I mentioned earlier, when I built the DIY stackable hot composter that I had an idea (using the same fence cut-offs) to make an efficient worm composter. Well, the first step in this plan will be to build the bottom section. As you can see, I have just basically taken the same idea of butt joining the fence cut-offs together to make the box (refer to the above link for details). Then I took some exterior plywood and nailed it to the bottom. However, if you have enough fence cut-offs, just make a bottom using them by joining side to side and nailing them etc. You can also see that I drilled a few drainage and aeration holes and covered them with a little screen.
Finally, rip cut sections approximately 2.5″ wide, cut them to size, and attach as shown to form the legs. Notice that I only went 1/2 way up the height of the box and this is because I want to leave room for the top section (coming soon). I think the wood bin creates a better environment for the worms because it breathes easier and you don’t get the build up of water inside as you do with the plastic bins. It also adds a little insulation factor. Now the sides on this are just a little shy of 6″ high and though this might seem a little “shallow,” the idea is so that I don’t have to hassle with separating the worms from the vermicompost.
To explain what I mean by this, the idea is to eventually fill up the bottom section, and then at a point where I feel that the worms have maximized their population and food source (room etc), then I add a top section. I will post on the details of this section soon, and the idea will be that the worms will crawl up to the next section where new food and bedding will be added etc. Once I make sure the bottom sectioned is “maximized,” I will not feed for a couple of weeks. Then I will add the next section and the worms will evacuate the bottom section and leave it full of fresh vermicompost ready to dumped and used as desired! I will cover this process in more detail shortly. Also, I should note that the area of this wooden bin is just shy of 2′ square.
Finally, what I did was to take the approximately 2 lbs of worms I started in the plastic bin about 3 weeks ago and dumped it into this new wooden bin. After adding a little more bedding and food, the new wooden bin is now approximately 80% full, and I estimate that I will be able to add a top section to “move em’ on out” etc. in a couple of weeks. I added a fitted piece of cardboard to cover the vermicompost in the bin (though you might need a more substantial top if you expect outdoor pests to nose around!). You may now proceed to Stackable Worm Bin II
I have now used the old plastic bin to begin a comparison project with approximately 200 P. Excavatus worms (and some night crawlers) that I dug out of my worm pit. Stay tuned as more fun stuff is coming! Also, if you do not wish to build your own worm bin, you might want to consider one of these..Gusanito Worm Factory Farm Bin 5 Tray Stackable