How to Build a Worm Bin Garden

Overview

A worm bin garden is a method of composting, called vermiculture, that uses redworms to convert kitchen waste into a nutrient-rich garden and plant fertilizer called castings. This method of composting has advantages -- it is compact, reduces the amount of waste disposal, is stored indoors and does not have a strong smell. Store the worm bin in a cool location that has a temperature of 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and keep out of sunlight. Use a plastic bin to buiid a worm bin garden.

Step 1

Drill 20 drainage holes spaced at 1/4 inch into the bottom of the plastic bin. Drill 1/16-inch ventilation holes at a space of 1 inch apart around the top edge of the bin and 30 holes evenly spaced in the cover.

Step 2

Shred newspaper in 1-inch strips. Lightly moisten the paper with water by soaking it and squeezing out the excess. Place 4 inches of fluffed-up newspaper on the bottom of the bin.

Step 3

Add approximately 1 cup of soil and dried leaves if available. The grit in the dirt will help the worms digest the food to create the castings compost.

Step 4

Add 1 lb. of redworms for every 1/2 pound of waste added to the bin per day. One lb. of worms is approximately 500 worms.

Step 5

Cover the bottom bedding with a piece of wet cardboard cut to fit the bin. Worms will eat the cardboard as it breaks down inside the bin.

Step 6

Feed kitchen vegetable waste to the worms once a week. This includes fruit and vegetable scraps, bread, egg shells and coffee grounds. Bury the food in the newspaper area. Choose a different location under the bedding at each feeding to prevent a buildup in one area. Feed the worms a small amount to start with to get them used to the environment.

Step 7

Put the cover on the bin and place the container on several bricks set on a tray to catch the liquid that drains out. Store the worm bin in a cool or shaded location that is well-ventilated.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 to 10 gallon plastic storage containers with cover
  • Drill
  • 1/4-inch and 1/16-inch drill bits
  • Newspaper
  • Water
  • Soil
  • Dried leaves
  • Redworms
  • Vegetable waste
  • Cardboard
  • 2 to 4 bricks
  • Catch tray

References

  • Washington State University: Cheap and Easy Worm Bin
  • Garden Simply: How to Build a Worm Bin
  • City Farmer: Worm Composting
Keywords: worm bin composting, worm bin garden, vermiculture compost

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.