Vermicomposting – All You Need to Know to Get Started

We all throw out so much food that can be converted into black gold every day. From vegetable peels, to eggshells, to fruit that no one wants to eat.

vermicompost
Worm Compost is Highly Concentrated, and can be Mixed into Store-bought Compost or Just Sprinkled on the Ground to Nourish the Soil

Yes, you can add these things to a compost pile, but it will take longer to form, it can get smelly, they can attract insects and wildlife, and won’t produce the highly concentrated, nutritious compost that worms make.

The compost you harvest from a vermicomposting bin is significantly higher in nutritional value than compost from a heap or bin.

Worms are nature’s most efficient composters.

Worms eat dead plant materials, food scraps, and spoiled fruits and vegetables and convert them into compost. So, why not put them to work to produce the richest compost your garden will ever see?

Vermicomposting is a cheap, easy way to harness black gold from your kitchen scraps.

How to do vermicomposting on your farm

What is Vermicomposting?

Vermicomposting literally means worm composting.

It is keeping worms (usually Red Wigglers) to process kitchen scraps and dead plant matter for the worms’ excrements, called worm castings, which make excellent, nutrient rich compost, and worm leachate.

When diluted in water, this makes brilliant liquid fertilizer (referred to as worm tea) that will replace lost microbes in the soil.

Worm tea helps retain moisture in the soil and, when used as a foliar spray, it helps produce more foliage and larger stems.

I have a healthy population of red wigglers in my beds.

They are great for maintaining healthy soil during crop rotation as they will eat dead roots and other plant matter supplying the ground with nutrient rich compost.

However, I always seem to need compost to boost my beds after winter. For this, my vermicomposting bins are perfect.

The outcome of vermicomposting is compost; however, it is different from a traditional compost heap in that worms do the job faster, and the soil is richer in nutrients.

Composting is also very labor intensive as a compost pile needs to be turned regularly. It can also only be done outdoors. Winter can be challenging because of snow, frost, and extremely low temperatures.

A vermicomposting bin can be brought into a garage or shed, but worms in bins are able to regulate their own body temperatures easier than in a compost pile.

Vermicomposting bins are an easy, low maintenance way to create top quality compost. There are a number of ways to set up a vermicomposting farm.

Some people use a single bin, others use lateral bins, and, most popular and effective of all, stackable bins.

Using stackable boxes is convenient, because red wigglers migrate up towards the food source, leaving the worm castings easy to collect.

It also saves on space if you have limited space for composting. This method is especially popular with urban worm farmers.

Once set up, vermicomposting bins produce the most nutritious compost without the unsightly compost pile, attracting flies, fruit flies, or other pests, and without the smell.

6 Good Reasons to Start a Vermiculture Bin

  1. ✅ Worm castings enrich the soil
  2. ✅ It is chemical free
  3. ✅ It is completely sustainable as there are always food scraps like fruit peels, lettuce, potato peels, and more
  4. ✅ It is organic
  5. ✅ It does not smell bad like a compost pile does
  6. ✅ Red wigglers reproduce quickly; the more worms reproduce, the more bins you can establish

Building Your DIY Vermicompost Bin

What You Will Need

You will need:

  • 3 stackable, opaque, 18-gallon plastic boxes or bins
  • A drill with a 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Ready to use compost is the best bedding for the worms, however, strips of newspaper or cardboard also make excellent bedding
  • Dirt
  • A lid for the top bin
  • A tray or container the catch worm leachate, or a tap for the worm leachate box
  • Water to dampen the soil, paper, or cardboard
  • Red wriggler worms – they are the most efficient workers
  • A trowel for transferring compost into the bin
  • Kitchen scraps and a container to store them in your fridge (you need only feed the worms once a week)

Using opaque bins is very important as you do not want to expose your worms or compost to direct light.

The light from the sun can dry out the compost very quickly and your worms need the moisture to breathe.

You can use deep totes, shallow totes, hand made boxes, or even an old bathtub (make sure it is well positioned for drainage through the drainage hole.

