As popular as composting has become today, the most common method of composting for beginners is worm composting. Composting is method of taking our everyday wastes and turning them into soil compost as opposed to sending it into the landfill. This not only is helping our environment but also gives us some excellent compost soil for our flower beds or vegetable gardens.
Many of the individuals that choose to compost worms also choose to make their own worm composting bin. It’s very easy to make your own worm composting bin and needs only a few simple items. A plastic tub works great for your new worm composting bin. While many people use plywood and make a wooden worm composting bin, plastic is easier for the beginner. The only problem to watch for with plastic is that they tend to get wetter than wood, which can cause odor problems as well as your worms to die. Once you have your plastic tub, you’ll need to drill some holes in the sides for air. Drilling holes on the bottom is also a good idea, but then you’ll want to put it on blocks to increase the air circulation.
Red worms are the most common type of worm used in a worm composting bin. They’re easy to find at a worm farm, are inexpensive and have a good survival rate. Moist shredded newspaper is the best form of bedding for your worms. It’s easy to obtain, is easy to prepare and retains water very well. Peat moss, leaves or shredded cardboard also work well for a worm composting bin. You’ll want the bedding to be moist but not dripping wet. Start off by putting about 8 inches of the moist bedding in the bin. Once you have it the moistness it needs, you’re ready to add your worms. One pound of worms is enough for starting off as they are very reproductive.
After you’ve put the worms in the bin, leave the cover off for a while to give them a chance to move around and work their way through the bedding. They need temperatures from 55 to 75F. You’ll want to add some food in the bin and mix it in with the bedding. Some suggested foods include vegetable and fruit scraps. Mix the foods in the bedding and they’ll begin to eat. Although they don’t have teeth, they are very hardy eaters. Avoid salty, greasy and hard foods. One pound of worms will eat about pound of food per day. Avoid overfeeding them; although once they begin reproducing, you’ll increase the amount of food.
In three to six months, you’ll be ready to harvest the worms in the worm composting bin. The easiest way is to clean off one side of the bin and put new bedding and food on that clean side. Within a month, the worms will have all moved to the new clean side so you can then take out your new compost and start over in the worm composting bin.