How Do I Compost With Worms?
You will need: a worm bin, bedding for the worms, red worms and food scraps.
A worm bin is a sturdy box that can be made from materials like a packing crate, a pallet, or plywood and two-by-fours. Concrete blocks can be used to build a more permanent structure. Sturdy weather resistant lids are needed. Worms need to breathe; therefore, the active composting layers should be no more than one foot deep. Drill 1/4-1/2 inch holes in the bottom of your bin for drainage. If intensively managed, a worm bin can have about one square foot of surface area for each 2-3 pounds of food scraps added per week. The number and size of worm bins needed will depend on the amount of food scraps generated.
Bedding for worm bins provides the worms with a nest to live and work. Bedding also holds moisture and serves as a place to bury the food scraps. Composting food scraps without bedding can produce bad odors and a slimy mess. Common bedding materials include shredded newspaper or corrugated cardboard, peat moss, coarse sawdust, or fallen leaves. Moisten bedding materials by immersing in water for several minutes before adding to the worm bin. When the bedding is thoroughly wet, remove from the water; wring out excess water. Fill the bin to the top with the loose bedding. Pull apart any compacted paper strips before adding to the bin so the worms have room to roam.
Red worms, also known as "red wrigglers" or "manure worms," are the composting champions! Red worms are not the same as earthworms, or night crawlers, that live in soil. Use about two pounds of worms for every pound of food scraps generated per day. A starter batch of worms can be taken from an existing worm bin or can be purchased through stores that sell fish bait.