Worms! Creepy, crawly, slimy, gross, right? No! These little guys are major players when it comes to composting. It’s called vermicomposting and I promise getting set up to do this is way less complicated than that name. In fact, let’s simplify and call this worm composting.
What is Vermiculture?
Vermiculture- also known as worm composting- is garden composting process that uses earthworms. This a great way to speed up and enrich the composting process. They eat and digest your compostable material to make rich, highly useable compost. All organic material breaks down eventually, but through vermiculture you can accelerate the process.
Not Interested in Making your own Worm Bin?
Compare the most popular worm bins on the market here. They range in price from $44 to $400. Why buy when it’s easy to make your own for $10 or less!?
How to Make Your Own Worm Bin for Vermiculture Composting
It is so easy to make your own vermicuture composting worm bin.
Yes, you can go the route of buying expensive worm bins, but there is a much easier and cheaper way to do this. It’s so easy that you can find all of your materials to do so at your local hardware store or Amazon.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE YOUR OWN WORM BIN
- Three plastic, 5-gallon buckets
- One bucket lid
- A drill with a 3/16- or 1/8-inch drill bit
- Newspaper or cardboard
- Red wiggler composting worms
SETTING UP YOUR WORM BIN
The first thing you need to do is set up a comfy home for your worms. Use your cardboard or shredded newspaper to create bedding.
Then you add your layer of food for the worms. As the worms feed and digest, creating compost, you add another level of bedding and food.
These smart worms leave behind what they’ve composted, seeking the next and new level of food. Onward and upward they go until you have your rich, garden-ready compost. You use TWO of your buckets for this process, switching back and forth as you empty the compost and layer bedding and food for the next round. The third bucket is used for catching moisture created through the vermicomposting process.
Step-by-step directions for setting up your worm bin
- Take two of you buckets, and drill 3/16-inch holes in the bottom, approximately 1 inch apart
- Drill a line of 1/8-inch holes through the lip of both buckets close to the top. These are for air flow – very important!
- Drill many 1/8-inch holes through the lid for additional air flow
- Take a bucket with holes in the bottom and stack it into the bucket that does NOT have holes in the bottom.
These two buckets are your worm bin! The first bucket without the holes is catching the water, the second bucket with the holes is creating your compost. Your third bucket (which also has holes) is for adding your next layer of bedding and food. Now that you’ve got your worm bin set up, it’s time to get your worms in!
- Inside your bucket, line 3 or 4 inches of dampened shredded newspaper or cardboard
- Put in your worms. These buckets can house between 200 and 250 worms!
- Go ahead and toss in some food scraps!
- Put the lid on the bin. You are now officially worm composting!
- Once your first layer of food has begun being digested by the worms, stack your second bucket with holes in the bottom onto your worm bin.
Sit Back and Let the Magic of Worm Composting Begin
It’s important to allow for a couple of weeks to make sure your little worm friends have moved from one bucket to the next, once that has happened, you’re ready to harvest your compost! You keep repeating this process as the buckets fill up. Easy, right? One thing to remember is to check the bottom bucket for water. This is a normal part of the process and actually a bonus! This water can be reused to water plants! This vermicompost “tea” is also a rich fertilizer!
You may even end up with baby worms like us.
Watch the Worm Bin Tutorial Video!
Check out this YouTube video on the Naples Compost channel to get detailed instructions on how to make your own worm bin.
A Few Pointers for Your Vermiculture Composting Bin
Moisture level in the worm bin is very important! Too wet isn’t good, so adding more bedding can help. But too dry will kill your worms! Make sure your bedding is damp, but not sodden.
So there you have it! How easy! Who knew that some buckets, worms and time could create a simple but very effective way of making compost? You can keep your worm bin indoors our outdoors. A basement is a great place because it’s pretty climate controlled! If that’s not an option, anywhere indoors would work as long as it’s away from appliances – worms are sensitive to temperature fluctuations and vibrations. Outdoors works well for stacking and cleaning, so look for a shady spot to keep your worms cool.
Rather Buy a Worm Bin?
I get it. Sometimes it’s easy to just buy something when you are busy. If you want to shop the best bins, compare the most popular worm bins on the market here.
Or you can buy an electric composter. Check out this post to find the best electric composters on the market today.
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