Vermicomposting, worm bin, composting with worms community and forums
I have to get serious in building compost. I need a lot of it. I also need a lot of mulch. I could use 300 cu ft between now (10/12/2013) and the first of the year. I cannot afford to buy it. I must make it.
My county quit their yard waste recycling service. I had been getting 6 pickup loads per year of their mulch to lay on my gardens. I hybridize daylilies as my retirement hobby in the hopes of it more than paying its way. I have breeder plants that stay in place 3 or 4 years. I have beds to line out plants to sell. Then there are seedlings. I am growing about 1000 plants per year from seed. They take up about 1/4 of an acre.
Daylily growing work produces a lot of its own plant matter to compost. I had not done much with it since free mulch was so easy to manage. About a year ago I began vermicomposting and now have 3 plastic bins. I have harvested twice and have sprayed a lot of tea. I build a bed on the ground where the worms took up my hot composted leaf/grass mix, along with coffee grounds. Some of this has been harvested. All my new plantings this fall got vermicompost that had been collecting in three 30 gallon trash cans.
Now I recognize that my 3 plastic bins are more work and fraught with greater difficulty than flow through bins. I have a plan to convert 2 of these bins to flow through for use in the basement to handle kitchen waste. If I had a video camera I would make films, because I have not seen one on converting a bin with the worms in it. maybe some of you would know of one.
The other project I want help with is the design of a large flow through bin. The space it goes in limits it to 6' in length. So 4x6 roughly is the size. The inside dimension will be near that.
My goal is to produce volumes of good qualilty compost that will be added to the soil every time a plant is planted. This goes on continually from April 1 to Oct 15 every year. Compost also in included in potting soil for starting seed.
Here are my high values in designing and building:
Here are some materials I have on hand:
The main technical challenge I see is a way to bend the sheet metal to fit tightly in the inside corners. I wonder if the easiest thing is to make it first and build the wood frame to mate with it.
Now that I have laid this out, I would appreciate any input about my goals, values, operation, plans, etc.
I am new on this site, and hope there is a way to keep my future posts connected to this one. Can anyone help me with this? Thank you all in advance.