Worm composting or vermicomposting is a clean, safe method for disposing of kitchen and garden waste. It can be done indoors or out and provides a rich source of nutritious, inexpensive soil conditioner for houseplants, vegetables and ornamentals.
Specialized, surface dwelling worms are the most suitable for vermicomposting. Red worms and red wigglers can be used indoors; the earthworms you find in your driveway after a rainstorm cannot.
Vermicomposting is most easily done in 10- or 20-gallon plastic storage bins. Drill 1/2-inch holes in the sides and bottom of the bin and place the bin on blocks. Commercially available worm bins are also available.
Use shredded newspaper or cardboard, peat moss, hay or composted leaves for bedding. After harvesting the compost, replace the bedding.
Bedding should have the moisture consistency of a damp sponge. When you squeeze the bedding, water should not wring out.
Ideal vermicomposting temperatures range between 50 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Locate your indoor bin in the basement or place an outdoor bin in a shady location.
Worms will eat fruit and vegetable scraps, garden debris, coffee grounds, eggshells and leaves. They will eat cereals and grains as well. Don't use too much citus--it can be too acidic. Do not compost meat or dairy products.
- City of Lawrence, KS: Worm Composting
- Compost World: Vermicomposting
worm composting, vermicomposting, soil amendment, redworms, red wigglers
About this Author
Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on VetInfo and various other websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hartwick College.