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Hello Guest!
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Post  ralitaco 4/4/2010, 10:24 pm

Newbie here...what is the purpose of the wiggler inn?
Is it to replace the compost pile?
Does it speed up the process?
What are you "harvesting" from the bins? the tea or are there castings?
Last one, you said you can put as many levels as you want. Why do you need more than 2 levels?
Thanks,
Jim
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Post  choksaw 4/5/2010, 4:16 pm

The "Hilton" will serve 2 purposes
1. It replaces the standard compost pile by makeing it a semi sealed system where the worms do all the work and compost your kitchen scraps (4 to 6 lbs per week roughly) and no unsightly or smelly pile in the back yard. and the compost material (worm castings) is an awesome compost material for your garden.

2. the composting proccess creates moisture and the system needs to be kept damp but not soggy there for the moisture drips down into the lower bin allowing for compost tea which can be used as a liquid fertilizer to give your plants a boost

the reason for the expandability is based on household needs there are only 2 people in my house hold so i made what i thought would be enough space for our daily scraps, a family of 5 may need more room for the kithcen scraps that they produce so the system can be expanded to accomidate the needs of larger households.

on a side note my grandfather and i love to go fishing so we should never run out of a supply of worms Wiggler Hilton - Page 2 Icon_biggrin
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Post  junequilt 4/5/2010, 4:26 pm

Belfrybat, you can raise redworms outdoors despite the heat as long as you provide sufficient bedding mass and keep it moist (not wet -- just don't let it dry out). They'll head for the cooler center of the bedding and hide there until the outer bedding cools off. They pretty much do the same thing in the winter when it's cold.

Topping the bedding with a 3-4" layer of straw also helps to moderate the bed temperature.
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Post  titans01 4/5/2010, 5:43 pm

I just ordered some worms and I bought 5,000 worms for $42. They are supposed to be here Wednesday or Thursday. Now I'm wondering if I got too many. I built a setup like the one in this thread. Should I build another one or add some more bins?
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Post  junequilt 4/5/2010, 5:57 pm

Wow, that is a whole lot of redworms for one bin, methinks. I wouldn't put more than 1000 in a bin the size of the Hilton -- but that's just my take on it.

Maybe you have a cold compost pile you could add some of them to?
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Post  Retired Member 1 4/5/2010, 6:36 pm

Junequilt -- thanks for the encouragement. My bins will be a bit larger than recommended since the 18 gal ones were on sale -- looks like my "mistake" is going to be better for the little darlings as they will be able to seek a cool center.

Titans -- in the reading I've done a pound of red wigglers has between 1000-1200 worms which is sufficient for start-up in the wiggler hilton chocksaw made. They apparently double in number every three months or so. I think you will end up with a multi-story hilton -- how high can it go? Wiggler Hilton - Page 2 Icon_eek
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Post  camprn 4/5/2010, 7:44 pm

@titans01 wrote:I just ordered some worms and I bought 5,000 worms for $42. They are supposed to be here Wednesday or Thursday. Now I'm wondering if I got too many. I built a setup like the one in this thread. Should I build another one or add some more bins?
Oh wow! Shocked Maybe you can offload some on Craigslist...
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Post  ralitaco 4/5/2010, 8:49 pm

Ok, now I understand the purpose of the wiggle inn. I like the closed, neat and clean compost container...I was not looking forward to having a pile of stuff out in the open...But I still have questions
1. what do you do with the worms over the winter
2. how often do the worms multiply
3. I am still unclear on the bins: Bin 1 (bottom) catches the "tea", that I understand. what do you put in bins 2 & 3? do the worms go in 2 and the organic material in 3?
4. Where does the compost collect or do you have to sift it to separate worms, scraps and compost?
5. How long does it take to get usable qty of compost?
6. can I ask more questions Wiggler Hilton - Page 2 Icon_redface

Thanks,
Jim
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Post  chexmix 4/5/2010, 10:26 pm

Before this post I was wondering how to built a worm motel. So today I went in search of the materials to make it. Got my bins, small drill bit (7/64), o-rings and a galvenized spigot (they didn't have the pvc). Came home. Showed Randy (boyfriend) the how to steps at the beginning of this post and so he went to work. Bins work/will work great. Drill bit worked like a charm. The spigot wouldn't hold an o-ring at all. Went to another store looking for the pvc one and still no luck. So tomorrow Randy is going to get creative and figure out a way to use the galvenized one we have.

While building this and going by the plans we had a thought and I would like your opinion on it.

Instead of using 2x4 pieces of wood, what about using 2"pvc pipe in the bottom? Our thoughts are that the wood would soak up the tea so there would be less of it until the wood is very saturated. Plus the pvc won't rot like the wood will over time. By using the pvc we save money over the long run and don't waste the precious tea that is made.

