How to Compost Worms Outside in the South

Overview

Start making your own vermicompost by building a worm bin out of a large plastic storage container. This is a low cost option to give the worms a place to live and keep them productive. Worm compost bins work well indoors or outdoors in the warm southern region as long as you place the bin in a dark area where the temperature stays cool. Move the worm compost bin indoors when the temperature where the bin is housed rises above 80 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent worm death.

Step 1

Drill 20 one-quarter-inch diameter holes into the bottom of the storage container for drainage. Drill one-sixteenth-inch diameter ventilation holes around the top edge and throughout the cover of the container spaced 1 inch apart.

Step 2

Cut black and white print newspaper into 1-inch wide strips for the worm bedding. Moisten the strips in water and squeeze out the excess until the strips have the consistency of a moist sponge.

Step 3

Fluff the moist newspaper strips and add a 4-inch layer to the bottom of the worm bin. Spread 1 cup of dried leaves over top of the newspaper followed by 1 cup of topsoil.

Step 4

Place the red worms on top of the bedding at a rate of 1 pound of worms for every one-half pound of organic waste added to the container each day. Approximately 500 worms weigh 1 pound. Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture recommends using red worms over earthworms due to their longer lifespan and composting efficiency.

Step 5

Cut a section of clean cardboard to the size of the container. Spray the cardboard with water to moisten it and lay it on top of the worms and bedding. The red worms will eat the cardboard as food, as needed.

Step 6

Position the worm bin outside in a cool, dark space with a temperature between 40 to 80 F. Higher temperatures create a lower productivity in the worms. Elevate the bin on top of four bricks with a drip tray set underneath.

Step 7

Lift the piece of cardboard and add organic household waste once a week. Bury the waste on one side of the newspaper layer and alternate sides each week to prevent a build up of uneaten waste. Set the cardboard layer into the container and secure the lid tightly.

Things You'll Need

  • 10-gallon storage container with cover
  • Drill
  • 1/4-inch and 1/16-inch drill bits
  • Black and white newspaper
  • Water
  • Topsoil
  • Dried leaves
  • Red worms
  • Organic kitchen waste
  • Cardboard
  • 4 bricks
  • Catch tray

References

  • Washington State University: Cheap and Easy Worm Bin
  • Garden Simply: How to Build a Worm Bin
  • City Farmer: Worm Composting
Keywords: worm compost south, make worm bin, compost outside south

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 2000. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on topics including cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.