How to Do Vermicomposting


Vermicomposting is the composting of waste material such as animal manure or kitchen scraps using red worms or wrigglers. Earthworms, according to the North Carolina State University Extension Service, will eat most waste materials, turning the waste into a fine humus that works as a soil additive and source of nutrients. Worm composting is possible in smaller spaces than traditional composting, because the process is faster and does not require aeration as normal piles do.

Step 1

Fill the container 3/4 full with bedding made out of paper, cardboard, plant waste and grass clippings. Moisten the bedding with water, suggests New Mexico State University. Lift up the bedding slightly to create air pockets for the worms and to reduce odors.

Step 2

Add 2 pounds of worms per 4 cubic feet of bin to process food within a 24-hour period, recommends the New Mexico University Extension Service. Worms are available through garden dealers and on the Internet.

Step 3

Place the worms on top of the moist bedding. They will dig themselves into the bedding within a few minutes to escape the light.

Step 4

Add kitchen waste and dead organic matter to the bin for the worms to feed on. Worms will eat most nondairy, nonmeat products. Bury the food into the bedding as you add it and keep the bedding moist. Cover the bin with the lid.

Step 5

Harvest the decomposed material as it is ready by pushing the decomposed material to one side of the bin and adding new bedding material and waste to the other side of the bin. The worms move from the old waste to the new waste, making the old waste ready to harvest.

Things You'll Need

  • Bin with cover (8 to 12 inches deep)
  • Paper or cardboard
  • Hay
  • Dead plants
  • Earthworms


  • New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service: Vermicomposting
  • Oklahoma State University: Vermicomposting -- Composting With Worms
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Vermicomposting Animal Manure
Keywords: vermicomposting, vermicomposting how-to, worm composting

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.