Also, any recommendations on where to purchase the worms?
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Post  titans01 4/5/2010, 10:27 pm

Well it was $32.50 for 1 pound so I just figured $42 for 5000 sounded like a better deal. It's one of those things that I didn't really stop and think about having 5000 worms. I went out and bought 3 20 gallon totes to make another hotel. The first one was made with 3 10 gallon totes. I also have a cold compost pile if need be but I'd like to wait on that since it still 5 - 6 weeks before last frost here. What I really need is someone to come over and explain to my wife that she is going to have 5000 worms in her kitchen. Any volunteers?
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Post  titans01 4/5/2010, 10:29 pm

Chexmix,

Here is where I ordered mine from: http://www.redwormcountry.com/ I ordered them last night at midnight and they shipped out today. Just don't order 5,000 of them.
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Post  chexmix 4/5/2010, 10:42 pm

@titans01 wrote:Chexmix,

Here is where I ordered mine from: http://www.redwormcountry.com/ I ordered them last night at midnight and they shipped out today. Just don't order 5,000 of them.

Thanks for the link.

Hummm, Well if you really feel over whelmed with those 5,000 I'm sure you could donate them to some one around here. Wiggler Hilton - Page 2 Icon_twisted

You have to tell the wife your are having guest in the kitchen, I won't volunteer for that at all. We are putting ours in our dining room but we don't eat in there cause theres not a table.
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Post  titans01 4/5/2010, 11:07 pm

Jim,

I'm just starting out but I will attempt to answer your questions based on what I've read so far.

1. The worms need to be brought in the winter or at least somewhere where it stays above 45 degrees or so.

2. The worms double every 60-90 days if they are well fed and aren't overpopulated.

3. The #2 bin is where the worms start out. As a matter of fact you don't even need to use the #3 bins for a couple of months when starting out. Feed the worms in #2 bin until their castings really start to build up and their bedding is disappearing. Now add the #3 bin with bedding and food. You will only feed in the #3 bin now. The worms will start to migrate up to bin #3 through the holes in the bottom to get the food. This leaves the #2 bin free of worms for the most part and makes it easier to separate the castings from the worms.

4. You will have to separate some. See above.

5. From what I've read it takes 2 1/2 to 5 months to get the castings. This seems like a long time for this but keep in mind that a lot of people do this to help the environment as well as their gardens.

6. Please do.

@ralitaco wrote:Ok, now I understand the purpose of the wiggle inn. I like the closed, neat and clean compost container...I was not looking forward to having a pile of stuff out in the open...But I still have questions
1. what do you do with the worms over the winter
2. how often do the worms multiply
3. I am still unclear on the bins: Bin 1 (bottom) catches the "tea", that I understand. what do you put in bins 2 & 3? do the worms go in 2 and the organic material in 3?
4. Where does the compost collect or do you have to sift it to separate worms, scraps and compost?
5. How long does it take to get usable qty of compost?
6. can I ask more questions Wiggler Hilton - Page 2 Icon_redface

Thanks,
Jim
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Post  Retired Member 1 4/6/2010, 8:39 am

Jim - here's a link to a site that describes it all in more detail:

http://www.working-worms.com/

There's a few differences from the one Chocksaw set up, but it's very similar.
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Post  choksaw 4/7/2010, 1:39 am

I would love to be able to answer all of your questions Jim but this is my first attempt at vermiculture i did alot of research on the internet befor i started and mixed and matched a few ideas to find the simplest and most cost effective solution to my situation

1. bin 1 compst tea
bin 2 Worm bedding and kithcen scraps
bin3 3 empty until needed
i live in florida so as long as i keep them cool and moist winter storage of the worms shouldnt be an issue but i will rpobably move them inside to an area where a possable frost is less likely to kill them my problem arises when the heat of summer sets in at 90+ degrees

i did not look into thier reproduction rate too much but from what i gather they are like rabbits in that area
as far as how fast the proccess is again depends on quantity of scraps and quantity of worms. more worms will get the job done faster but you dont want to go too fast or they will run out of food and either die or relocate themselves to find food

the compost isnt actualy collected anywhere the worms produce the compst as castings from what they eat (worm poop) if the compost isnt needed right away thats when the 3rd tier comes into play you repeat the process you did for tier 2 in tier 3 the holes on the bottom of tier 3 are 3/8 inch so the worms can easily move into the next bin and start the process there.