The boxes need to taper down at the bottom so that there is a space between the top of the lower bin and the bottom of the upper bin.

Making your bins is very easy. How many you want to use depends on how you want to farm with your worms.

Whether you choose to farm vertically or horizontally the starting point is the same.

You will need a storage tote. A shallow tote will work IF you can find one that is opaque. In South Africa, that is not easy.

Shallow totes are easier to handle if you are disabled and want to do a vertical farm, just do not add too much weight to the point where you are not able to handle the weight.

Opaque totes here tend to be very large, which is fine; you can compost more in a large tote so there is a benefit to large totes.

Also take your height into account. If you are double cursed, like me, and are short and disabled, take your height into account.

If I were to go vertical, I would need a hundred-foot ladder to move the top tote. 😊 If it is full, I could never do it.

To start with, either buy or repurpose an old opaque bin:

Drill holes for ventilation and drainage.

Ventilation is critical to vent out excess moisture. You do not want mold to form in your bins. Use a 1/8-inch drill bit to drill your ventilation holes.

You do not want holes that are too big or too small as they will either let too much light in and give the worms a way to escape the bin, or they will not facilitate good drainage and airflow:

electric drill
electric drill

Start with the lid of your bin, drill several holes spread out all over the lid:

drilled holes in plastic tote bin
drilled holes in plastic tote bin

Now drill holes all the way around the bin on the top section of the bin; do not drill low as drilling too low would give the worms a way out:

plastic bin with drilled holes in the upper area
plastic bin with drilled holes in the upper area

Now flip the bin over and drill holes all over the bottom of the bin to allow adequate drainage:

bottom of plastic bin with drilled holes in the bottom

Open up the holes properly and then wash the bin thoroughly before use:

washing drilled plastic bin with hose
washing drilled plastic bin with hose

If you want to make a vertical (stack) bin, the top two bins need to be drilled the same (you only need one lid) the bottom bin will either need ventilation holes that can be spread all over the sides or use bricks to elevate the upper bins to allow ventilation.

If there is no ventilation, you will get a very nasty smell from the accumulating leachate.

The second important thing about the bottom bin is drainage.

Either drill holes in the bottom of the bin and stand it over a tray or drill a hole on or near the bottom and insert a tap to drain off the valuable leachate.

vermicompost bin stacked on a second small plastic bin
vermicompost bin stacked on a second small plastic bin

I Have Holes in the Base of My Bins, My Bins are Stacked on Smaller Totes That Catch the Leachate

There is a Small Gap Between My Bins That Provides Excellent Airflow to Avoid Nasty Smells:

large plastic bin on top of smaller bin showing gap in-between
large plastic bin on top of smaller bin showing gap in-between

Bedding

The ideal bedding for your worms is compost. It retains water well and is, of course, the most natural bedding for worms. It may seem silly to use compost to make compost.

The difference is that compost bought from a store does not have nearly the same nutritional value as compost from worms.

It is worth investing in good quality compost for bedding as it is soft, moist, and full of good nutrients

open bag of store-bought organic compost
I Use Readymade Compost That is Light, Moist, and Fluffy

You can also use damp newspaper, shredded paper, or cardboard. If you choose to go this route, you will need to add fresh, shredded paper once a week.

Do not use anything with colored ink or a glossy, waxy surface, or that has glue on it.

Your compost should be of excellent quality; moist but not wet enough to drip water when handled.

You can either use compost from your current compost pile or you can purchase readymade compost for the bedding. Make sure there are no large pieces of wood or hay as they take longer to decompose.

wood-shavings-at-the-bottom-of-worm-castings
I Place a Layer of Wood Shavings on the Bottom of the Bin to Ensure My Compost Does Not Immediately Leak Through the Drainage Holes

On top of the wood shavings, I provide the bedding. Spread your compost, moist paper, or cardboard evenly.

I Place the Bedding on Top of the Wood Shavings

pouring the compost over wood shavings in vermicompost bin
Spread the Bedding Evenly on the Bottom of the Bin

Once a week, you need to lightly loosen the soil so that it is well aerated for the worms. Bedding must be replaced every 6 to 9 months.

