Worm Composting - your own little ecosystem

Posted on by Michele Bush

Vermiculture, or worm composting, is a great way to recycle your food waste rapidly, while producing high quality fertilizer.

  • Obtain a worm bin - Purchase a ready-made kit or build your own. Some people prefer galvanized tubs or wooden bins, but you can also use plastic storage bins.
  • Prepare the bin for worms - Fill your bin with shredded newspaper, straw, or similar material. Sprinkle some moist dirt on top and let it soak in for at least a day before adding worms.
  • Get some worms - You can usually get worms from someone that already has a bin, a local garden club or Master Gardener, or check online for a good source. The ones most often used are Red Wigglers and European Night Crawlers.
  • Maintain your bin - Keep your bin off the ground, using bricks or cinder blocks. Sprinkle the surface with water every other day. Feed your worms at least once a week. Add more newspaper or straw bedding as needed.
  • Harvest the compost - Push the bin contents all to one side then add fresh bedding, dirt, and food to the empty space (giving the worms a new "home" to migrate to). If you have two bins, you can alternate between them from "active" to "new" and back again. You can also collect liquid fertilizer by placing a tray under the compost bin.