin/P1040796.jpg?t=1311237215


How the worm bag is attached to the wire basket:
http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m495/yiid/felt%20worm%20bin/2011-07-21135646.jpg?t=1311237302


How the worm bin is covered:
http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m495/yiid/felt%20worm%20bin/P1040711.jpg?t=1311237433
I did not make a cover in the beginning and had many fruit flies visiting my bin as a result. After covering the top with a netting, my fruit fly problem was greatly reduced.


Loosened drawstring to harvest castings:
http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m495/yiid/felt%20worm%20bin/P1040710.jpg?t=1311237469
I find that the castings are light and fluffy. They keep soil aerated plus retain water well when I add them to my plants.


Castings has lots of visible eggshell fragments as I was too lazy to grind it up. http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m495/yiid/felt%20worm%20bin/2011-07-21131823.jpg?t=1311237495


Some observations from using the fabric worm bag for 7 months.

1. Able to deal with all the kitchen scraps produced by a family of 5. Does not turn sour if I add enough browns. I think that the aeration provided by the fabric keeps the worms active and prevents the decomposition of food from turning anaerobic easily.

2. At first I was afraid that mold would grow on the felt since it is constantly moist. So far, I have not had any problems with mold.

3. The contents of the worm bin do not all fall out when the drawstring is loosened as contents are moist and tends to clump together.

4. Easy to harvest and produces lots of castings. There was a time when I could harvest castings every 3 or 4 days.

5. Easy to care for. I just water it with a watering can once a week.

6. Does not produce leechate, so there is no liquid to pour away regularly.


The only problem is that it is HUGE. I made a smaller and improved version recently. Will post pics later.

This post has been edited by yiid: 25 July 2011 - 12:11 AM

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#2 User is offline   yiid 

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 11:10 PM

This is the new worm bin that I made. I made use of an Ikea laundry bag and stand. The laundry bag part was modified to create a worm bin.


The new worm bin:
http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m495/yiid/polyester%20worm%20bin/P1040780.jpg


How it is opened:
http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m495/yiid/polyester%20worm%20bin/P1040786.jpg?t=1313421445


Pour in you food scraps here:
http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m495/yiid/polyester%20worm%20bin/P1040783.jpg


Drawstring for the bottom:
http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m495/yiid/polyester%20worm%20bin/P1040789.jpg


Compared to the previous worm bin, the pros of this worm bin :
- Smaller; height is 67cm instead of 102 cm.
- Fabric gives a cleaner feeling as the cloth is kind of like umbrella cloth but thicker.
- I made a integrated cover that keeps pests out. This way, I don't have to cover the food scraps added with newspapers.
- Although the bin is smaller, it seems to be able to handle the food scraps produced by 5 people.


The cons:
- Need to find a container of the right size to hold castings or any liquid that flows out. For the previous worm bin, Ikea sold a tray that fits nicely, and can be slid out like a drawer.
- The bottom of the worm bag was a bit too close to the ground. Not enough space for the castings to fall out nicely.


Do you guys use fabric worm bins? Share your experience?

This post has been edited by yiid: 15 August 2011 - 11:19 PM

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#3 User is offline   miico 

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 09:37 AM

Thanks for sharing. :)/>
I feel very happy when I see people innovate and come up with workable ideas.:)/>

My own household is just me n my wife. 2persons who sometimes eat out and could not sustain a decent wormbin... Lol

but from my past attempts, I can definitely see you addressed the visiting flies issue well.
Also your fabric keeps out light well and hence the worms will be happy inside.

I look forward to see if your version 2 also has great success. From there, I may be inspired to emulate your bin design but smaller.

;)/>
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#4 User is offline   kw3822 

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 04:49 PM

i think it will work.
try putting more scraps.

kw
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#5 User is offline   crazyjellie 

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 05:02 PM

ooooh, interesting idea - for i'm still on the lookout of a better bin
for my bin, castings on the top half looks nice & crumbly
but in the lower half of the bin tends to be wet & soggy & stinky (anaerobic)

will the fabric of the 2nd bag be too thick - ie not porous enough?

This post has been edited by crazyjellie: 16 August 2011 - 05:03 PM

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#6 User is offline   yiid 

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 12:06 PM

View Postcrazyjellie, on 16 August 2011 - 05:02 PM, said:

ooooh, interesting idea - for i'm still on the lookout of a better bin
for my bin, castings on the top half looks nice & crumbly
but in the lower half of the bin tends to be wet & soggy & stinky (anaerobic)

will the fabric of the 2nd bag be too thick - ie not porous enough?



Actually, the first worm bag was made with 2 layers of felt and that provided enough ventilation and drainage. Castings harvested from the bottom was quite light and fluffy.

For the 2nd bag, it's only 1 layer of polyester fabric so ventilation and drainage should be even better. I also washed the bag earlier and saw that water drains through it easily enough.
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#7 User is offline   yiid 

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 06:31 PM

Some updates

I have found a container for worm castings collection. Also from Ikea. http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m495/yiid/polyester%20worm%20bin/P1050040.jpg.