The Best Worms for the Job

Not all worms are up for the job. The ideal worms to use are red wigglers (Eisenia fetida).

Red wigglers are surface dwellers; they live in the top two inches of soil. This makes harvesting the compost much easier without harming the worms.

plastic bucket with 1000 red wiggler worms
Red Wigglers are Available Online, and Can be Purchased by Weight by Number of Worms

The next best worms are red worms (Lumbricus rubellus). They are also surface dwellers who prefer compost over soil.

You will be able to find professional worm sellers on the internet. Try to buy from a local supplier to reduce the time in transit.

The worms should be couriered in a cardboard box with ventilation in the lid of the bucket inside the box.

Earthworms can be used for vermicomposting. However, they tend to live a little deeper in the soil.

Getting them to eat through all the food you supply would mean you would have to turn the soil lower into the bin and bury the food lower.

Cutworms, white grubworms, and root-knot nematodes should never be used in a vermicomposting bin.

They are considered pests in the garden, and they will live up to this categorization. Composting with them could introduce eggs and larvae to your flower or vegetable garden.

What Makes Red Wigglers Better

Red wigglers are very low maintenance worms that reproduce exceptionally well (their population doubles every 90 days).

They are great for expanding your vermicomposting boxes because of their reproduction rate. They are very active which helps aerate soil and compost.

red wiggler worms in compost in hand
These are a Few of the Red Wigglers I purchased Online, As You Can See, They Are Fat, Very Active, and Ready for Work

Red wigglers are surface dwellers. This makes them easy to feed and separate from compost. Red wigglers do not burrow down like earthworms do.

The deeper the worms burrow the harder it is to feed the worms and the harder it gets to harvest the vermicompost.

Red wigglers consume a lot of food. They can eat their own bodyweight every day. This means they can produce a lot of vermicompost.

They can eat most kitchen scraps so they will not cost anything to feed. See the sections below on what red wigglers can and cannot eat.

Introducing Your Worms

Lesson 1: Unless you are planning to go big from start up, do not spend too much money on worms. Red wigglers are excellent reproducers.

They will double the population every 90 days (50 worms become 100 worms, 100 becomes 200, 200 becomes 400, etc.)

Dig a hole in the middle of the bedding to place your worms in and cover them with the extra soil from the hole:

making hole with hand in vermicompost box
Make a Hole in the Center of the Box to Bury Your New Red Wigglers

Place the worms in the hole, and cover them with compost:

placing wriggler worms in vermicomposting bin
placing wriggler worms in vermicomposting bin

If you want to reduce the cost completely, dig up worms from your garden, or add them as you find them and just let them reproduce by themselves.

I bought new red wigglers on Friday to stock a new bin. I got them from a local bait shop. The worms were all very healthy and there were thousands of red wriggler larvae, eggs and juveniles mixed in with the adults.

red wriggler worms at bottom of plastic bucket
When You Turn the Containers Your Worms Came in Over, You Will Find Your Red Wigglers Hiding from the Light – 12 Fishermen Spent a Frustrating Weekend Without Bait

I got a freebee healthy group of youngsters with the worms from the bait shop:

pointing with finger to young red wriggler worm in plastic container
pointing with finger to young red wriggler worm in plastic container

Remember to adjust their food so that you do not attract flies and fruit flies and a nasty smell of decomposing food.

red wriggler worms clustered together in vermicomposting bin
Red Wigglers Like to Cluster Together, This Makes Feeding Them and Harvesting Their Castings Easy

The goal is 1000 (roughly one pound) worms per square foot of space in the residential bin.

red wriggler worms 24 hours after being introduced
I Checked in on My Worms 24 Hours After They Were Introduced in Their New Bin, I Lightly Moved the Compost Around, Most of the Worms Were Still Clustered in the Middle of the Box, but there Were a Few Adventurers Who Went Exploring

Controlling Moisture

Controlling moisture in your bins is very important as worms breathe through their skin. The worms need moisture to breathe.

