Vermiculture Worm Bin Advice

Got questions? Maybe you’ll find some answers here if not feel free to e-mail your questions.

Q. How do I build a worm bin?

A. Just about any sturdy container will work.  It needs a lid and holes in the bottom for drainage.  It also needs holes on the sides and in the lid to provide adequate air circulation.  A good hole size would be 1/2″ diameter which will be small enough to keep out rodenst and other predators.  Plastic storage bins are an easy and inexpensive way to start.  Or you can build a wooden box out of plywood.  Keep in mind that these are surface dwellers so the bin does not need to be more than about 12″ deep.  If you want to be able to move it around, keep it small (approx 18″ x 24″).  Otherwide it will be too heavy after it gets filled with vermicompost.  Seattle Tilth offers a building plan that you can download at their site.

 http://www.seattletilth.org/resources/articles/WormBinPlans.pdf/view?searchterm=worm%20bin

Q. Can I dig up earthworms out of my garden and put them in the worm bin?   SK Seattle

A. No,  composting Worms are a different kind of earthworm.  You can sometimes find them under piles of rotting leaves, boards, or other such damp places where they are protected.   To learn more about Red Wigglers, click on the side bar.

Q. Where can I get red Worms R. G. Spanaway

A. Originally they were primarily raised for fishing bait. Check your local newspaper for fishing worms for sale.  More recently the county extension agents have been promoting recycling and may have a local source for you.  Compost Worms are quite easy to ship if packaged properly.   We offer Worms only by mail order at this time.   For more information on ordering Worms click on the link – Our Products.

Q. I’m really into recycling of what should I do with the compost the Worms are creating?

A. The composting process is fairly slow, and depends on the amount and kinds of waste you give to your Worms.  The longer you leave the compost in the worm bin the more completely it becomes converted.  An average family of four probably will not need to remove any compost from their bin more than once a year.  That might be a nice tradition to establish in observance of earth day each year.  The finished worm castings can be used in a variety of ways

  • Mix castings in with potting soil when repotting container plants (Use a ratio of castings to soil of about one to three.  In this case more is not better
  • If you have a garden or flower beds, work the compost into the soil around your outdoor plants’ roots
  • When planting seeds place a small amount in the row before seeds are added to improve germination
  • It is a very nutritious additive for the soil to replace chemical fertilizers.   There is no danger of burning or damaging the plant by adding the worm compost or castings
  • Make compost tea - a great fertilizer for all plants.   Place about one cup of soft worm castings from your bin into a container.   Add warm water and let stand a few minutes until water turns brown.   You now have compost tea which can be added to your watering can when watering your plants. It is safe to pour directly onto your plants. Leave the solids in the jar and just as more water as needed.   When the water stops turning brown add fresh castings/compost to the jar to make more tea.