How do you create a worm bin?
Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty easy to keep a worm bin when we understand what worms need and how to use them. So let’s get into how to keep worms in a bin happy.
First thing we need will be a container. Anything will do, an empty ice cream bucket, a couple dollar store trash cans, or you can go with something like an urban worm bag, subpod, or a giant continuous flow through bin (CFT). There are so many options and it all comes down to what are you looking to do and how much space do you have. What goes in the bin is basically all the same
In this example I will set up a bin for under the sink, but you can apply the concept to any bin. You basically need drainage, bedding, food, and worms. That’s it!
This is 2 trash bins from the dollar store. I drilled 4 holes in the bottom using 3/8 bit and I placed the one with the holes inside the other trash can. Most worm bins use this concept. It allows the excess liquid (leachate) to sink to the bottom away from everything else.
Next, we need to put in some bedding and food for the worms. In this bin I placed shredded paper, but recommend you use shredded cardboard since paper tends to clump up. Make sure you give the bedding a real good soak with water.
Place plenty of bedding in the bottom. The worms will also eat the bedding, so don’t worry if you think it’s too much. At some point you may over feed the worms and the bedding will soak up the additional food that is breaking down and help control the smell.
Now it’s time to add some food waste. Worms can be a little like children with food. They love sweets like melons, pumpkin, and bananas. When it comes to vegetables, they will eat it, but it may take some time. Then there are those things like onions, hot peppers, and citrus that will be eaten, but you want to be careful feeding too much at once.
While we prepare meals, food scraps from our kitchen get tossed in the bin. When no one wants to eat that black banana, I drop it in the bin too.
Now if I have tons of scraps like from a big meal or cleaning out the fridge. I will freeze those and keep them for later or throw them in my outdoor compost pile.
Now it’s time for the worms. We rarely have many scraps daily, so I put 200ish red wigglers (RW) in this bin. Ideally, you want around 1000 worms for every 1 square foot of surface area.
I can tell you that 1000 worms will tear through some food and we don’t produce that much waste in our house. The good thing about a small bin is that it’s easy to go through and add more worms or food.
I like to top off the bin with some more dry bedding just to keep down on any smells and bugs that might start. Last thing is to free up some space under the sink, close the door, and let the worms do all the work.
Some final notes.
-Do have fun. Don’t bother them daily.
-Do keep adding bedding. Don’t let it get too soggy.
-Do feed veggies, fruit, bread, and coffee. Don’t feed eggs, meat, salty foods, or eggs.
-Do allow your worms time to eat. Don’t keep adding food if they aren’t eating it.
This is a process, and it takes some time. It will be worth it in the end