Today I’ll be showing you how to set up a worm bin so that you can vermicompost your food scraps.
It will enrich your soil and make your plants much bigger as you can see in this picture of turnips.
The small turnip had zero vermicompost, the middle one had 10% by volume and the large one had 20 percent by volume vermicompost.
First of all you need to buy or build a worm bin.
So you just pick up a container with a lid at a big-box store or a hardware store.
You know the worms are living creatures, they need air so you need to put some holes on the bin for them to breathe.
You want to make sure you drill the holes in the upper sides of the bin.
And so one option is just to take a hole saw and drill just one hole in each of the shorter ends of the bin.
So one each, and then you can go to the gutter section of a hardware store and pick up a soffit vent and you just pop it in there.
And then you want to put about six holes in the bottom of the bin just so that in case you have any excess drainage that it will come out and you would want it to go on a piece of plastic.
There are over 9,000 species of earthworms and only seven have been identified that are suitable for vermicomposting.
So you can’t use just any worm.
If you buy a pound of worms – that’s about a thousand – you buy it from a worm grower, it’ll cost you around $30.00.
Worms need moisture.
You need to put some type of bedding in there.
You can just take newspaper, hold it up as if you were going to read it and then just take a corner and pull it straight down and you’ll get a nice thin strip of newspapers that you can then put into your bucket where you have water because you want to moisten it.
Remember the worms need 80% moisture for their bodies.
You want it to soak for ten minutes.
And then, when ten minutes is up, you can take it and squeeze excess moisture out of it, pull it apart and put it into the worm bin.
And in the worm bin you’re going to fill it up about halfway with that shredded paper.
So by the way, never pour water into your worm bin.
Instead, if it starts to dry out a little bit, use a plant mister like this and just spritz it – spritz it into the worm bin.
So we’ve made the bedding and now we’ll just add our worms.
And worms will usually come to you from a worm grower either in a bag or a box.
I just happen to put my worms in a container today but anyway you just gently will empty them onto the top of the bedding and just stand back.
They will move under the bedding so you don’t do anything.
Take food scraps then which you’ve collected, you can collect your food scraps in a container like this where you buy it, it has a lid.
Take your lid off your worm bed then.
And then you’ll take your food waste, and always have a three prong tool.
Gently pull back the bedding and then you dump some food waste into your bin.
You want to make sure to cover it with bedding.
That’s very important because if you don’t you could attract fruit flies.
And then you put your lid back on and everything’s fine.
For feeding worms you can put most types of food waste in here.
I have a list on in my publication that tells you what not to put in there.
For example, if you put citrus into the bin, then that makes it too acidic and it can cause problems.
You never want to put dog or cat poop into your worm bin and you also don’t want to put dairy products or meat products into your worm bin, because as they decompose, they’re smelly and they can attract unwanted visitors.
The worms will excrete what’s called castings and the castings will start to build up in the bottom of the bin.
And as they get higher, after about four to six months, then you’ll say okay I think it’s time to harvest these castings.
So you have some options and the first is called light separation.
Earthworms are very sensitive to light so you can just dump this out on a tarp and you can separate the worms from the castings.
So after four to six months you’ll be able to harvest this wonderful vermicompost from the bottom of your worm bin.
Put it in a container labeled black gold, because it has an incredible effect on your soil and plants in your garden.