How to Compost Year-Round


Composting is an effective way to create your own homegrown fertilizer for a variety of garden uses. You can create compost from almost any organic material normally tossed into the garbage. People who live in urban areas or in colder climates may not think there is a way to compost year-round. Using red worms and two plastic bins you can create a self-sustaining year-round compost operation.

Step 1

Choose a composting location with overhead lighting.

Step 2

Place the two bins upside down on the floor. Use the 1/4-inch drill bit to drill eight to 10 holes in the bottom, making sure the holes are kept 1/2 inch from the sides. Turn the bins upright and set them aside.

Step 3

Put the lid from one of the tubs on the floor so that the lip of the lid touches the floor, leaving an air pocket under the lid. Use the 1/2-inch drill bit to drill aeration holes into the lid. Remember to keep the holes 1/2 away from the edge of the lid. Set the lid aside.

Step 4

Set up the table where you plan to compost. Put the oven pan on the table. Use an oven pan with a 1-inch lip. The oven pan will be the catch basin for the liquid compost. Set one of the tubs on top of the oven pan.

Step 5

Tear up thin strips of newspaper. Place the newspaper strips into the tub. Put the straw and grass on top of the newspaper in the tub. Pour in 2 inches of topsoil over the straw and grass. Water the entire contents of the tub until it is moist but not so wet you can see water. Let the tub sit overnight.

Step 6

Put the worms into the tub the next morning. Make sure they are evenly spread across the base of the tub. Set the lid with holes onto the tub and snap it into place. Turn on an overhead light to keep the worms down near the bottom of the bin; worms don't like light.

Step 7

Add your organic material each day whenever you have it. Use anything from vegetable peelings to apple cores and coffee grounds including the filters. Toss in grass clippings, dead flowers and weeds that haven't gone to seed. All of this organic material adds nitrogen to the composting. Keep a ratio of 3:1 between dry material and wet material. Maintain equal amounts of brown and green materials. Continue adding material until you reach the lip of the lid.

Step 8

Remove the lid. Put the second bin next to the first bin. Start the second bin by repeating steps 5 and 6.

Step 9

Dump the contents of the first bin into the second bin. Turn on the overhead light for a day to drive the worms down to the bottom of the new bin. Scoop up and store the fresh compost found at the top of the bin.

Step 10

Continue swapping bins when they get full.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 plastic bins, 14 gallon size
  • 24-by-12 inch oven pan
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • 1/2-inch drill bit
  • Drill
  • Newspaper
  • Straw
  • Grass clippings
  • Topsoil
  • 1lb. red worms
  • Bucket


  • High Country Conservation: Find or Build Your Worm Bin
  • Earth 911: Composting With Worms
  • Penguin Group: Talking Dirt
Keywords: composting with worms, year-round composting, compost bin, composting at home

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.