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Worm Factory vs. DIY Worm Compost Bin

Updated on June 17, 2011

Looking For The Best Red Wiggler Worm Compost Bin?

Are you trying to decide if you should build or buy a worm compost bin? Well, if you're like me you are doing tons of research before making your decision. After looking over many different Red Wiggler worm compost bin plans, I thought I'd try making my own. I was on my way to the store to pick up the materials I needed, when it hit me ... was my DIY worm compost bin going to provide me with everything I was looking for? After careful deliberation, I finally decided to buy a Worm Factory 360. Read on to find out why I made the right decision.

Want to buy a Worm Factory 360?

Click HERE to buy one.

Basic DIY Worm Compost Bin Design

The Cheapest Option

If you are looking for the cheapest and easiest option to make your own Red Wiggler worm compost bin, then it would look something like this. Basically you can get one or two large rubber bins, and drill many ventilation holes. The holes drilled in the bottom of the bin are not only for ventilation, but to allow the worm tea (liquid fertilizer) to drain out of the worm compost bin. It is important that the worms have enough ventilation while also living in a moist - not drenched - environment.

Another Basic DIY Worm Compost Bin

More Expensive & A Lot More Work

Alternatively you can opt to build a wooden Red Wiggler worm compost bin. It is similar to its rubber counterpart, with just a few differences. First you only have to drill holes in the bottom. There isn't a need to have ventilation holes in the sides or the lid, since wood's structure allows for natural ventilation. Also when you make a wooden compost bin you can make it as big as you have room for. The final main difference is the cost and effort needed to construct. The cost of the wood is more than that of the rubber DIY worm compost bin, and you will need use a saw in addition to a drill.

Click HERE to buy Red Wiggler Worms

Worm Factory 360

Sets Up In Minutes

After researching all of the other manufactured worm compost bins on the market, I found that the Worm Factory 360 is the highest quality Red Wiggler worm compost bin out there. It is made with post consumer recycled materials, and is guaranteed for 20 years by the manufacturer. You get more for you money than with any of the Worm Factory's competitors.

The Worm Factory® 360 4 Tray unit includes:

~ 4 Stacking Trays

~ Collection Base

~ 16-Page Instruction Book

~ Ventilation "Quick Tips" Lid

~ Coir Brick

~ Worm Bedding

~ Spigot

~ Accessory Kit

~ Instructional DVD

Click HERE to buy a Worm Factory® 360...for only $109.95

Why Choose The Worm Factory 360?

Design & Functionality

I am definitely the type of person who likes to make things myself, and most importantly save money where ever possible. Aside from the fact that I could choose from three different colors (Black, Green, Terracotta), what is it that made me want to buy the Worm Factory 360 and part with my hard-earned money? Well, my answer is three fold...

1. Harvesting the compost.

Unlike the DIY worm compost bins, harvesting the vermicompost is easy and efficient with the Worm Factory. The stackable design of the Worm Factory 360 ensures that the worms migrate from the bottom (working) tray and move upwards to the next tray - leaving the compost behind for easy removal. As you stop adding food scraps to the bottom tray and only add to the upper tray(s), the Red Wiggler worms will naturally move where the food is, thus leaving behind the compost.

The DIY worm compost bins require a bit more work and a LOT more time to harvest the compost. Typically you when you are ready to harvest the worm castings, you only feed the worms on one side of the worm compost bin. Then you have to wait 4 - 6 weeks for the worms to migrate to the other side of the bin so you can collect your compost. Then you start the process over on the other side which can take another month or so to complete.

With the Worm Factory 360, you can harvest your first batch of compost usually after 3 months ... that is a fraction of the amount of time as compared with the DIY worm compost bins. I'm a bit impatient, which made it a big selling point for me.

2. Worm Tea!

So, if you're not familiar with worm tea, let me tell you that it is an all natural by-product of the vermicomposting process. It is basically super-juice (think Miracle-Gro), just like Red Wiggler worm castings are super-food for all plants. And with both worm tea and castings a little goes a long way.

The good people that designed the Worm Factory 360 know how valuable worm tea is, so their worm compost bin has a collection tray with a handy spigot to get every last drop. Since the collection tray is elevated off the ground, it is very easy to get a watering can under the spigot to collect the worm tea and voilà you are ready to go!

With the DIY rubber worm compost bin you can collect worm tea, but what I didn't like about this design is that you have the liquid exposed, which to me just spelled trouble. I wanted to have my worm compost bin inside, and with pets running around I just thought it would be a bit precarious of me to let the worm tea lay around out in the open. Also I thought aesthetically it just looked icky, not to mention collecting the worm tea could get messy. I'm a bit on the clumsy side, so this was another big selling point for the Worm Factory 360 ... no fuss no muss!

