How to Harvest Worm Compost

Overview

Worm composting allows you to make a rich soil amendment in a small space. Worm bins are small enough to be used by apartment dwellers or others that don't want a large outdoor bin. After 2 or 3 months of constant feeding, the worms will leave behind castings. These castings are the compost, which is a rich, dark, earthy-smelling substance. Harvest the compost without harming the worms, so they will be able to make more loads of rich compost.

Step 1

Harvest once all the bedding in the bed has been broken down into compost. Dig through the bin and remove any uneaten food scraps.

Step 2

Move all the compost to one side of the bin. Dampen strips of newspaper until it is as moist as a wrung-out sponge. Place the new bedding and a handful of the finished compost in the empty half of the bin.

Step 3

Bury fresh food scraps in the new bedding. Bury about 1/2 lb. of food scraps throughout the new bedding.

Step 4

Cover the bin and wait 1 week. Most of the worms will migrate to the new bedding during this time.

Step 5

Scoop out the compost. Pick out any worms still in the compost that you see and place them in the new bedding. Spread the bedding into the whole bin and add more bedding, if necessary.

Tips and Warnings

  • If there are still a lot of worms in the finished compost, wait an additional week before harvesting. Never place meat or dairy in the bin. It attracts pests and the worms are likely to ignore it.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper strips
  • Food scraps
  • Worms

References

  • University of Nebraska Extension: Vermicomposting: Composting With Worms
Keywords: harvesting worm compost, worm casting, indoor composting

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.