How to Cure Vermicompost


Once they become aware of the many benefits of worm droppings, people embrace the simple routines of vermicomposting. All you need to create humus-rich worm compost is a wooden or plastic bin, shredded newspaper bedding, kitchen food scraps for food and--of course--red worms. Once your worms produce finished compost, a process that can take as little as 10 weeks, according to Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture, you're ready to harvest and cure the vermicompost. Curing vermicompost is a simple, easy process that drastically increases the amount of nitrate available in the compost for your plants, according to the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii.

Step 1

Spread a plastic tarpaulin out on a flat surface, such as the ground or a patio, in the direct sun. Carry your worm compost bin to the tarpaulin and carefully dump it out on the tarpaulin. Use a small hand trowel or don gardening gloves to arrange the compost into four to five small heaps.

Step 2

Wait for 20 to 30 minutes to allow your red worms to burrow deeper into the compost heaps. Approach the heaps with a small bucket and one or two plastic storage bins large enough to contain all of the finished compost. Scoop the top 2 to 3 inches of compost from each heap into the bucket; transfer the vermicompost to one of the plastic storage bins when the bucket gets full. Check as you scoop the compost to ensure you don't remove any of your red worms.

Step 3

Allow 20 to 30 minutes to pass again before you return to the heaps of compost to harvest the next 2 to 3 top inches of vermicompost. Repeat this process until you've gathered all but the red worms themselves mixed with a few handfuls of finished compost. Transfer the red worms and the remaining vermicompost to a freshly bedded worm bin.

Step 4

Place the plastic storage containers of finished compost in a location that is protected from rain and sun, such as a garage, porch or basement. Check the consistency of the vermicompost; it should be claylike and full of lumps. Snap the lids onto the storage containers securely and let the compost sit.

Step 5

Leave the vermicompost to sit for one to three months to allow the organic matter to break down even further. Check the compost every three to four weeks to assess its physical condition by lifting a handful of the organic material and allowing it to fall through your fingers. It's fully cured and ready for application on your plant soil when it is finely grained and crumbles readily in your hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Bin of vermicompost
  • Plastic tarpaulin
  • Hand trowel/gardening gloves
  • Small bucket
  • Plastic storage bins with lids
  • Freshly bedded worm bin


  • Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture: Worm Composting
  • University of Hawaii: Vermicompost Research Update 2009
  • "The Worm Book"; Loren Nancarrow and Janet Hogan Tayler; 1998
Keywords: vermicomposting, worm compost, cure worm compost, vermicompost

About this Author

Regan Hennessy has been writing professionally for 11 years. A freelance copywriter and certified teacher, Hennessy specializes in the areas of parenting, health, education, agriculture and personal finance. During her time with Demand Studios, Hennessy has produced content for Ehow, Answerbag and Travels. Hennessy graduated from Lycoming College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.