Too much moisture and the worms can drown. If the bedding is too dry, your worms will not be able to breathe.

To check if there is too much moisture in the bedding, pick up a handful of bedding (minus any worms) and squeeze it. If moisture comes out, the bedding is too moist.

Your bedding will get moisture from the food scraps you feed to your worms.

From time to time, we all are faced with too much moisture or too little moisture. The sooner you notice a problem and address it, the sooner your worms can get back to living the dream.

Your bottom bin is very important as this bin catches the worm leachate that would otherwise be trapped in the top two tiers of your worm’s condo. It is important that you check that the holes in the top two tiers are not blocked to facilitate good drainage.

If you do not want to use a third bin you can place the bottom box on bricks and place a tray under it to catch the valuable worm Leachate.

Remove the worm leachate at least once a month or when it begins to smell and store it for future use.

If your bedding is too dry, wet a couple of sheets of newspaper and lay them on top of the bedding or add some fresh, dry compost or newspaper to the bedding.

If your bedding is too wet, lay a couple of dry sheets of newspaper on top of the bedding to absorb some of the excess water.

There is another way to deal with worm leachate, but me personally, I get yucked out by this method. You can fill an old sock or stocking with dry coconut coir, and place it in the bottom bin.

Keep an eye on it; when it becomes soaked, wring out the worm leachate by squeezing the sock over a container.

Always keep your bin away from direct sunlight as the sun can quickly dry out the soil. The ideal place to keep a vermicomposting bin is in the garage or the basement. Keeping them indoors in winter is a must as you do not want the soil to get too cold.

Feeding Your Worms

Once your worms have been introduced to their new home, you only feed your worms once a week.

Worms eat microorganisms, bacteria, and fungi that colonize decomposing organic matter.

Only feed your worms organic waste that has not been exposed to oil, dressing, or salt. Red wigglers can eat most food waste.

Red wigglers will eat their bodyweight of food every day. You should feed the weight of all your worms per week. This means that if you have a pound of worms, you should feed them a pound of food scraps per week.

chopped fruit scraps in bowl
chopped fruit scraps in bowl

Scraps of Vegetables and Fruit Should Be Chopped into Small Pieces and Stored for Feeding Day in the Fridge

How much food you feed your worms can result in a bad odor if you feed them too much.

Watch how much they consume, if the following week when you go to feed them there is food left over from the previous feeding, it means you are feeding too much. You can also add more worms to ensure all the food has been eaten.

If there are leftovers, move them to the center of the box and cover them with soil.

Remember that your population will double every 90 days, so you will need to adjust how much you are feeding them accordingly. If there are no leftovers, you can provide a bit more food at the next feeding.

What you feed your worms is very important. You can feed them:

  • Vegetable peels
  • Egg shells
  • Fruit scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea bags
  • Newspaper
  • Plant trimmings
  • Leaves
  • Dead plants
  • Anything organic
chopping potato on wooden cutting board
Old Potatoes That Are No Longer Fit for Human Consumption Are Delightful for Worms

Starches like rice, pasta and bread can be fed in small quantities; however, this is not really recommended because it will make the bedding too moist, and it takes much longer for the worms to digest.

Worms also digest food faster if their food is cut into small pieces, or, ideally, if you have put the food through a blender.

thinly sliced potatoes as worm feed
The Smaller the Pieces of Food Scraps, the Quicker Your Worms Will Consume Them

Store your scraps in a container in the fridge for your weekly feeds. The food will still begin to break down in the fridge and it will not attract flies and fruit flies.

If you are vertically farming, always rotate where the food is placed every week. Dig a small hole in the middle of one side of the box and place the food in the hole, then cover it with soil.

food scraps as worm feed in bowl ready to be refrigerated
Mixing the Different Food Scraps for Storage and Feeding is Perfectly Okay, Just Keep Them Refrigerated

The next week, do the same but in the neighboring side of the box, working your way around the box. This is done to ensure your population of worms is not concentrated in one spot.

If you are horizontally farming, you will feed only on one side of the box until the compost is ready to be harvested.

