Sunday, February 15, 2009

What does it take to start worm composting?

I have spoken to many people about worm composting and I get many different responses.

I have gotten the questionable look, the look of disbelief and the look of "you have got to be kidding". No matter which look I get, I end up explaining what vermi composting is all about.

First of all you do not have to spend an arm and a leg on on equipment. The biggest cost in the beginning should be the worms. I bet most people already have the other equipment. And by the equipment I mean a plastic bin. If you have to buy it, you should not be paying more than $10.

Now for the worms you should use red wrigglers. They are the most efficient in vermi-composting. They are hearty and tend to stay near the surface. You can buy 1000 red wrigglers for about $30 from Uncle Jims Worm Farm. That's about a pound of worms capable of composting approximately 1 lb. of kitchen scraps and/or grass clippings per day. (organic material only, no meats)

Drill about 5 to 10, 1/8th to 1/4 inch holes in the bottom of the plastic bin for drainage.

On the bottom of the plastic bin place some shredded newspaper about an inch thick. Wet the papers. Then place your compostable materials on top of the wet papers. Then spread the worms on top and cover with a good layer of dirt. This dirt will keep the fruit flies to a minimum.

Set the bin on the cover that came with the bin and cover it with a piece of wood. You can keep the composter in the garage, but during the winter you want to take it inside.

Now that is how you make a cheap vermi-composter. If you have any other tips and suggestions please comment below.


  1. You mention Uncle Jims, If you buy from them, youll probably never get any and after about 4 months. They will be so small you can hardly see them. You should get 2500 to the pound. Buy from a dealer that hand counts the worms. When you get your worms from that dealer you can count them.

  2. I would buy from Worms Wrangler either. For the largest worm distributor in the country, they cant ship worms and then try getting a refund. Buy from a dealer that counts worms.

    If you have any problems with Uncle Jim or Worms Wrangler let me know.
    Read my blog at Complaints

  3. Hi Rob
    I have square containers that I think would be great for your worm composting. With a small amount of your time you can build one of these for about $15-$20.00. I will do a posting on my blog with every thing you will need to build it and will add set by step photos and if I have time I will add video as well. What size hole would you say is best 1/8 inch or ¼ inch? Let me know and I will get working on it. I have found yet another great way to recycle more of our plastic products. I had no idea that there way such a high demand for these worm houses / containers and I have had them all along.
    Thanks again
    Chris D. Maenza Sr.

  4. Main Worms,
    Thanks for the information. I just happen to know about Uncle Jims Worm farm. I am not recommending anyone. People have to make that decision after their own research.

    I would say that worm composting has just gotten big for the last two years. Now that more people are worried about organic gardening and wanting to reduce their own carbon footprint this is a logical easy solution.
    Stay tuned for more information on this subject on this blog.

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