Compost Barrel or drums are a becoming popular choice among vermicomposters.These barrels can be modified to be a flow through system making harvesting easier. They also take advantage of vertical space. A 55 gallon drum only takes up about 4 square feet of space whereas the 18 gallon totes, using 3 to make the same space would need around 20 square feet of space. You can even turn a drum into a compost tumbler system.
The disadvantage of these systems are is difficult to maintain moisture in vertical space. In my barrels I have to keep the tops VERY wet in order for the bottom not to completely dry out. I have also noticed that the finished castings do not fall through the bottom easily. I have to "scrape" them out with a garden tool. So being down on my hands and knees for 20 minutes is no fun. I have to harvest this way about every 6 weeks.
Again, I harvest once every 6-8 weeks and get 5-10 gallons of castings out of the two bins I have.
One is a 55 gallon barrel that I simply cut the top off of, cut a 16"x8" rectangle out of the bottom, then fed some coated laundry line across to make a grate.
I used a 45 gallon wheeled trash can for the top photo bin. My thinking at the time was that it would be easier to move a bin on wheels. BUT, I now realize it is near impossible to move them after they get about 1/2 full because they are simply too heavy. I would guess a 1/2 full bin weighs well over 100 pounds.
I have had a few people ask me about how far apart I put the coated laundry line. I put the line about 2 inches from piece to piece going north/south and did the same thing east/west to make a "grate or screen" of sorts.
All in all, I will keep these bins going but I will not be making any more. The idea of simpler harvesting was very appealing but it just has not been as easy as I thought and the finished castings are not as fine as those that come from my commercial bins or my homemade totes.
Here are some tumblers that are made for traditional composting NOT with worms.
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In your trash can bins Not rated yet In your trash can bins at what depth do you find most of the worm activity? I assume that the bedding near the bottom is an area for a cool safe haven …
Harvesting Worm Barrels Not rated yet About two to three times a year I harvest my worm barrels. Each barrel holds about 10 pound of worms.
Every time I harvest the barrels I collect about …