How to Compost For a Worm (Vermiculture) Bin

Overview

Vermiculture, or worm composting, gives you the ability to make and use your own compost without needing a large compost pile outside. Worm composting is especially useful if you live in an apartment or have a small yard that isn't suited to traditional composting methods. You can keep a worm composter inside and feed your kitchen scraps, which the worms convert into rich garden soil. The only items you need are a worm composting bin and some worms; the rest of the materials come from your kitchen waste.

Step 1

Fill the composter container three-quarters full with shredded newspaper and two or three handfuls of soil. Dampen the newspaper but avoid soaking it. The paper should be damp to the touch, but you shouldn't be able to squeeze water out of it.

Step 2

Place 2 pounds of red worms in the bin. Bury them under the newspaper; don't dump them on top of it.

Step 3

Feed the worms your kitchen scraps such as fruit and vegetable waste, crushed egg shells, and tea and coffee grounds. Bury the waste under the newspaper in a different section of the bin each time.

Step 4

Feed the worms at least once every two weeks, though weekly feedings are best. Avoid feeding too much because the bin will begin to stink if it contains uneaten scraps.

Step 5

Move the compost to one side of the bin after two to three months or when no recognizable food scraps or newspaper are left. Place a new layer of newspaper in the cleared section, including a handful of the finished compost. Bury kitchen scraps in the new bedding.

Step 6

Wait approximately one week for the worms to move to the new bedding area. Remove the compost as needed for your plants, or remove all of the finished compost from the bin, taking care to remove any worms that haven't yet migrated to the new bedding.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not place dairy products or meat in the composter. These items will rot and cause a bad smell.

Things You'll Need

  • Worm composter
  • Worms
  • Newspaper
  • Soil
  • Food scraps

References

  • City Farmer
  • Washington State University Extension
Keywords: vermiculture soil, worm composting, making compost, worm bin

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.