Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Setting Up A Worm Composting Bin

I have been wanting to do this for a while and have finally got around to it. Many people can find composting overwhelming, as there is a lot that can go wrong. It can also take a lot of time and work before you actually see any compost. Which is why I choose to do worm composting. Worm composting is great for many reasons; it is super cheap to set up, takes up very little space and will provide you with amazing compost in very little time.

Here is what you will need:

*2-Plastic stackable storage containers
(I like the Rubbermaid Roughneck Tubs)
what ever you choose to use it must be something that will block direct light

*Drill with 1/8" drill bit


*Spray bottle- for water

*2-cardboard milk or juice cartons

*Food scraps
-BEST:Fruit and vegetable waste, coffee grounds & tea bags
-IN MODERATION: Citrus, onions, starchy foods,spicy foods
-KEEP OUT OF BIN: Meats, oily foods, dairy

Building The Bin:

Step 1
Drill holes in the lid, about 10-20 holes will be good for air circulation.

Step 2
Drill a total of 10-20 holes around the sides of the worm bin. These holes should be located around the top half of the bin since it will be resting inside the drainage bin. We did seven on either side and two in each end.

Step 3
Drill holes in the bottom of the worm bin. There should be Between 4 & 8 holes. These holes are for air circulation and drainage.

Step 4
Set up your supports. We used the bottom 3/4 of a milk and juice carton. This allows the worm bin to rest in the drainage bin and allows good air circulation. We simply cut off the tops and then placed them in the bottom of the drainage bin. We then placed our worm bin in the drainage bin resting on the supports.

Step 5
Shred your cardboard. Many people use news paper and peat moss though in my extensive reading it sounds like cardboard works best so it is what we chose. I am sure either or a mixture would work fine. You can then add most of your bedding in to the worm bin.

Step 6
Add your food scraps. On hand the day we built our bin we had some; carrot, apple, kiwi, celery, blackberries, tomato, egg shells and coffee grinds that we had saved up over the past 48 hours.

Step 7
You will need a little dirt in your worm compost bin but just a little. Worms like chickens have gizzards. They will use the sand and small stones to grind up the food. The soil will also add in some microorganisms.

Step 8
Cover food scraps with remainder of bedding pieces and spray down the bedding with water until damp. Worms breathe through their skin when it is wet, so it is important to keep your worm bin moist. Some people repeat steps 6 & 7 a couple times. We stopped with two layer's of bedding sandwiching a layer of food.

Step 9
Place the lid on your worm bin and find a place for it that will not be to hot or cold. A garage or basement would be a good spot. I know what you are all thinking we forgot the worms but we didn't. In all my reading I have found that waiting 1 to 2 weeks before introducing the worms is the best way to go. This allows for microorganisms to build up in the bin.

So we will be back in a few day's to update you on adding our Red Wiggler Worms.

Here is a good place to read up on worm composting;
Red Worm Composting.

You can also find some other great projects through Tutorial Tuesday...

Monkey's on the Bed

Our Lincoln Log


*~*a.l.s*~* said...

Kelly linked to your tutorial--

That is so cool! When we lived in Boston ALL of my co-workers (i'm not kidding, all of them!) had a worm compost. Since we did (and still do) live in an apartment, we haven't done a worm bin ourselves yet but I always used to bring my carrot pulp to work for my co-worker's worms (carrot pulp from the carrot juice i make...)

Great tutorial! When we finally get a house of our own, i'm going to make one!

Kelly said...

Hey Sam! i am passing on a blog award to your blog! Details are here: http://ourlincolnlog.blogspot.com/2009/05/one-lovely-blog-award.html