Prepare Vermicompost


Instead of relying solely on natural decomposition to create compost, vermicomposting uses worms to eat organic waste and excrete it as nutrient-rich deposits. The vermicompost is a natural fertilizer, and it can boost the health and appearance of your ornamental plants and vegetable garden. Buy or construct a worm bin to begin preparing vermicompost.

Step 1

Get a worm composting bin. Specially designed bins can be found in some garden stores or nurseries, or from online retailers. Alternately, make your own using any 12-inch-deep plastic bin with a cover. Drill or poke five or six drainage holes and ventilation holes--1/4- to 1/2-inch wide--on the bottom and sides of the bin.

Step 2

Fill the container three-quarters full with bedding material. Bedding can be made from shredded paper or leaves, or compost. Sprinkle the bedding with water to make it slightly moist to the touch.

Step 3

Aerate the bedding contents with a handheld spade to keep it from compacting.

Step 4

Drop the worms onto the bedding; they'll burrow into it and disappear within a few minutes.

Step 5

Feed the worms. Add a handful of organic waste to the bin every couple of days, burying it a couple inches into the worm bedding. Appropriate waste material includes substances such as coffee grounds and fruit peels. Don't add dairy products or meat.

Step 6

Harvest the resulting compost. After two to three months of feeding the worms, much of the bedding will have disappeared, and you'll be left with a dark, crumbly soil-like mix. Pluck out all of the worms and use the vermicompost in your garden.

Step 7

Add new bedding and food to the bin and put the worms back inside to repeat the process.

Tips and Warnings

  • If your worm bin smells, it's because you're adding food faster than the worms can eat it. If this happens, stop adding food until the waste that you've already added has disappeared.

Things You'll Need

  • 12-inch-deep plastic bin with a cover
  • Drill
  • Worm bedding
  • Water
  • Spade
  • Worms


  • "The Worm Book: The Complete Guide to Gardening and Composting with Worms"; Loren Nancarrow and Janet Taylor; 1998
  • New Mexico State University Extension Service: Vermicomposting
Keywords: preparing vermicompost, creating vermicompost, start worm composting

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.