How to Build Your Own Worm Compost


Composting with worms is known as vermicomposting. The worms break down food waste into worm castings which contain 5 to 11 times more nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium than ordinary soil. Worm castings are heavily concentrated and easy for plants to digest. Composting with worms is gaining popularity because it is easy to start and worm bins can be housed inside or outside. Worm compost bins can be set up outdoors or in an apartment, a basement or even a garage. When prepared in the correct manner a worm bin will not release a foul odor.

Step 1

Drill 1/4 inch drainage holes throughout the bottom of the worm bin.

Step 2

Place drainage tray were you will be housing your worm compost bin. Place four blocks in each corner and place prepared compost bin on top.

Step 3

Prepare worm bedding by shredding newspaper, cardboard, leaves or hay and place it two to three inches deep in your compost bin.

Step 4

Moisten your bedding with water. Bedding should be moist to the touch much like a damp sponge. Allow bedding to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Fluff bedding to provide air pockets for the worms to burrow into.

Step 5

Sprinkle soil over the bedding. The soil provides grit and aids in the earthworms digestion.

Step 6

Add red worms to the top of the bedding. They do not like the light and will burrow into the bedding quickly. Red worms can be purchased online or from garden stores.

Step 7

Add food to the bin. Select where you will be adding the food and peel back the worms' bedding. Place the food in the select area and recover with bedding. Choose a different location for each feeding.

Step 8

Cover your worm bin with damp burlap or the lid your bin came with.

Tips and Warnings

  • Garden earthworms eat soil and are not effective for vermicomposting. Do not add meat, milk, fat, dog or cat feces to your worm bin.

Things You'll Need

  • Worm bin such as a wooden or plastic storage container with several drainage holes in the bottom
  • Lid or damp burlap
  • Block
  • Drainage tray
  • Worm bedding (shredded newspaper, cardboard, leaves, or hay)
  • Scoop of soil
  • One pound red wigglers or redworms
  • Food waste
  • Water


  • Vermicomposting
Keywords: vermicomposting, worms, red wigglers

About this Author

Robin Neorr has been working as a full-time freelance writer for three years. Prior to her writing career, she spent 10 years in media marketing. She has a bachelor's degree in communications and a master's degree in communications management from John Carroll University.