How to Make Vermicompost


Vermicomposting uses worms to turn kitchen scraps into compost for use on your plants or as a soil amendment. It requires minimal space--a worm bed can be kept near the kitchen so it's easy to feed. Red worms break down the food into compost that is ready to use in as little as three months, with very little effort from you. Getting started with vermicomposting requires no special tools, just some time and easily found supplies.

Step 1

Drill half inch holes along the bottom edge of each side of the bin, spacing the holes two inches apart. Turn the bin upside down and drill half inch holes in three rows, with each hole being two inches apart and the rows equally spaced. Drill holes in the same manner on the lid of the container as you did the bottom.

Step 2

Tear newspaper into one inch wide strips. Spray it with a spray bottle until it is as damp as a wrung out sponge. Place the newspaper in the bin to a depth of eight to ten inches.

Step 3

Sprinkle a handful or two of garden dirt on top the newspaper bedding to provide grit to aid the worm's digestion. Do not use compost or dirt treated with fertilizers or pesticides.

Step 4

Place an extra bin lid or a tray on the ground. Place three bricks on this lid, spaced equally apart. Set the worm bin on top the bricks so it can freely drain excess moisture, which is caught in the lid or tray.

Step 5

Place one pound of worms in the bin. Place the lid on loosely and set in a dark room or inside a cabinet.

Step 6

Feed the worms approximately one pound of kitchen waste every two to three days or twice a week. Bury the food in between the bedding, placing it in a an area that doesn't have half consumed food already there.

Step 7

Harvest the compost once there is no recognizable food or newspaper scraps and it is earthy looking. Move the existing bedding to one half of the bin and fill the other half with new bedding and food. Wait one to two weeks for the worms to move into the new bedding from the finished compost, then remove the compost.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not feed the worms meat, dairy or greasy items. This attracts pests and may kill the worms. Plastic bins may hold too much moisture. Check that it is draining and add more bedding if it feels wet. If dry, mist with water.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bin
  • Drill
  • Newspaper
  • Spray bottle
  • Garden soil
  • Red worms
  • Kitchen scraps


  • University of Nebraska Extension
Keywords: vermicomposting method, worm composting, homemade worm bin

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.