Composting your garden is a healthy, natural way to provide nutrients to your plants and vegetables. Incorporating worms has even more benefits. For instance, you can maintain a worm compost bin year-round, even in the winter months. Since the worms do the work for you, there is no need to turn or even water your compost. In addition, worm compost contains even more nutrients than traditional compost does. Learn how to create your own worm compost bin and reap the many advantages.
Buy or build a worm compost bin. You can use a bin made from wood or plastic, such as a large storage container. Look for or make a container that is 8 to 16 inches deep. As for width, it depends on your garden size. A generally reliable method is 1 square foot per pound of waste you will add each week. For a family of four, 8 square feet will be sufficient. Therefore, an 8- to 16-inch-deep compost bin that is 2 feet by 4 feet wide will work nicely.
Drill or puncture several holes in the lid of the bin or along the sides around the bin. This will provide an adequate air supply for the worms. In addition, drill or puncture 12 to 18 drainage holes in the bottom of the compost bin. The holes should be small to prevent the worms from falling out and flies or other insects from getting in.
Find a suitable location for the compost bin. Worms do their best work in moderate weather, so seek a spot where the temperature remains between 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. If you live in an area that experiences very cold winters or particularly hot summers, you can move your worm compost bin indoors. Consider tucking it under your kitchen sink, in your laundry room or in the basement during excessively hot or cold seasons. Remember to place something under the bin to collect any drainage when it is indoors.
Prepare bedding for the worms. Newspapers and corrugated cardboard can be ripped into 1-inch shreds of any length and will make wonderful bedding. Soak the bedding in a bucket or dishpan full of water and then wring it out before placing it into the bin. It should be damp but not dripping wet.
Place worms in the bin. For 1 lb. of food per day, you will need about 2,000 worms. Select red worms, which you can buy online, at fishing supply stores, in garden supply shops or under leaves and compost piles. Dig down into the bedding and place the worms inside.
Add ground eggshells to the compost bin to provide calcium, which increases the worms' health. Along with eggshells, leaves, soil, sand and other grit, it also gives worms something to use to help grind the food and bedding. Provide food for the worms to turn into compost after about one week.