Vermicomposting is the process of using worms and beneficial microorganisms to convert organic waste to rich compost. There are plenty of benefits to this process! Diverting waste from the land fill, producing rich compost, and even observing a unique ecosystem in your own home.
Now that we’ve got you sold on the idea, you’re probably wondering how to get started. Setting up a worm bin is pretty straight forward but there are a few basics that you need to know.
You can get creative here if you want (see our worm bin profiles), but the standard type bin is a Rubbermaid container. It should be opaque and at least 12 inches deep.
It’s important to drill holes around the top for ventilation and in the bottom for drainage. This can be easily done with a handheld drill or even a hot nail that can melt a hole through the plastic. If you’re looking for something a bit more high-tech, you can check out some ventilation holes, like the ones described here.
Once your bin is done, you can start thinking about bedding. This can be shredded cardboard, newspaper, straw, or fall leaves. When you start a new bin, make sure the bedding is moist but not wet. Worms breathe through their skin, so they need a bit of moisture to facilitate the transport of oxygen, but we don’t want them to drown.
Worm Food (our waste)
There are a few guidelines to stick to when considering what types of waste to put in your bin. Fruits and vegetable peels, along with coffee grounds and tea bags, are ideal for vermicomposting. Citrus peels should be added only in moderation. Avoid adding dairy, meats, any oily leftovers, and any human or pet waste. Try to avoid adding big chunks of anything to the bin. These will take a long time to break down. Think surface area – the more spots there are for microbes to live, the faster you’ll have rich compost.
You’re set! All you need to do now is add worms to the system. You’ll need to track down some Red Wiggler worms. These are worms that like to live in groups and thrive in decomposing environments.