You may have to seperate the worms from the compost in order to harvest it for use my best reccomendation for this would be to either move all the compost to 1 side of the bin and put some fresh new bedding and scraps on the other side in about a week or so the worms will move themselves to the new food supply limiting the amount of seperation you will need to do by hand or the 3tier comes into play start new fresh bedding and scraps in that tier and the worms will move into it again elimanting much of the seperation process in order to collect the composted material.

the size fo the bin has a few factors to it
1 how much kitchen scrap do you/your family produce
2 how large is your garden
3 how long is your growing season
4 how often do you think you will need fresh compsot for your garden(s)

its mainly a matter of choice and convenience as to why i built it as large i did mor ethen likely for my situation 2 tier system would have been perfect but i like to plan ahead for that just in case scenario.

And yes you can ask all the questions you have ill do my best to answer them to the best of my knowledge im not an expert on this so there are times when i may be wrong this is my first experience with vermiculture
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Post  martha 4/7/2010, 11:59 am

I love this thread!
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Post  choksaw 4/7/2010, 3:46 pm

for anyone who may be interested My worms arrived today witha 95% rate of life meaning i only found 7 dead worms not to bad 7 out of 800/1000 lots of juveniles and adults and a few babies so im sure to have many more as they grow if your looking for a great deal on the worms this is who i used for my purchase
http://stores.ebay.com/The-Organic-Store__W0QQ_sidZ23660683QQ_trksidZp4634Q2ec0Q2em14?_pgn=1
Great communication and service promt delivery time, granted i got lucky due to a typo in the original listing but for $30 (free shipping) you get 1lb of red wigglers anywhere from 800 to 1000 worms as you can see theyre store has alot of other items and they have a best seller rateing on ebay along with 1798 feedback at 100% positive deffinatly someone you want to do bussiness with on ebay. For all this considering this adventure into vermiculture i wish you well and good luck. And ill do my best to answer any and all questions that come my way.
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Post  titans01 4/9/2010, 11:52 pm

Well the worms showed up today, all 5000 of them. They arrived a day late thanks to the US Mail but they seem to be fine. They are all different sizes from nice big ones to some very tiny fellows. Here is a couple of pics:

Wiggler Hilton - Page 2 Wormbi10

Wiggler Hilton - Page 2 Worms410

So total cost was $42 for 5000 worms with free shipping through http://www.redwormcountry.com/

I will keep you posted on how everything goes once they get settled and start eating.
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Post  choksaw 4/10/2010, 4:02 pm

$42 for 5000 man thats an awesome deal your family must produce alot of vegatble scraps for 5000 worms
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Post  titans01 4/10/2010, 11:07 pm

@choksaw wrote:$42 for 5000 man thats an awesome deal your family must produce alot of vegatble scraps for 5000 worms

I have no idea if we will generate enough scraps or not. A lot of these worms are small so I think it will be a while before they are eating full force. I don't think I will have a problem keeping up with them this summer while the garden is in full force but this winter is going to be the trick. I set up a trashcan at work for coffee grounds and I think I'm going to check on Starbucks for their composting program as well. If it comes down to it I can always get some manure from my brother for them to eat as he has goat and cow manure that has been sitting there for several years so it shouldn't be too hard on them.

How is your worms doing? Have they started settled in and started to eat?
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Post  choksaw 4/11/2010, 2:32 pm

Even though im excited to see them go to town ive been forcing myself not to peek and let too much light in but they are settled kind of hard to see if they are eating or not yet
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Post  jjphoto 4/11/2010, 8:24 pm

I bought tubs today to make mine and ordered worms from the ebay seller you linked. No spigot to be found though... checking with my plumber friend tomorrow.
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Post  martha 4/11/2010, 8:35 pm

Choksaw, are the babies adorable, or do they have faces only a mother could love?

I sooo want to get worms - have not yet convinced hubby, but I hope to do so.
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Post  Retired Member 1 4/11/2010, 10:03 pm

@titans01 wrote:
I have no idea if we will generate enough scraps or not. A lot of these worms are small so I think it will be a while before they are eating full force. I don't think I will have a problem keeping up with them this summer while the garden is in full force but this winter is going to be the trick....

Before I ordered my little darlings I checked with the produce manager of the local grocery store and he said no problem getting spoiled produce from him. I'll take him a lidded bucket and he'll fill it with stuff other than citrus and onions. (He actually asked what worms will eat.) You might consider checking with the produce manager at a grocery store close to you if you need extra. BYW, mine should be here Wednesday or Thursday -- their new home is all ready.

I too couldn't find a spigot, so figure I can just empty the bottom pan occasionally.
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Post  jjphoto 4/11/2010, 10:23 pm

I e-mailed my plumber friend - he said he had all those pieces in his shop so I'm headed there tomorrow to pick them up!
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