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.
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.