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5 Gallon Worm Bin Experiment - Prep Work

This is a short video to document the prep work for an experiment I'm conducting with two 5 gallon buckets. In one I'm going to put 1/2 pound of worms and in the other 1 pound of worms. My hypothesis is that the 1/2 pound will reach about 1 lb in 3 months, but I'd guess that the 1 lbs might fall short of 2 lbs due to surface area. But hey, that's why we do experiments right?

I pre-measured a little cardboard, shredded newspaper, coconut coir, and pre-composted rabbit manure and added to each bucket.

I used a 1/2 inch of cardboard squares, 1/2 bucket of shredded newspaper, enough coir for a thin layer across the surface area of the bucket, and exactly 1 pint of pre-composted rabbit manure. I've been experimenting with rabbit manure since January and it will definitely fatten up worms, but it needs to be leached and pre-composted for three or four weeks.

At the end of 1 month, I’ll add exactly 1 more pint of rabbit manure. I’ll use a plastic spray bottle to keep this mixture moist.

And in case you're wondering, I drilled 17 holes in each lid with a 1/4 drill bit. I wouldn't want to skew the experiment by letting more air in on bucket than the other. I also gave each bucket 30 squirts from a spray bottle. I'll keep adding 30 squirts to each bucket per day until it achieves the mixture I'm looking for.

I want the mixture to season for a week before adding the worms next week.

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Comment by xxsilence720xx on September 3, 2010 at 8:17am
let me know how this goes =)
I'm looking towards starting some this way myself....
Comment by bpearcy10 on September 3, 2010 at 4:08pm
Well, the five gallon buckets are nearing 1 month since I put the worms in. All three buckets are doing well. I put cardboard in the bottom and it has done its' job absorbing the water in the bottom of the buckets. The worms are healthy and active. Five gallon buckets actually make a pretty good option for someone wanting to start a worm bin without spending much money. You can get brand new buckets from the big box store for < $4 including the lid. Or, if you're like me, you might have one in the garage taking up space.(I actually had 5 of them.)
Comment by bpearcy10 on September 27, 2010 at 3:08pm
Steamyb,

The next day I made another bucket and added 75 worms to it. Anything I've done to one, I've done to the others. If I open one to check moisture, I open all three. I hadn't really touched them for 3 weeks until this weekend when I opened them to check moisture. They are not overly wet, but not too dry either. The worms looked healthy.

I've got another month before I count and weigh everything.
Comment by Paula Allen on October 20, 2010 at 1:15pm
I have many 5 gallon pickle buckets from work. If the method Im going to use works out and I need another bin Im going to try your method.
Comment by bpearcy10 on October 20, 2010 at 4:40pm
Hi Paula,

I recently finished my experiment with the buckets and I'm beginning my second round. This time I'm going to make sure I add a lot more food to the bucket. There have been several posts here on the site about "batch composting" with buckets. I'll try to post the link shortly.
Comment by bpearcy10 on October 20, 2010 at 4:41pm
Here's a link on batch composting with buckets.
Comment by bpearcy10 on October 20, 2010 at 6:12pm
Here are the results of my experiment.

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