I feed the worms about 3 to 4 times a week, and the bin is handling this amount well.

Castings collection is easy. Sometimes I leave the drawstring open just a little and the completed castings just fall out by themselves. Can see that the casings are light and fluffy. http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m495/yiid/polyester%20worm%20bin/P1050041.jpg

I water it about once a week to keep it moist, taking care to stop when water starts dripping from the bag.

The cover works well at keeping fruit flies out. But they still get in sometimes by hiding in the food waste I add to the bin. Haiz.

But overall, the bin works pretty well. Quite low maintenance. Composts food pretty quickly. Suitable for beginners.

This post has been edited by yiid: 22 November 2011 - 06:36 PM

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#8 User is offline   leancl 

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 06:59 PM

Which do you think is better? the first felt or the second poly something?

At one point I was looking at these worm bags (if I remember correctly many people call them SWAG, but I could be wrong), but was lazy and at that point I had only one box. Today I have 4 boxes and just recently I did a major harvest: it took me one weekend to harvest the 4 boxes! Maybe it's time to rethink this SWAG idea and save the hassle of box harvesting over the long term!
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#9 User is offline   yiid 

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 09:05 PM

Yup, flow through worm bags are also known as SWAG or Worm Inn.

The 2 bins each have their pros and cons.

Felt worm bin

Pros
+ Can get felt in a wide variety of colors. Can make them match your decor :)/>
+ Will definitely block out light since it's so thick.
+ Helps soak up the water that you add to the bin, regulating the moisture.

Cons
- Feels more dirty. If you add food waste which is more wet, and it comes into contact with the felt, then the food will get stuck there. I'm not bothered by that but I imagine some ppl would be. Also I had orange mould growing on the bag once. It's gone now, but I would not recommend it for someone with allergies.


Polyester worm bin

Pros
+ Feels more clean. And you can actually easily wash it if you want to since the fabric is quite thin.


Actually, it's difficult to compare the 2 worm bins cos they are of different sizes. The felt one seems to work better, but that may be because it is almost twice as big, so things are less likely to go wrong if you add a lot of food waste or if you add acidic or starchy food.

Overall, I would recommend the polyester worm bin. It's something that is more acceptable to other people since it looks cleaner and neater. Function wise, it also performs well.

But I definitely recommend using a worm bag. Harvesting compost is so easy that I do it when I feel bored. And it takes only 15 mins to harvest. A bit more time if you want to filter the compost though it is not neccesary most of the time.
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#10 User is offline   diegan5 

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:13 AM

Hi,

A bit late in joining this. . .

Was just wondering if you thought of double bagging and /or if you think this would work?

Was thinking that the inside bag would then be maybe 1/2 inch all around smaller than the outer bag. . The fabric being maybe a linen type or canvas type of fabric as the inside bag and then the Felt bag as the outer "stylish" bag a sort of double support.

The reason I am asking is . . I like the concept of a thicker fabric for insulation and a barrier I am guessing against unwanted pests such as fruit flies and spring tails. . or is that just wishful thinking?

thanks for any advice or suggestions (before I attempt this).

d
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#11 User is offline   worm-compost-bins.com 

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:45 AM

Hi all,

great pictures of innovating your worm bin. This reminds me of the worm bin in the US by the red worm composting guy. Keep it coming and hopefully more people will adopt this idea of composting. Happy composting! Cheers
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#12 User is offline   yiid 

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:54 AM

View Postdiegan5, on 20 November 2012 - 02:13 AM, said:

Hi,

A bit late in joining this. . .

Was just wondering if you thought of double bagging and /or if you think this would work?

Was thinking that the inside bag would then be maybe 1/2 inch all around smaller than the outer bag. . The fabric being maybe a linen type or canvas type of fabric as the inside bag and then the Felt bag as the outer "stylish" bag a sort of double support.

The reason I am asking is . . I like the concept of a thicker fabric for insulation and a barrier I am guessing against unwanted pests such as fruit flies and spring tails. . or is that just wishful thinking?

thanks for any advice or suggestions (before I attempt this).

d


Hi diegan5, the double bagging idea is ok though it's not really necessary. I would only suggest double bagging only if you are planning to make a ginormous worm bin and think that one layer of fabric is not strong enough.

About the material for making the worm bin, please use only synthetic fabric. Linen, cotton, gunny sack material etc will breakdown overtime as they are natural (plant or animal based) materials.

Felt as the outer layer would indeed help insulate, but would not be a barrier against unwanted pest. The pests get attracted if the food waste in the bin is too wet and the "juice" seeps out through the cloth. To prevent that you just need to make sure that the food waste is not resting on the walls of the worm bin directly by lining it with some newspaper or cardboard first.

Best of luck in making the worm bin! If you have not already made it. I think I replied kinda late. Haha.
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#13 User is offline   jadeshrimp 

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 07:19 AM

this is great idea!

however, when the drawstrings at the bottom is opened for harvesting worm castings, won't the food scraps also fall through? how do u ensure that only worm castings fall through?
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