What to Feed Worms: Vermicompost Made EASY

You should never feed your worms:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Dairy products
  • Colored ink newspaper
  • Glossy paper
  • Pet waste
  • Hot food
  • Spicy food
  • Food cooked with salt
  • Food cooked with oil
  • Salad dressing
  • Citrus fruit
  • Onions
  • Garlic

Maintaining a Healthy Population for a Large Bin

The ideal ratio of worms is 1000 (1 pound) worms per square foot in the box. You do not need to go full scale immediately; red wigglers double their population every 90 days.

To sustain a healthy population in your bins you should reduce tilling, you only need to turn the top three inches too aerate the soil once a week.

Add compost to the bedding as needed. Compost is a rich food source for worms, it holds moisture well, and it is well aerated.

You can also add manure, but I do not recommend this as it can get quite stinky, and it can attract flies, fruit flies, and gnats.

Adding a layer of organic matter to the surface of the box can help keep valuable moisture in.

This will facilitate good reproduction, maintaining a healthy population. You can also mulch to ensure the soil stays moist and cool.

Never, ever add anything that has been treated with chemicals in the box. You run the risk of killing off your worms. Stick to organic matter only.

If you start small, carefully monitor the quantity of food you supply and keep an eye on the moisture.

The food scraps also contain moisture; therefore, you should not need to add moisture to the bin. A healthy environment will ensure a healthy population.

Harvesting the Compost

There are different ways to harvest worm compost (worm poop). You can harvest your vermicompost from two and a half months to every six months. This depends on how many worms you have and how much you are feeding your worms.

Regardless of the method you choose, always look for leftover food and larger pieces of wood and separate these before you relocate your worms.

Stop feeding the worms a week or two before harvesting and let the soil dry out completely if you are only harvesting during winter.

The decision of when to collect your compost also is dependent on how far in the year you want to continue your vermicompost bins.

You can run your vermicompost bins all year-round, or you can shut it down for the summer.

This is What Pure Black Gold Looks Like; it is dark, Well Aerated, and Fluffy; When it looks Like This, it is ready to Be Harvested

Whether you choose to set up your vermicompost bins horizontally or vertically can also impact how to harvest your compost.

You will know the compost is ready to be harvested when it is dark, crumbly, and has an earthy smell.

vermicompost ready to be used
This Vermicompost is Ready for Use; Hay and Straw Take Longer to Decompose Properly, I Remove it by Hand and Drop it Back in the Bin for the Worms to Finish Off

If you are using horizontal bins, that are stacked side by side, harvesting can be done very easily by simply dividing your bin in two, feeding your worms only on one side until you see that the compost is ready to be harvested.

When your compost is ready to be harvested, feed your worms on the other side of your box, and give them a month to move in properly to the side that now holds the food.

Once your worms have moved over, carefully scoop the ready compost from the bin and strain it to catch all the stragglers that have not moved across to the other side of the bin.

moving old vermicompost bedding on one side to put new one
Place the Bedding and Food on One Side of Your Bin, When the Compost is Ready, Place fresh Bedding on the Other Side of the Bin and Give Your Worms Two to Three Weeks to Migrate to the Side Where the Food is and Then Remove the Compost

If you are a patient person, especially for home school families, this can be a very rewarding, soothing break from labor intensive work.

Lay out a sheet of plastic, tarp, or several sheets of newspaper on a flat surface. Now take your compost out of your bins and make little piles of compost on top of your newspaper or tarp.

heaps of compost on yellow plastic tarp
Make Small Heaps of Compost on a Sheet of Plastic Tarp or Newspaper to Minimize the Mess and Easily Harvest While Protecting Your Worms

Your worms will want to migrate away from light; ensure that the area where you are working is well lit.

scooping soil from compost pile
As You Scoop or Brush the Compost from the top of Your Piles, the Worms Will Migrate Lower; When You See Worms, Stop Scooping the Soil and Give Them Time to Flee the Light

Give your worms 20 minutes to move away from the light and then gently scoop up just the top layer of compost from each of the piles.

scooping top layer from compost
Gently Scoop the Top Layer of Compost Until You See Worms

Give the worms another 20 minutes to move further down and then repeat the process of gently scooping up the top layer of compost from the pile.

