How to Add Red Worms to a Container

Overview

In order to successfully compost with worms, you need to make sure to use the right kind of worms. Earthworms need to tunnel and dig and do not do well in enclosed environments. Redworms, on the other hand, are ideally suited to vermicomposting. They prefer temperatures between the 50s and 70s F. They are also very easy to add to any vermicomposting setup.

Step 1

Moisten some shredded newspaper, cardboard, grass or leaf clippings. Place a layer of this material in the bottom of your vermicomposting bin. It should not be soaking wet, just slightly damp.

Step 2

Add a little cornmeal or soil to the mixture and mix it in well. Redworms have gizzards that function much like the ones in chickens. They require roughage in order to digest their food, which cornmeal or soil will provide.

Step 3

Bury some kitchen scraps in the bedding you have just prepared for your worms. Do not use meat or dairy products. Worms do not like them, and these scraps will attract unwanted insect and animal pests as well.

Step 4

Tip your redworms into the bin. Do not dump and shake them out of their bag or container. Instead, upend it gently on top of the bedding you have just prepared. Redworms do not like direct light, so they will begin tunneling into their bedding as soon as you give them access to it.

Step 5

Cover the worms' bedding with some damp cardboard. This will allow them to continue eating without fear of predation by pests or unwanted direct light on their skin.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never place animal or human waste products in your vermicompost bin. Besides being unhygienic, they will create a traditional compost situation in which aerobic breakdown of organic materials occurs. Traditional compost gets far too hot for your redworms to handle and will kill them.

Things You'll Need

  • Vermicomposting bin
  • Newspaper, cardboard, leaf or grass clippings
  • Soil or cornmeal
  • Kitchen scraps

References

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension: Vermicomposting: Composting With Worms
  • Washington State University Whatcom County Extension: Cheap and Easy Worm Bin
  • Garden Simply: How to Build a Worm Bin
Keywords: vermicomposting redworms, red worm compost, worm bin

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication CarEnvy.ca. Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.