Do you want to grow lots of worms at home? My advice is K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple). It’s a lot easier to get started than many people think!
The basic plastic bin set-up described here is especially well suited for European Nightcrawlers – since they love moist condition – but it’s a great starter bin for Red Worms as well.
Here is all you need to get started:
Setting up the bin is as easy as pie – really, it’s just a matter of starting and ending with thick bedding layers and putting some food waste in between. I recommend freezing/thawing the food materials and then chopping up before adding to the bin, if possible (i.e. MORE optimized than shown in images below, in case you are wondering), since this speeds up the breakdown process.
If the bedding is not already moistened, you can spray it down as you go. This is especially important if you plan to add the worms fairly soon afterward – but, if possible, I actually recommend leaving the bin to sit for a little while before the worms are added.
The key with moisture is to get the habitat as moist as you can without excess pooling of liquid in the bottom. If you DO end up with pooling, simply add in some dry bedding to soak it up.
The bin itself should have some air holes in it. I used to drill lots of smaller holes in my bins, but have since switched over to cutting out fewer (but considerably larger) holes – as you can see in the image at the beginning of this article.
Ideally, your bin should sit someplace indoors. It is possible to keep plastic bin systems outside at certain times of the year, in certain locations – but once the weather gets really warm or cold, things can get a lot more challenging (impossible in many cases). We’ll talk more about effective outdoor systems in upcoming articles.
Adding worms to the system (a pound, or 2-3 bags of our “Composting Worm Mix” for a bin of the size mentioned earlier) is easy too. Simply create a small depression in your bedding, empty out the worm bag(s), and leave in a well-lit location for several hours. If at all possible, I would actually recommend leaving the bin in a location that has some light all the time – at least until the worms are well settled in. Euros, in particular, can be prone to wander early on.
...regular soil worms are NOT well suited for worm composting, and cannot be raised very easily in captivity?
Similarly, composting worms should NOT be released in your garden or on your lawn! Any supplier that tells you otherwise is simply trying to separate you from your hard-earned money.
If you want to learn more about how you CAN using composting worms in the garden - or about anything else relating to worm composting, please drop us a line anytime!
Thanks for stopping by!
Kyle & Jen
Hi, Kyle and Jen here. We have started up a small worm farming business, and we're really excited to start helping others get into raising worms (for fishing, worm composting, or even for profit). Thanks for stopping by!