You will need to continue this until the worms are exposed on the bottom of the piles and are on top of the plastic or newspaper.

uncovered worms running for cover in vermicompost
As You Work Your Way Through the Pile, the Worms will Move Lower Until There is Nowhere Left to Go, Scoop Them Up and Place Them in the Fresh Bedding

At this point you can relocate your worms into their clean bedding. Sift through each layer of the soil that you have already harvested to make sure that there are no worms left in the pile you have harvested.

I like to scoop up my compost in cheap, disposable plastic containers. I punch holes in the lids. This way I can limit the number of runaways.

removing worms from vermicompost
Spread the Harvested Layers on Top of the Tarp or Newspaper to Easily Spot Stragglers

If you are starting out with a vermicomposting bin for the very first time, vertical farming will definitely take a moment to understand.

However, vertical farming takes up significantly less space and castings can be harvested quicker than in a horizontal bin.

Vertical composting works in a cycle that will require your harvesting once a month up to once every three months depending on how many worms you have and how deep your containers are.

To refresh your mind, you have three stacked bins. The bottom bin is exclusively to catch worm leachate and never houses worms or bedding. The top two bins are where the magic happens.

To start with, you will set your top bin up with bedding, worms, and food. Your middle bin will be empty.

You will only start harvesting your worm compost after two and a half months. At that point the cycle begins. Your compost will have fallen through the small holes in the base of the top bin.

When the middle bin is full to where it touches on the top bin, it is ready to be harvested. Remove the middle bin so that the top bin is now the middle bin.

Restock the empty bin with bedding, food, and compost and place it in the top position of your stack.

As the worms run out of food in the middle bin they will begin to move up through the holes in the base of the top bin.

In one to two months, the second bin will be ready to harvest; remember to check through the compost to ensure that no worms are still in that box.

Then you simply repeat the process of taking the second bin out and replacing it with the top bin and restocking the top bin with clean bedding.

In an 18-gallon container, with a start-up population of 1000 worms, you should be able to harvest a bin once a month.

If you choose to only vermicompost through the winter, prepare your bins in fall with bedding, worms, and food.

Feed the worms for three to four months. Leave the worms for an extra month or two without feeding them.

Your worms will continue to eat through all their bedding and eventually most of them will die off; as the worms decompose, their bodies will also add nutritional value to the soil.

The downside is next winter when you want to start up your bins again, you will have to purchase more worms.

If you want to run your compost bins all year round, the vermicast will still have high nutritional value and you will not need to go to the added expense of purchasing new worms.

Storing Vermicompost

Vermicompost can be stored for six months to three years if stored properly.

Your finished compost is full of micro-organisms which will continue to grow. The bacteria need moisture and air to keep the soil healthy. If you seal them in an airtight container, they will develop mold and spoil.

You should store your compost in plastic bags, with several holes poked in the top of the bags, in a cool, dark area.

vermicompost in old compost bag
Store Your Compost in an Old Compost Bag (or Other Container), Make Holes Near the Top to Keep It Moist Without Dehydrating the Compost Completely

The compost needs to be used before it dries out or it will need to be watered once a month and the bag needs to be closed again.

How to Make Liquid Fertilizer (Worm Tea)

Many people call the liquid that drains out from the bins worm tea. This liquid is actually called worm leachate. It is highly nutritious when added to your brewing worm tea.

The processed liquid fertilizer is correctly named Worm Tea. To get this liquid black gold, you will have to spend a tiny bit of time and effort brewing it.

Please Note: This is not tea for human consumption!

