flow through worm beds designs

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by growingdeeprootsorganicly, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    a wench or a hydraulic piston, we use both. yep diy, use a lot of metal, a large bed can be heavy, very heavy........
  2. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    O sh@t i didn't realize! i typed wench instead of winch. what was i thinking?
    for real! i was not tring to funny, i never talk to women like that ever!
  3. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    I think maybe I miss spelled it first. eh stupid language any ways, maybe we should all learn Chinese that would be funny
  4. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    one more thing I forgot to say, don't try and vibrate the worms casts out, they are real sensitive about vibration and will split the worm bins and be all over the place!!!

    also you NEED to have a light on them all the time, if it gets dark they will want to roam around, think pink walls!! and not with paint!!! if the power has ever gone out in your house ever!!! get a battery back up light from a home store, spend the extra80$ so your investment does not crawl away!!!

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    HUMM rollers and brushes?
  6. hunter

    hunter LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 254

    I have been trying to design one using an auger with angle iron as a scaper. Trying to figure out the proper twist to keep the worms out. Don't have the money to buy a lot of different augers. But to me this is the best method to controlling the speed to keep from killing the worms that want to hang out at the bottom.
  7. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    here we go ito a short course in over engineering.lolol the scraper we have set up takes almost all day to make it 48 feet. so its about 2 feet per hour or .003 feet per second.

  8. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Do you have a website or pics and prices of your worm modules?
  9. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    I think you told me a story once and the gist of it came down to...

    squish squish squish...
  10. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    For those who don't have much space nor money, why not keep it simple? Just buy whatever size plastic bins from Wal Mart, drill some holes for air (see my website for details) and layer in the feed/bedding. When the bin is full, with no trace of undigested food (may have some particles) just use a plastic mesh transplant tray to trap out the worms and start the bin over. This method keeps us in enough vermicompost to make as much CT as we wish. We started off this way with about 10 pounds of worms in 2 bins. Within 6 to 8 months we had 10 bins and about 50 pounds of worms.

    Make sure you begin with a high density of worms, for the space you have. This way they multiply rapidly. You can pick out their capsules if you like but the capsules will survive the compost tea making process and you can put your spent compost on your garden or in a separate bin and add a bit of food. They will hatch out 3 to 6 per capsule for red wrigglers, you can trap them and add them to an active bin. We put the spent compost into the garden beds in the greenhouse and later on we lay a few traps on the soil to trap out the worms that hatch.

    I noticed Treegal mentioned adding sand/grit to the worm beds. I'm unsure whether this speeds things up but we have found it unnecessary. I consulted with Kelly Slocum (a renowned worm expert) on this and she said worms will find all the grit they need in the foodstock provided (as long as varied somewhat), particulrly if using poo and or sphagnum peat moss.

    We even trap out our windrow in the barn by laying the mesh trays on top filled with food. Once trapped out, we have around 100 yards of vermicompost to use. I think this is plenty for a small landscaping business for a year just to make CT. If you are talking a large commercial production that's different.

    My friend raises worms (African night crawlers) in bins she builds from plywood, around half the size of apple bins. She stacks them up with a fork lift and they have cut aways for adding food (peat moss and wheat). This way she has a huge enterprise in a very small warehouse
    (3000 sq ft?). When the bins are full and the food eaten, she dumps them into a rotating mesh harvester (like a soil screener). The worms roll out the end along with most of the capsules and the very even castings fall through the mesh. She always has more castings than she can sell. Yelm worm farm harvests their vermicompost the same way but they raise them in windrows. They have an immense production.


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