If you make a wooden worm compost bin, most of them don't have plans to collect the worm tea, and instead just let it drain out of the bin. This means that you have to keep your worm compost bin outside, and worse yet ... you don't get to collect any of the goodness that is worm tea!

3. Overall look and design.

I knew that when I started vermicomposting I wanted to have the worm compost bin indoors. It is important for the Red Wiggler worms to stay between a certain temperature range. They can tolerate a range of 33° - 86° F, but prefer a more stable 59° - 77° F. I figure if I have happy worms, then they will work more efficiently ... more compost, faster! My backyard regularly gets to 90° F or more in the shade during the summer months, and well below freezing in the winter. Plus having the worm compost bin inside will let me compost year round.

Since I wanted an indoor bin, that eliminated the wooden worm compost bin. My only real DIY option was the rubber worm compost bin. To be honest it doesn't look horrible, but not something I want hanging around in my kitchen. Plus the compact square design of the Worm Factory allows for it to be tucked into a corner of the kitchen or even in the pantry. And even though the Worm Factory has a relatively smaller footprint than that of the rubbermaid variety worm compost bin, you can house more worms. The Worm Factory can have as many as 8 trays working, where the rubber worm compost bin is limited to 2 at the most.

The Bottom Line

Most importantly to me was that I was going to make or buy a Red Wiggler worm compost bin that I could get the most out of. As it turned out buying the Worm Factory 360 was the best option for me. Here's a summary of why I favor the Worm Factory over all DIY and other commercial worm compost bins:

~ Aethestically pleasing with three different colors to choose from

~ Compact design to house indoors

~ Maximizes my working area with stackable trays

~ Easy to set-up, use and maintain

~ Harvesting compost and worm tea is a cinch, and faster than DIY designs

~ 20 year warranty on parts and workmanship, with a life expectancy of 30 years

~ Produced with post consumer recycled materials

~ Reliable company with a mission statement promoting environmental sustainability

Setting Up a Worm Factory 360 - Check Out How Easy It Is...

Want To Learn More About Vermicomposting?

Check out this site for more helpful information about composting with Red Wiggler worms: WormComposting.us

Let Me Know What You Think

What Is Most Important To You?

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I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have you made your own worm compost bin or did you buy one? What kind of worm compost bin did you make or buy? How's it been working for you? Questions are also always welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

What's Your Take On Worm Compost Bins?

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    • caffimages profile image

      caffimages 5 years ago

      Just love worms,.What hard little workers they are!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @NintendoMan: Actually I have an 8-tray WF360 going. That's 24,000+ worms. I find that plenty for starting a business. I also have 8 10-gallon Rubbermaid roughneck bins producing 4 more worn bins. I plan on building large wooden ones eventually, but there is no reason to expand to fast. I plan on using the WF360 as a nursery for incubation of caccoons and the bins as the breeder tanks. You have to keep expanding if you want them to keep reproducing because they only reproduce as many as their environment dictates.

    • SallyCin profile image
      Author

      SallyCin 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Janice, Once the first tray fills up, you will add a second tray. The first tray will take approximately 3 months for the worms to convert it to compost. The second tray may fill up before the 1st tray is converted to compost, so you will need to add a third tray, and possibly a 4th before harvesting the compost from the first tray. Hope this helps!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Could someone please tell me why you need more than 2 trays for the worm factory? I can understand 2 trays but not 4. Thanks for helping

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I absolutley LOVE my Worm Factory. I tried container worm composting for about three weeks. It was smelly, messy, and hard to manage. The Worm Factory was definitely made the process a whole lot easier.

    • turtleface profile image

      turtleface 6 years ago

      Two of my friends and I decided to try vermiculture at the same time. They both decided to build their bins and I bought mine online. Their bins only lasted a couple of months because they developed problems with their bins. Mine actually has done really well and I've been doing it for a few years now. For a period of time I did expand to a temporary overflow bin (just a Tupperware under-bed storage bin) until I could get it into the other permanent bin. That bin did really well too. I've had great success... but I did start off with and stick with one that I'd bought

    • profile image

      NintendoMan 6 years ago

      I build my own worm bins/composter since I'm going commercial with my worm poop as an organic fertilizer. I find the worm factory too small although very useful for starters.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I like the DIY worm composter. It's easy, quick, and can be tricked out for a particular space.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I wanted to make my own worm box for outside, but then I thought about how cold it gets here...I ended up deciding on buying a worm factory, since I could compost year round inside.

      Nice lens.