Friday, January 6, 2012

Make a worm bin. I did!

Last summer I finally moved to a place where I will be able to grow somewhat of a garden. Yay! Unfortunately, my 4 tomato plants and 3 basil did not do very well. One of them finally set fruit in October. So, I have decided to be proactive this next season and not fly by the seat of my pants as I usually do. One of the things I plan on getting right this time is the compost. Since I don't have space for an actual heap, I thought I'd give vermiculture a try. I made a pretty simple bin out of a plastic tote and filled it with worms that I found through a local facebook group. I made the lady a dozen whole wheat pitas and she gave me a bowl full of worms. SCORE! 

Materials used:

12qt. plastic tote with lid. (don't use a clear one)
non-metal window screen
plastic dish, butter tub, etc.
drill and tiny drill bit
dead plant leaves

What I did:

Using one of the tiniest bits I drilled holes all the way around the tote about 1.5" under the lip where the lid fits on. I then drilled a ton of wholes in the actual lid. You have to have drain holes in the bottom to catch the "worm tea", but I wanted the holes in mine to be close together so I could better control where the liquid comes out. Drill a bunch of little holes in the lowest area of the tote. For example, the middle of my tote is raised, so the perimeter of the bottom is the part that is lowest. I drilled the holes along the perimeter in a tight cluster. Then I lined the bottom with a piece of window screen cut to fit. This is probably not necessary. Whatever. Next I tore a few pieces of old newspaper into 1" inch strips and filled the tote to about 3/4 full. For good measure I tossed in some dead leaves off of my house plants and some papery garlic skins and mixed it all up.  Then I sprayed the whole lot with water. Toss it around so you get all of it wet. Next put in your worms. I guess you can just put them on top, but I scooted aside the bedding and put them in the hole, then next to them I made another hole and put in some kitchen scraps. Banana peel, eggshells, coffee grounds or what have you. Finally I put a piece cardboard down on top of the bedding and put on the lid to the tote. I am choosing to store mine in the bottom of the pantry, which is part of the reason I designed it the way I did. To allow it to drain, I set it up on 2 2x4 scraps. I then slid the plastic bowl under the group of drain holes that I drilled. We will see how this works.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your own worm bin project!

Update: Window screen is pointless. I found a ton of worms just crawling around under it anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Dad had a worm bin for about a year but all the poor wormies drownded when he wasn't really paying attention. :( I'm thinkin' it may be time to resurrect the worm bin for my window gardens!