Worm composting is an effective way to create compost, a dark crumbly organic matter packed with essential nutrients for garden and container soil. Worms such as red wrigglers decompose kitchen and yard scrap and add their own waste to create compost. The myriad of composting bins commercially available can confuse anyone. Depending on your personal requirements and scale of operation, select an appropriately shaped bin or box, bedding material such as shredded newspaper or peat moss to get started on vermicomposting.
Determine the budget for your worm composting bin. Compare prices of different units in the market to get an idea of how much they typically cost, and what the normal price range is. If you have spare lumber at home, you can make your own worm composting bin that will cost you very little as compared to making one from store bought lumber, or purchasing a commercial unit.
Determine the scale of your composting operation to decide what size worm composting bin you need. You will need 1 square foot of area for every pound of weekly produced waste. Whether you live alone or have a family, weigh a week's worth of kitchen and yard scrap, and round figures for a month to gauge how much household waste you generate. This will prevent you from purchasing a bin that is too small or too big.
Compare the cost to convenience of each type of bin. Work composting bins are expensive, but they are ready to use and only require bedding and worms. Homemade ones, on the other hand, have to be built from scratch and may take some time to complete before they can be used.
Consider the time period of your vermicomposting operation. If you are committed to making homemade compost and want to continue to make it for many years to come, invest in an expensive worm composting bin that is durable, strong and long lasting. On the other hand, if it is a project you want to undertake simply to see how it is done, invest in cheaper material that will serve you one time only.
Compare the different materials that are used to make composting bins. Most bins are made from wood that insulates better than plastic, but are these heavy and cannot be moved easily. Plastic is easy to assemble and cheaper than wood. Commercial stacked metal trays provide good chances of success, with worms moving up the trays as they decompose waste in the previous tray. These trays disturb the worms the least.
Wooden bins can be placed indoors or outdoors, while plastic has to be placed indoors where the temperature is constant. Wood or metal can be used outside if pests such as rodents are a threat.