How to Compost With Worms and Vermiculture


Worm composting works similarly to traditional composting. The biggest difference is that it is much faster, especially as the worms reproduce. As long as you keep feeding them, the worms will keep eating your kitchen scraps and providing you with rich worm compost (also called worm castings) that you can use on your lawn or in your garden. You can buy worm bins or build them yourself, but building them yourself is simple and much less expensive.

Initial Worm Bin Construction

Step 1

Use the masking tape to label each of the three identical boxes with the numbers 1 through 3.

Step 2

Set box 3 aside. This will be the base box, which will collect any excess moisture that might build in the active worm bins that will nest inside it.

Step 3

Drill holes all over the bottoms of boxes 1 and 2. No particular spacing is required for these holes; just make a lot of them. Drill holes about 1/3 of the way up the sides of each box as well.

Step 4

Nest box 2 inside box 3. Cover the bottom with shredded newspaper and sprinkle soil on top of it.

Step 5

Bury kitchen scraps in the soil/newspaper mixture. As a rule, red wiggler worms can eat up to half their body weight in a single day. Vegetal kitchen scraps are acceptable, as are eggshells, coffee grounds, and tea leaves. Worms will not eat meat, dairy, and pet wastes, so do not include these wastes.

Step 6

Add 1 lb. of red wiggler worms to the mix. Do not use earthworms from your garden, as they do not do well in confined spaces.

Step 7

Cover your new worm bin with a piece of cardboard that has been cut to fit. Worms do not like light, which is why the boxes must be opaque. They do, however, need air. That is why you should use cardboard rather than the lids that may have come with your boxes.

Worm Transfer Instructions

Step 1

Nest box 1 on top of box 2 when box 2 is full of worm compost. Fill it with shredded newspaper, soil, and kitchen scraps as above.

Step 2

Place a piece of cardboard on top of the box. Wait a few days. The worms will gradually find their way up through the holes to the food.

Step 3

Remove box 2 and use the worm compost in your garden or lawn.

Step 4

Use this process to change boxes whenever a new one is full of compost.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 identical opaque large plastic boxes
  • Drill
  • Masking tape
  • Marker
  • Soil
  • Shredded newspaper or paper bags
  • 1 pound red wiggler worms
  • Kitchen scraps
  • Cardboard


  • Fine Gardening: Worm Composting
  • Washington University Whatcom County Extension: Cheap and Easy Worm Bin!
  • City Farmer: Composting with Red Wiggler Worms
Keywords: vermicomposting tips, build worm bin, worm composting instructions

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.