To make liquid fertilizer (worm tea) you will need:

  • A ten-gallon bucket
  • Ten gallons of unchlorinated water
  • A large sock, stocking or mesh bag
  • A bubbler to aerate the tea (an aquarium bubbler works great)
  • A pound of worm castings
  • One tablespoon of organic molasses or simple sugar

To make your worm tea:

  1. Stuff the worm castings into the sock, stocking, or mesh bag closing it tightly
  2. Add five gallons of water to your bucket
  3. Submerge your tea bag (sock, stocking, or mesh bag) in the bucket of water
  4. Add your molasses or sugar
  5. Submerge the bubbler into the bucket
  6. Leave the bucket for 24 hours (make sure the bubbler is working)
  7. Remove the bubbler and tea bag
  8. Add the remaining five gallons of water and mix it well
  9. Pour into a watering can or strain the mixture to use in a spray bottle
  10. Use immediately

What to do With the Worm Tea

Worm tea can be sprayed onto flowers, pot plants, garden beds or veggies in your veggie garden. It will provide your plants with a potent boost when they need it most.

Worm tea should always be stored in the fridge. If it is stored in the fridge, it will last up to three days. The sooner you use it the better.

Troubleshooting

The most common complaint from vermicomposters is the smell. The smell is very much caused by food in the bin. Bury the food well when you feed your worms.

Do not overfeed your worms. Give them time to work their way through the food in their bins before adding more. As the population rises you can add more food. Stick to food that the worms can eat.

If you find worms are launching their own jail breaks, it normally means the conditions in the bin are not ideal.

Where there is food, where the bedding is moist, and where ventilation is good, worms have no reason to run. Make sure their habitat and food supply are good.

If your bedding starts to get moldy, it means you have an issue with ventilation. You might want to add more ventilation holes for excess moisture to escape.

If you find water in the bottom of the bins, check that all your drainage holes are open to drain moisture. If the problem persists, consider adding more drainage holes.

If there is too much moisture, lay a sheet of dry newspaper or cardboard on top of the bedding to absorb the excess moisture.

If the bedding is drying out, spray some water in the bedding or add a sheet of damp newspaper or cardboard on top of the bedding.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is vermicomposting?

Vermicomposting occurs when worms eat organic matter and convert the organic matter into highly nutritious compost.

Is vermicompost better than compost?

Absolutely YES! Vermicompost has a higher nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium content. It is excellent at retaining the soils moisture content and it improves the structure of the soil.

What are the benefits of Vermicomposting?

There are many benefits to vermicomposting. The first is that you will be recycling your household waste – no more throwing food away.

Vermicompost increases soil fertility in the long term. It is an all-natural biofertilizer. It stabilizes the soil and restores the nutritional value in the soil leaving soil healthy and productive.

There are many benefits to vermicomposting. The first is that you will be recycling your household waste – no more throwing food away.

Vermicompost increases soil fertility in the long term. It is an all-natural biofertilizer. It stabilizes the soil and restores the nutritional value in the soil leaving soil healthy and productive.

What is vermicast?

Vermicast is a mixture of worm feces and uneaten bedding.

What makes worm castings so good?

Studies have shown that plants fertilized with vermicompost grow bigger and stronger and produce better quality flowers and vegetables than plants fertilized with standard compost.

Can vermicompost be used on all plants?

Yes, it is more nutritious and safer for your plants than other compost because it is 100% biomatter – no chemicals added.

Can I use vermicompost for my seedlings?

Yes, your seedlings will grow faster and have a stronger, healthier roots system.

Should I mix compost with soil?

It is better to spread your vermicompost over the top of your soil. You should avoid turning soil in your garden as much as possible so that you do not disturb the mycorrhizal fungi inside that are of great value to your plants. So, spread the compost over the soil and water gently.

Start Vermicomposting Today!

The only real downside to vermicomposting is the potential for a smelly bin.

This is very easy to overcome: if everything is healthy inside the bin but your super-power nose can still smell the bin, consider moving it away from where you are smelling it.

The benefits far out-weigh the downside of vermicomposting.

For me personally, horizontal bins work better because I have a nasty spinal injury which makes it impossible to pick the bins up when they are full.

Think carefully about outside factors like your own health before making your decision on what will work best for you.

This is the point where I say, put down the laptop and go get busy! I hope you have enjoyed this article. If you have any tips or tricks that have helped you, please share them in the comments section below.

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