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I just harvested from my flow through bin today and noticed that the castings are hanging about 3-4" above the PVC pipe. Question: how do I get the castings to settle back down to the pipe without causing major avalanche? I had noticed during the last harvest that about 1/2 of the bin was above the pipe, now it is all above the pipe. Any suggestions from veteran flow through bin owners would be appreciated.

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I gave my bin a hefty kick and it worked. No avalanche; I guess I was lucky.

That also is occuring with my flow thru.  Also I'm getting worm escapee, a dozen a day.  At the end of the day, I try to put them back into the bin but some died or dried out.  What is the best way to minimize this? 

We're having such temperature, weather swing in southern California.  Rain an inch overnight Thurs and now it is 85 degrees day time! 

Just give it some time, as you add more to the top the weight will eventually bring everything back down to the bars. 

Bill,
The bin will be a year old in April and it is full to capacity. I'm concerned that if it doesn't all slide down at once than it will avalanche out.

Rick, are you talking about your white rectangular FT? 

No, the wood flow through. The inside of the bin is lined with plastic, so you would think that it would slide down easier, but so far it appears to be stuck. It is definitely moist enough from the looks of what I harvested. There are plenty of worms on the top of the bin and the castings are beautiful. What I harvested yesterday will sit out for about a week and then be screened through 1/4" mesh. The few items that are too big to go through the mesh will go back into the top of the bin but most will go through. So everything seems to be processing fine but it doesn't want to slide down back to the bars. Just wanted to see if anyone else had this issue and how they addressed it.

It seems to be a common problem with FT if it doesn't get harvested regularly. The VC get too compacted, no room to compact itself more to slide down. My reason for leaving VC longer in the bin is to achieve as best quality as I could as most of us do, Or, don't feel like harvesting during the cold season, lol.

With my 96 gal. garbage bin FT, I do not harvest from the bottom any more. It's too hard on my back.  What I did last fall, I removed from the top, put in buckets or whatever, until I see good VC. Then I used a garden fork (pitch fork?) and took the remainder out into a RM and then you know, the usual sorting stuff etc. I know this beats the purpose of the FT design. I just take advantage of the extra air/ventilation and not having a mucky bin at the bottom. I do have mucky stuff at the bottom though. In the harvest chamber, that is, from self harvesting. I think the leachate is not leachate but rather condensation. I have a heater cable in it and wrapped the outside with old foam matress and blankets but I guess the walls are still cold and caused condensation that slid down the wall into the harvest chamber.

I have never had a problem like that with any of my FT.  I find that once any of my FT get to a certain capacity, they will regularly self-harvest themselves because the weight on top pushes the VC through the grate on the bottom.  I suppose you could try to simply push down on the top of the VC see if you can slide it down some?

I was thinking about pushing it down. There are loads of worms on the top (under a cardboard cover). I could take the cover off for awhile and let the worms dive down into the compost. This way the chances of crushing them won't be as great.

Ok, that's the plan, take off the cardboard, wait a few minutes and then try to push the entire surface down in an even amount of pressure so that the whole thing slides down to the bars. I'll let you guys know how that works.

Thanks for the responses.
Well, it's been more than a year since this post. I was reviewing my comments and thought I would give an update on what happened. I pushed on the surface and BIG avalanche. I ended up pretty much touching the contents of the entire bin. I had to remove more than I wanted to so that I could put another false bottom on part of the bin to keep it from continuing to fall through.

As of this summer I decided this flow through was not worth the effort to harvest. So I took everything out, put a plywood bottom on it, filled it up again and now it is a worm bin that is harvested from the top. I like it a lot better. If I do try a flow through again the opening will be a lot bigger (higher up) so there is not as much bending over to get to the castings.

Hi,

Just a question, was the plastic lining you used a weed stop kind of plastic or was It a non breathable type of plastic ?

After my first harvest the flow through contents were hung up. So I took a long knife and ran it along the sides. It came down gently right behind the knife in many places.

Recently I harvested again and one corner failed to drop, so I pulled out the knife and it settled right down.

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