Ok folks as promised last week, we have listed a few options to get you started on your vermicomposting journey. Worm composting bins can be fairly inexpensive and easy to maintain. Here are a few options for DIY options and our favorite worm compost bin purchase options.
Remember you will want to put your bin in an indoor space or at the very least a covered protected outdoor area. We don’t want the worms to freeze in the winter or get too warm in the summer.
Option 1 - 10 gallon storage container or 5-gallon bucket
What you will need
- 10 gallon (not clear) storage container with lid or 5-gallon bucket with lid (like the ones you get from the hardware store)
- Drill with 3/16 and 1/8-inch twist bits
- Shredded newspaper, coco coir, or cardboard
- 250 to 500 composting worms
Use a drill (or a nail or chisel if you don’t have a drill) and drill holes around the top of the sides and on the bottom of the bucket or storage bin. These holes are for air circulation and drainage. (Keep in mind a properly functioning worm bin will not have a lot of excess moisture to drain out.
Create a drainage system. If you are using one container, you can use a tray (an additional lid, or a smaller depth storage container) to catch the liquid that comes out. If you are using two containers, you can drill several holes in the bottom of both containers and use one of the lids as a tray to catch liquid from the bottom. Or, you can drill several holes in the bottom of one container and leave the bottom of the other container intact. The container with holes in the bottom will be placed inside the container without holes in the bottom.
Option 2 - The Urban Worm Bag
If you don’t feel like making your own bin we totally get that. There are a lot of for purchase options out there. Our favorite is the Urban Worm Bag. Durable, breathable, and attractive, home worm box solution. It is highly-efficient, but incredibly simple and uses a continuous flow concept. No screening or sifting. Simply apply to your plants, soil, or growing medium.
Once your worm home is ready, it is time to prep the space
Step 1 -The bedding (choose one or a combination of the below)
- Shredded newspaper (not the glossy stuff) just the B&W sections
- Shredded cardboard
- Coco Coir
- Fill your bin about ⅓ full with the loose bedding
Spray the bedding with water, it should be damp and not soaked.
Step 2 - Add some food scraps (this layering method results in faster decomposition.)
- Add a thin layer of food on top of bedding (Veggie peeling, coffee grounds, fall leaves, etc)
- Cover the food layer with another thin layer of damp bedding.
- Throw in a shovel or two of garden soil
- Place another layer of food scraps
- Finally, put a layer of damp bedding
*Don’t add meats, oils, or dairy, which can attract insects. Avoid using too much of any one ingredient to keep your bin well-balanced.Step 3 Introduce your worms to their new home
There are around 4,000 types of earthworms known in the world. Only six of these worms are known to be suitable for vermicomposting. Check out our recommendations on Choosing the Best Composting Worms to fill your bin. You can buy worms Here
Here are some additional tips for keeping your worms happy
- Your worm bin temperature should be between 59 and 77 degrees F. You can keep your bin in your garage, basement, laundry room, under your kitchen sink, or anywhere else that is protected from the elements. Whatever you don't expose your worms to below-freezing temperatures.
- Feed your worms One or two cups of food scraps every few days
- Dig a small hole in the bin, toss in your food scraps, and then cover them with some dry beddings. Don’t overfeed your worms.
- When it’s ready to harvest, your worm compost will be dark, crumbly, and beautifully earthy.
- To harvest, pick or sift out as many of the worms as you can and toss them back into the bin, or begin a second bin with them. Use the compost with your favorite gardening method
As usual, if you have any questions just drop us a line. We will get back to you.Until next time, y'all have a good week.
The worm lover behind this post - Kris Moriarty- Blog writer for Meme’s Worms. Making our planet a greener place one garden at a time!
Buy worms https://www.memesworms.com