How to Build Your Own Vermicompost Bins
Worm farming, or vermiculture, is a great environmental practice to get into with a surprising amount of awesome benefits. Most people use worm farms for composting purposes; as the worms eat and breakdown the organic matter/food scraps put into their bin they leave behind little worm castings, or poop. These worm casts are a fantastic fertilizer to mix into garden beds. My reason for keeping a worm farm is to help reduce the amount of solid waste I am responsible for as well as to use the worms as a food source for my pet eel. The worms are a nice supplement to his diet and encourage him to poke his head out of the sand a little more often. Vermicompost typically uses red wrigglers because of their massive appetites as well as their tendency to migrate to the top of the compost bins which is very crucial in getting this design of vermiculture bin to work.
The materials list for this project is pretty simple requiring only 3 plastic storage bins and a plastic faucet attachment. The storage bins should be at least 14” deep and must be able to stack inside of each other. The only other requirement for the bins is that they have a dark color because the worms prefer no light environments. The faucet attachment is used for draining the liquids that accumulate in the bottom bin. The faucet is not necessary but it makes the draining process much easier.
The only tools needed for this project are an electric drill and some sealing glue.
- Drill a series of holes around the top of the storage bins. Then drill holes directly into the bottom of two bins. Lastly drill holes into one of the bin lids.
- With your remaining undrilled bin drill a hole that matches the width of your faucet attachment and put the faucet piece in through the hole and seal with the sealing glue.
- Stack the three bins into each other now, make sure to have the bottom bin on the bottom.
Setting up the Compost Bed
- Rip up a bunch of newspapers into long strips and dip them into a bucket.
- Drain all of the water from the bucket and ring out the newspaper strips being careful not to rip the wet papers.
- Place the now damp paper strips into the bottom of the middle bin and fluff them up until you have a 2 inch damp newspaper bed.
- Mix in 2-3 cups of good garden soil to help the worms get acclimated to their new home.
- Once the bed is set up you can add worms at any time. Give new worms 3-4 days to adjust before you begin adding food scraps.
- Make sure that the bedding area stays damp and never gets too dry, I keep a spray bottle filled with dechlorinated water in it to spray down the inside when it begins to dry.
- Once the worms have turned their bed into mostly castings it is time to add the third bin into equation. Set up a compost bed in this bin exactly the same way you did before and simply stack bin 3 inside of bin 2 and the worms will do the rest. As I mentioned before red wrigglers move towards the top of the soil area so as they finish off their food in Bin 2 they will all move on their own into Bin 3. Give the worms 2-3 weeks to finish off their food in Bin 2 before you pull it out of the stack and remove the compost.