How to Compost With Worms




About: I'm into tinkering and vermiponics which is like aquaponics but without fish.

Hi Everyone,

I'm a big fan of worm composting so I thought I'd upload a quick instructable about how to compost with worms.

It's a lot easier than you think and if you want to you can make your own wormbin rather than pay for one, it's really pretty straightforward.

Step 1: Set Up Your Wormbin

There are 2 ways that you can set up a wormbin.

You can either make your own wormbin (as I show in this instructable) or you can buy a wormbin on Amazon and follow the instructions.

I've done both and they both work well if you do some research and follow the basic worm keeping rules that you can find in the next couple of steps.

Just for some background, a commercial wormbin will last longer and will look better than one that you make yourself, but if you've already got a wormbin set up then making one yourself is pretty straightforward.

Making a wormbin will help your worms reproduce which means that they'll be able to compost more of your kitchen scraps this is because worms naturally regulate their numbers based on how much food and space they have access to.

Step 2: Put Your Wormbin in the Shade

Worms like cool and dark conditions. So it’s best to keep your wormbin in the shade if possible, and if you can’t then it’s useful to cover your wormbin in a reflective material so that the heat is not trapped in your wormbin (otherwise your worms could die).

Step 3: Add 'bedding' to Your Wormbin and Add Your Worms

The bedding for your worms is a material for your worms to first start wriggling around in.

You can use coco coir or shredded newspaper and I've heard other people recommend some other materials (but I've only used coco coir and newspaper myself so I'm not going to recommend anything that I haven't tried).

You'll want to make sure that the bedding is damp before adding your worms.

Step 4: Feed Your Worms

After the worms have eaten through most of their bedding you can start feeding them, worms can eat up to half of their own weight in scraps but most people seem to get carried away and feed their worms too much, the best advice is to feed them slowly and work your way up to adding lots more food when they've grown and multiplied, otherwise your wormbin could become acidic.

Worms will eat most scraps, but for best results you’ll want to stick to a couple of basic rules.

You can feed your worms:

vegetable scraps,

tea leaves, coffee grounds,

newspapers and

dried out egg shells

You shouldn’t feed your worms:

meat, fish, dairy products,

anything with cooking oil in it,

citrus, onion, chilli or other spicy foods.

Step 5: Check on the Conditions in Your Wormbin

Your worm bin should be slightly moist but not too wet. Also, a well kept worm bin won't smell, so if your wormbin starts to smell then you might want to take a look at this post ( why your wormbin might smell ).

Step 6: Collect the Worm Castings

Once your wormbin is up and running you'll want to collect the castings.

Once your worms have eaten all of the food in their tray they will crawl up into the next tray.

To collect the castings take the worm bin tray that you want to take the castings from and leave it in the sun for 10-15 minutes.

Afterwards, you'll be able to scrape off and collect the top layer of castings because the worms would have buried deeper into the tray (because worms don't like being exposed to light).

Repeat this process until there are only worms in your tray, once you're done just throw the remaining worms into the top tray of your wormbin.

And that's it! Your worm bin is up and running. By the way, if you want to learn how to grow plants with worm tea then check out another one of my instructables here.



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    7 Discussions


    2 years ago

    is it possible to do this in winter ? like -30 celcius


    3 years ago

    Great "ible"! I have a vermicomposter. My houseplants love the castings! Funny though, I had no idea how worms mated. I bought my red wigglers, added them to the mix, opened the box up a few days later, and good gawd, they were killing each other! (or so I thought...) Upon calling the provider of said worms, and having a rather embarrasing discussion regarding the worm sex act, during which she giggled to the point of (I'm quite sure) tears, I am now, sadly, educated on this matter. <insert grin here> So, hey. Before anyone panics...they're not killing each other...

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Haha, true - and to throw in a random fact, the worms mate for around 3 hours.


    3 years ago

    I have tried citrus peel, it is not very acidic and they liked it. Mine didnt like paper much.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Good to know! I generally use soaked coco coir to start with and then I add newspaper to create a 'worm blanket' - they seem to devour the newspaper!


    3 years ago

    Don't give them newspaper, it works, but the inc isn't good for them. Don't be so mean.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks Loki, you're right - this depends on where you live I think. In Australia the newspapers are generally printed with a soy-based ink so it's okay for them, not sure about other places.