May 292010

If you’re into composting and are looking to try something a bit different, consider going for worm composting. Known as vermiculture or vermicomposting, worm composting is the process of creating cow-free manure or worm castings by letting red worms or European night crawlers feed on your organic matter. The process is simple since the worms will do all the work for you, and you get to reap in the wonderful results for your garden.

To start the vermiculture process, first you’ll need a worm bin to house all your worms. You can easily make your own or you can purchase one from a variety of websites like If you’re the DIY type, I suggest finding a bin that includes a tight fitting lid so that no light will get through. The depth doesn’t really matter, but the deeper it is, the more wiggle room your worms will have to move about. The bin itself has to also hold about 10 pounds of compost and food scraps per week. Ventilation is also important, so make sure that you include a few air vents on the top of the lid and along the sides of the bin. A drain catch like an additional lid or bin underneath the worm bin is a good idea just in case any compost tea leaks out.

Once you’ve received your composting worm bin or are finished making your own, the fun begins. Start by adding some moist bedding made out of one inch newspaper strips to the bottom. To give you an idea of how much newspaper to use, if you’re using a 10 gallon bin, five pounds of torn newspaper will be sufficient. Afterwards you can start dumping in your little red worms or night crawlers; a combination of both is just fine. A word of caution though, if there’s too much water in the bin, your night crawlers may end up drowning so make sure to regularly dump out any tea that may collect at the bottom.

Bury your food scraps and fibrous materials (cardboard, newspaper) several inches deep into the bedding. Don’t focus in just one spot; scatter the material around in different areas of the bin so that the worms will have a chance to migrate around the bin. Be sure to check on your worms weekly because within a few weeks’ time you’ll have rich worm castings ready to go into your garden. Have fun and remember to thank your worms!

Looking for a great info on compost bins and other composting supplies? Visit RogueStatus’ blog today.

Author: Vicki Duong
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Vicki Duong

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