By Priya Agarwal
So, you’re considering starting a worm farm in a brand-new worm bin. What do you need to know before you start? We’ll cover the basics quickly in this article, so you know what you don’t know!
Getting a worm bin
There are many types of worm bins available out there, and you can always make one yourself, but we recommend keeping it simple and going with something lightweight and user-friendly like the Worm Bucket. You can find out more about our product by visiting our Home page.
You should be able to buy worms online or locally, but if you have a large garden or outdoor space, you can also try what’s known as worm grunting, to get your own worms for free! Click this link to learn more about grunting, and to find out how it’s done.
As a beginner, a pound of worms should be more than enough. You don’t want to overdo it because then the worms might get overcrowded and die due to poor airflow and/or drainage.
You need to provide bedding, so your worms have a carbon-rich, moisture absorbent material to live in. You can use clothing scraps, shredded paper, coconut coir, cardboard pieces, aged compost, wood shavings, straw, dried leaves, soil, and anything else that’s high in carbon and biodegradable. If it qualifies as a ‘brown’ for your compost pile, chances are you can use it.
Change their bedding every few months or when you harvest the castings – your worms will appreciate it. For tips on harvesting, check out this link.
Feeding your worms
Now, let’s talk about the most important step, which is feeding. You can give your worms kitchen scraps, any uncooked food, bedding materials, and more. Just toss in some food as and when you have it, making sure your worms always have something to munch on. A pound of worms can work their way through half a pound of food every day.
Don’t give your worms oil, cooked food, citrus and any animal products (dairy, eggs, meat, bones), or you risk stinking up the bin. Check out this article for a full list of foods to avoid.
Drainage and ventilation
If you purchase a worm bin, ideally, it should take care of drainage and ventilation for you. The Worm Bucket, for instance, has an outer drainage bucket with a spigot, and escape-proof ventilation holes, so your worms have plenty of fresh air, but they can’t escape the bucket.
If you’re making your own worm bin, you will need to make sure these two conditions are met, or you risk having a stinky mess on your hands.
Here are some more tips for keeping your worms happy, healthy and productive:
Keep the worm bin indoors where the temperature is ideal
- Place the bin somewhere dark but well-ventilated (such as under a cabinet or table)
- Avoid overfeeding your worms, or giving them too much of the same thing
- Stop feeding them for a couple days before you harvest the castings
- Moisten your browns before you give them to your worms, and drain the bin as needed
These were the basics of worm farming. Now you know what you need to learn further about. Our blog is an excellent resource for getting started – it has lots of bite-sized articles that cover everything from basics to how tos, dos and donts, and FAQs.