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PostPosted: Jul 4th, '11, 22:24 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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I want to be able to harvest the castings though for use in seed starting and stuff. My gardens are too big to effectively spread and move worm towers around them. I have enough trouble just keeping up with the netting around the garden beds to keep the chickens and squirrels out.

The stands might need a little extra reinforcement to support a growbed filled with gravel and water and by that point, well concrete blocks will be cheaper. I could perhaps see using the fence rail frame to make a stand for a 50 gallon stock tank bed in a situation where blocks would not be possible but it would not be cheaper.

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PostPosted: Jul 4th, '11, 23:07 
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With a large garden I'd just put more towers out and let the worms do the spreading. While you could get worm castings for seedlings from the tower, it would definitely be a pain. Since the subject of seedlings came up, I've been wondering if people use their AP system to start seedlings for their dirt garden? I know this wouldn't work for some plants but it's pretty easy to take them out of AP, I haven't seen anyone mention this.

I was thinking a set of long rails with multiple posts would be an easy way to get a series of growbeds or a dwc raft system level plus it looks way better than concrete.


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PostPosted: Jul 5th, '11, 01:14 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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I start seedlings on a shelf with capillary matting that is hanging in a gutter of AP water and I use these seedlings in both the dirt and AP garden. I also direct seed many things but some things are so slow to start that it seems to work better to start them in a tray or soil blocks (worm castings are an important ingredient in good soil blocks.)

One problem with worm towers out in the garden here is that we put a lot of large stuff into our worm bins and chopping everything down to fit in a 6" pipe and distributing around to dozens of towers around the place just wouldn't fit our style. Truth is not that many of our kitchen scraps actually make it to the worm bins since the ducks and chickens usually get first dibs when we walk out the door. The worms get alot more garden and yard waste here.

Yea, I like the rail and post idea for DWC here since it's more likely to avoid the lumber/liner termite problem. As for getting a series of growbeds level, I've usually only worried about getting a growbed level to itself. Not actually that much need to get a series of them level with eachother unless they are sharing a siphon of FLOUT to drain. As for filling them, it's the pipes/feeds to the grow beds that have to be level not actually the grow beds themselves.

I do worry a bit that one would need to make sure the weight of a grow bed won't manage to push the rails down into the ground more in one spot than another and could wind up getting out of level over time unless something is done to make sure the rails can't sink over time.

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PostPosted: Jul 5th, '11, 04:15 
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Hmm, capillary mat :think: :)

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One problem with worm towers out in the garden here is that we put a lot of large stuff into our worm bins and chopping everything down to fit in a 6" pipe and distributing around to dozens of towers around the place just wouldn't fit our style.


Wow, you must have a huge dirt garden. It wouldn't take much to fill one of these small pipes up. I gather that some people use 5 gallon buckets to do something similar. Most of what I deal with are kitchen scraps and garden stuff not to much big stuff so this should work for me. I'm just going to put a couple in with the tomatoes and peppers to see if it helps.

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I do worry a bit that one would need to make sure the weight of a grow bed won't manage to push the rails down into the ground more in one spot than another and could wind up getting out of level over time unless something is done to make sure the rails can't sink over time.


Yeah would definitely need to spread the downward force out somehow.


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PostPosted: Jul 5th, '11, 04:29 
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Yea our dirt beds are fairly large as are our worm bins. I've just sifted about 20 gallons of castings out from the larger chunky stuff from about half of the smaller worm bin.

I've got nothing against the idea of worm towers, just don't see them working for me. Could be something as simple as a big flower pot sunk in the garden with a cover so you can drop scraps in. Weeds and tree roots would probably cause me issues there as My garden is becoming more of a forest garden and the trees are not far from the beds. I believe in doing as little digging in the garden as possible.

You could probably use the brace clamps and more rails to put braces down at ground level to help spread the forces and keep them from sinking but that is more materials and cost which I have trouble justifying when concrete blocks as stands for grow beds are really cheap in comparison.

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PostPosted: Jul 6th, '11, 20:12 
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Two problems I see with the water filled coffee cans are evaporation and mosquitos. I've not had regular rain this year, so I would have to refill often. Mainly, I'd hate to look in there and see lots of wigglers. Maybe a fine mesh would keep em out ?


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PostPosted: Jul 6th, '11, 20:35 
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scotty435 wrote:
Here is a video that's not to bad and gives the general idea. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFuIFnjK-ko


Nice video - he had me at "yup, just doing it right there in the garden" with a big smile on his face - but I don't see how worm castings will motivate my wife into some backyard aquaponics action so I can't get too hopeful of the miracle of worm towers


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PostPosted: Jul 6th, '11, 20:38 
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merkurmaniac wrote:
Two problems I see with the water filled coffee cans are evaporation and mosquitos. I've not had regular rain this year, so I would have to refill often. Mainly, I'd hate to look in there and see lots of wigglers. Maybe a fine mesh would keep em out ?


Wouldn't mosquito larvae = great fish food? Just add some sort of drain plug to your cans and if u see larvae drain them all into a bucket you can dump into ur ft or fry tank plug um back up and refill :))


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PostPosted: Jul 6th, '11, 21:20 
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ya can't keep the mosquitoes out with screen since that would provide a bridge across the moat for the ants. So to avoid mosquitoes I usually use mineral oil in the containers which also tends to evaporate away less. The other option would be to add a few granules of a mosquito dunk into each container with water to kill the mosquito larva before they can hatch.

Mosquito larva would be good fish food for some kinds/sizes of fish. However, the containers under a worm bin can get a little nasty and I'm not sure I would be dumping the contents into my fish tank.

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PostPosted: Jul 6th, '11, 21:28 
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ya know some people actually use a "worm tower" of sorts right in their grow beds too. This is probably only appropriate to a system where the fish load is rather low compared to the media bed growing space that has a ample population of worms.

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PostPosted: Jul 7th, '11, 00:50 
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Genius idea! :notworthy:

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PostPosted: Jul 7th, '11, 04:36 
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Quote:
ya know some people actually use a "worm tower" of sorts right in their grow beds too. This is probably only appropriate to a system where the fish load is rather low compared to the media bed growing space that has a ample population of worms.


Yep, they'd have to have really low fish load. In a normal AP system the entire bed is sort of a worm tower.


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PostPosted: Jul 7th, '11, 21:00 
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BullwinkleII wrote:
Genius idea! :notworthy:


Thank you, glad you like it.

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PostPosted: Feb 5th, '12, 05:39 
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They use similar stands for beehives for ants but substitute the water for used car oil. The containers are made from steel pipe and steel rings all welded together so you use say a 32mm pipe for the stands and a 75 for the container side. I guess you need to have rings plasma or laser cut or something and there is a lot of welding. The old oil does not evaporate or rust the stands, and the mosquito problem is solved. Its quite dirty though...

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PostPosted: Feb 5th, '12, 08:09 
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I've been using mineral oil in the containers now so that it doesn't evaporate or rust the pipe and I don't have to worry about mosquitoes in the containers of water.

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