DIY Worm Bin & Vermicomposting

Worm composting, or vermicomposting, is not only great for composting food scraps and diverting waste from the landfill but also for the wonderful end products of the vermicomposting process - castings and compost tea. Worm castings (aka poop) can be used for starting plants and can also be added to your indoor and outdoor plants as a natural fertilizer and soil builder. Compost tea is used to naturally fertilize indoor plants and gardens. 

I had my first vermicompost bin in university and then once we had a yard switched to the large backyard composters, which we still use. However, I really wanted castings and compost tea to nourish my plants throughout the year and my kids loved the idea of having a wormery. So, we made this very simple, cost effective vermicomposting bin.

Supplies: 

- Two 10 gallon Rubbermaid containers and 1 Rubbermaid lid
- Drill with 1/4” drill bit
- Red wiggler composting worms
- A cup of soil
- Paper shreddings or dry leaves
- Food scraps

Instructions: see photos for a visual

1. Drill holes in your lid. Set to the side. 

2. On both Rubbermaids, drill holes along the top panels. Your one Rubbermaid (the base) is complete. Set it to the side.

3. On the second Rubbermaid, drill holes throughout the base. This one with the holes in the base will sit inside the second bin to allow oxygen flow and excess moisture to drain (you can dilute this liquid and water your plants with it).

 4. Fill your bin 1/3 to 1/2 full with 'bedding' which can be newspaper shreddings or leaves. Add a cup or two of soil for grit and beneficial microbes. Moisten so the mix feels damp like a wrung out sponge. 

 5. Add your worms and food scraps. Cover with more leaves or paper shreddings. Moisten again. Let the composting begin! Add food every few days or once per week. Moisten if the bedding feels dry. 

6. Store your bin in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Options could be: under your kitchen sink, in the basement, or in a heated garage. 

Vermicomposting also allows us to learn about worms and their importance in ecosystems. Julia Rothman draws the anatomy of the earthworm and worm castings in her Nature Anatomy book. 

Prairie Worm Works, a Regina, SK based business is an expert when it comes to vermicomposting! The owner, David, created this poster of the life stages of the red wiggler composting worm. He kindly allowed me to share it with you here on my Blog. We've been able to explore our vermicompost bin and find these various worm life stages. 

You can learn more about Prairie Worm Works and purchase red wiggler composting worms and finished vermicast (worm poop) at https://www.prairiewormworks.ca/

Here is a helpful video that demonstrates the worm bin build process. 

If you have any questions, leave them below and I'll get back to you!

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