Tag Archives: worm bedding

Worm Factory Review

In this Worm Factory review I will address some of the problems that I encountered with it.  It was the  third method that I used for worm composting.    In my Worm Factory I continually had to open it up to get the worms out of the bottom drainage level.  They consistently ended up there.  This is one reason why I hesitate to put drainage holes in a DIY worm bin because I know how red wigglers migrate out of drainage holes.

Though the Worm Factory is very compact and neat looking it does have some usability issues.  It is a good practice to go into the worm bin about once a week and stir up the bedding and see how they are doing.  This also aerates the worm bin which is a good thing.  Worms need oxygen to live. With the Worm Factory it is hard to get into the bin to see how the worms are doing or to get them all out of the drainage tray:

You have to lift off the trays depending on how many you have.

When they are full they are heavy and I was never quite sure where to put them because a lot of worms would be hanging out the bottom and I didn’t want to squish them.

So if you have, say, 3 trays, you have to lift out two of them before you can see or work with the lowest level and to see what is happening in the bottom tray.  This is important because the weight of all the upper trays compresses the lower tray so there is not so much available oxygen.  Sometimes my lower tray wouldn’t smell so good because of a lack of plentiful oxygen.  I would always mix up the compost in the lower bin to oxygenate it.

Then you need to remove the lowest tray to get the worms out of the bottom.  There were always lots of worms in the bottom where the spigot is.  I would put layers and layers of newspaper in the lowest tray to block them from going into the drainage tray  but they still managed to get down there.  I don’t know what attracted them there.  Maybe there were a lot of bacteria down there??  Maybe they didn’t have enough oxygen in the tray above because it was so compressed by the weight of the trays above it. But they were always there and I had to scoop them out and put them into another working tray.

Some ads say that “worm tea” collects in the bottom where the spigot is.  It is not worm tea but leachate.  It is the liquid that leaches through the worm bin and depending on the status of your worm bin it could contain harmful substances for plants.  Worm tea is the liquid from soaking finished worm compost in water for a day or two.  Read more at these links about leachate turning leaves yellow and the difference between worm tea and worm leachate.

  1. Using Worm Bin Leachate
  2. Difference Between Worm Tea and Leachate

I will continue with my review of the Worm Factory in my next post.  Please bear in mind these are my personal experiences with the Worm Factory and certainly on Amazon there are good reviews, also.

Worm Factory Trays for Separating Compost

Worm Composting How to Separate the Worms

How to separate the worms in worm composting is a big question. Vermicomposting, another name for worm composting presents its biggest challenge after the compost is finished.  The red worms, also known as red wigglers have done their job and now the time had come to move them from the finished vermicompost into their next batch.

I have always struggled with this process.  Some people just take the finished compost and put it into the garden worms and all.  But these red wigglers will not do well in a regular garden.  They are really compost worms and they like compost not just dirt.  I guess these people just buy new worms to start their next batch.

I have tried several methods that have been recommended on the internet or in books without too much success.  It depends on what kind of worm compost bin that you have.  I will give one example of what I have tried in the past.

How to Separate the Worms

This was in a rectangular plastic bin, nothing fancy or special.  One piece of advice is to move the finished compost to one side of the bin and fill the other side with fresh bedding with some food in it.  The worms will just automatically move over to the fresh bedding.  My worms never wanted to cooperate with this process.  Some red wigglers moved over but plenty stayed in the finished compost.  They have always been very happy to stay in finished compost!!  I have spent a lot of time picking them out of the finished compost.

The How to Separate the WormsWorm Factory Additional Composting Bin Trays which have lots of holes in the bottom are perfect for separating worms from vermicompost.  I no longer use the Worm Factory but more on that in another post.  I filled one with new bedding, some pulverized rabbit manure and some watermelon rinds.  The other tray was on top of this with the finished compost in it.  And I used a grow light shining on the compost to encourage the worms to move to the level underneath.

After 2 days, they were almost completely in the new bedding all happily clumped together under the watermelon rinds.   I have never seen them move over so fast!  My red worms really like rabbit manure and they also really like watermelon rinds.  So maybe the new bedding was just too enticing and they migrated right away.  The difference was remarkable.  There were only a few worms that I had to pick out of the finished compost.  I think next time I will use just watermelon rinds to see if that was it.  You know just a little experiment.

In my next post I will go over the beginning steps of how to make a worm bin composter.