Worm bins are the ultimate green disposal of food waste. You can build an entire eco system in a box, throw in waste and pull out great compost.
Step 1- Pick a Container
There is no fixed size for a worm bin – it can be as big or as small as you want. Find a container that is the right size for you. The best container to use will have a loosely fitting lid and be a little more than 2 feet tall.
Step 2- Ventilate the Container
Drill a series of holes about a quarter inch in diameter about 4 inches from the bottom of the bin. Also drill holes about an eighth inch in diameter in the bottom of the bin
Step 3- Bedding
Shred newspaper and unbleached cardboard into 1inch strips. It is also helpful to add hay and dry grasses. Fill the bin and thoroughly wet the strips and allow the bin to stand for a day to absorb the moisture. Sprinkle garden dirt on the top and moisten that.
Step 4- Get the Worms
It is better to buy the worms that you need. If possible buy breeds that are native to your area. Don’t worry about not buying enough worms, they breed quite fast and if you need more you can always buy some more.
Step 5- The Worms at Home
Once the worms are in the bin they will start to eat the paper, cardboard and whatever else you have in there but you should quickly add some of your vegetable food waste. As long as the worms are fed and kept moist, even though they could escape if they wanted to, they won’t try.
Step 6- Maintenance
Stand the bin on bricks so it is off the floor and place a tray underneath it to catch any leaks. The leaks will be liquid compost and very good for your garden. Feed vegetables every week and make sure the bin does not get too dry. Egg shells can be added as well as tea bags and coffee grounds. The worms will compost food that is chopped up for them faster. Do not be tempted to add non vegetarian foods – the worms won’t eat it and it could rot and cause problems or even kill off the worm population. Meat and dairy products – NO
Step 7- Replacement Bedding
As the worms eat their bedding it will need to be replaced. Shred paper and cardboard into 1inch strips, soak it over night and squeeze out the excess water before fluffing it out and adding it to the bin.
Step 8- Strangers
You might find that after a while there are creatures in the bin that you didn’t put in there. Don’t worry about them unless they are centipedes. They have joined in the eco system you have created centipedes unfortunately have joined to pillage and plunder so remove those if you see any.
When the compost is ready you can don rubber gloves and scoop it out. Remove as many worms as you can and return them to the bin. As long as they are native breeds you can safely add a few to your garden.