Introduction: How to Make Vermicompost

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Vermi-composting, that is composting with worms is super easy and great for plants. All you need is a box that you put some worms in and some organic material. I keep them inside my house (the smell is not a problem), so they are always at a comfortable temp. If you keep them outside, just pay attention to keeping them out of the sun when its hot and in the sun when its cold, that’s probably enough, depending on where you live

Step 1: Assemble Composting Bins

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To make a worm bin you need two plastic bins. One bin sits inside the other, and has some small holes drilled in the bottom so water can drain from the compost into the second bin.

Step 2: Add Spacers to Bottom

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The first bin I don’t actually do anything to, except put some kind of spacers at the bottom. Here I put some small old Tupperware containers but just about anything will work, some scraps of wood, small coffee cups just about anything you can think of. This is just to create a space that excess water can collect.

Step 3: Make Lid

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We only need one lid for the system, and want to cut some holes to allow the worms to breathe.
Having a lid like this helps keep the smell down if you keep your worm bin inside. I drilled a few holes in the lid, then covered it with landscape fabric, the stuff you put under rocks and mulch to keep weeds down. Just about any kind of fine netting should work fine, this is just to keep the worms from escaping. I keep mine in the basement and I’ve never been able to smell it unless I actually open the lid and get my face up close to it. (this can vary depending on what you put in it though)

Step 4: Get Some Starter Material

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I usually start with some yard waste, then once I have a good worm bin going I just add kitchen scraps and a little yard waste on occasion. You want it moist, but not so wet that squeezing a handful will drip water.

Step 5: Add Worms

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I get my worms through the mail from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm because 1000 worms isn’t that expensive and it is easy to do that way, There’s no reason you can’t collect your own worms if you do a little bit of digging, especially shortly after a rain, you want red wigglers, not earthworms.

Step 6: Keep Feeding Em

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You can put just about any organic material in the bins, but don't use meat or dairy. I've also heard that citrus is bad, but have not tried it myself.

Step 7: Use Your Compost

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After a few months the worms will have reproduced and number in the thousands. They will produce wonderful compost in much less time than a normal pile. To get some extra mileage out of your compost, you should try making compost tea.

Comments

bilham (author)2013-11-19

This setup looks like mine. I use a third bin to start when the active one is getting close to harvest. They all stack together.

To get worms, it's worth putting a request on Craig's List or Freecycle-- I just gave away a bunch through Freecycle.

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Bio: I am a full time software engineer and enjoy working on various projects in my spare time, especially Arduino, electronics, 3D printing and woodworking.
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