How to Make a Simple Vermicompost Bin


Take garden composting to a new level with a vermicompost bin. These bins host composting material and worms to accelerate the decomposition process and create a rich, dark soil amendment that enhances your garden and feeds your plants. Craft a simple vermicompost bin from a standard plastic container sold by any household retailer.

Step 1

Select a plastic bin 12 inches deep with a lid. Worms are surface animals, and anything deeper can create mold and bacteria problems on the bottom of the bin. The total bin size needed varies according to how much compost you want to make. A square foot of bin surface area can handle approximately 1 pound of organic food waste, according to the New Mexico State University.

Step 2

Drill six drainage holes on the bottom of the bin. Each hole should measure approximately 1/2 inch in diameter.

Step 3

Make six ventilation holes, 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter, on each of the sides of the bin and in the bin's lid. Proper aeration lets the worms breath and helps to dissipate any gases that may build up in the vermicompost bin.

Step 4

Put the bin on bricks on a tray. This allows air to flow under the vermicompost bin. The tray catches any liquid that may drip through the drainage holes.

Step 5

Fill the vermicompost bin 3/4 full of bedding material such as shredded paper or compost. Spray the bedding material with water so it's moist, but not dripping. Mix a couple handfuls of organic food matter into the top of the bedding material. Suggested food matter includes fruit peels, chopped vegetable scraps and coffee grounds.

Step 6

Add worms. Vermicompost bins usually use redworms (Lumbricus rubellus) or brandling worms (Eisenia foetida), according to New Mexico State University. Approximately 500 worms can live in a cubic foot of bedding material.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bin
  • Drill
  • Tray
  • Bricks
  • Bedding material
  • Food
  • 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

Who Can Help

  • Texas A&M University: Worm Composting Tips
Keywords: build worm bin, construct vermicompost bin, create worm compost

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.