I have always been fascinated by how nature recycles and how worms are so crucial for the ecosystem. Worms eat food scraps, help decompose organic matter, and make excellent fertilizer!
We at Simple Grow want to share our knowledge on how to create a worm bin with you. The first step is finding the right spot for your worm bin - it should be in an area that won't get too much direct sunlight or wind, so they stay healthy. You can also use straw bedding like hay to keep them happy!
What Is A Worm Bin And How Does It Work?
A worm bin is a type of composting system that uses worms to break down organic matter. It's also known as vermicompost or "worm poop."
Worms are essential for the ecosystem, and they're excellent at breaking down food scraps! They will eat your leftovers and turn them into fertilizer in just two weeks - no need to worry about any smells because this process happens underground.
By the way, if you have noticed that worms are dying in your soil, find out why.
Why Should You Have A Worm Bin At Your Home
It would be best if you had a worm bin because it will allow you to take care of food waste and keep your soil prosperous. Plus, if you're into sustainability or organic gardening, this is the perfect solution for you! It's also effortless to maintain; all you need are some worms and an air-tight container - that could be anything from an old plastic tub with holes in the bottom (or not) or cover part of your yard with hay.
How To Make A Worm Bin: Supplies You'll Need And How To Keep Them Healthy.
The first step is finding the right spot for your worm bin. You'll need two 20 gallon containers that you're going to drill holes in the bottom of (you can use a hammer and nail or just your hands). The lid should be able to fit on top. Fill one with the soil, food scraps, coffee grounds, and worms from your garden if possible. Add water until it's moist but not too wet - then put the second container upside down on top, so they're both air-tight.
Where To Keep Your Worm Bin: Where Should You Put It And How Long Should They Be Left There?
Now comes keeping them healthy! Start by putting some greens into their new home for them to eat; this will help with digestion and give off castings that are rich in nutrients for plants. Next, you'll need to keep the soil moist but not too wet. You can either dump a cup of water in it every couple of days or use it more frequently and empty any excess, like how you would with pots for plants.
You should also rinse off your worms occasionally to make sure they don't get sick from being covered in food scraps all day long! There are two ways: if there's enough room on top of their container, pour some water down into them so that their mess is flushed away without having to remove them - this way will have less chance of stressing them as well. If there isn't enough space available, take apart the containers (carefully!) and pour clean water over each one until everything is soaked through; use a spray bottle or something to get the inside of their bin nice and wet.
The second thing you should do is feed them some more: any vegetable matter will be enough for your primary worm population, although if they're eating it faster than you can provide, then try adding in apples (or other fruit). You could also let them eat an entire apple; just cut it up into pieces and put one at the bottom of each container - don't worry about how long this takes; they'll always find a way to get there eventually!
When harvesting compost from these bins, start by looking around for worms. They like hanging out near the top, so use a small cup with a lid as tongs to scoop them up after making sure to spray the bin with water to get them moving. They'll go towards the light, so you want a dark place for them, and they don't like being near their poop either.
The way to get rid of all these worms is by putting them on some soil in your garden area or even just an empty container filled with dirt (make sure not to add any worm food). The worms will start eating again and eventually die off; this takes about ten days but can be sped up if there's less organic material inside their new home.
Supplies: dirt, potting soil, composting materials (vegetables), apple slices/apple core, water hose, brush
Where to keep it: in basement/garage or on the porch
Make sure it isn't a famine: put out worm food every five days- vegetables like cucumbers, lettuce, and carrots. Keep the bin moist by spraying with water often. Use tongs to scoop worms into the cup before dumping them outside.
Making Sure It's Healthy: use fresh dirt when adding new organic material; spray with water more than once a day; don't eat worms from your castings! (unless you want terrible stomach aches)
Different Types Of Worms That Are Best For A Worm Bin?
Red wiggler worms are the best for a worm bin.
How to remove them: every three months, use tongs and dump into a cup, then take outside- make sure you have some food in your hand so they won't be tempted to come back!
What To Feed Your Worms: vegetables like cucumbers, lettuce, and carrots; apples (don't feed too many at once, or it will rot)
If The Bin Is Alive And Healthy, It Should Look Like This: dirt with little lumps of compost scattered about; red worms writhing around on top of castings as if they're looking for more food.
And if there's less organic material inside their new home? If this happens, just put out more food for them!
How to make sure your worm bin is healthy:
-check the food inside of it and assess how much it has; add more if you need to, make sure not too many apples at once, or they will rot.
-add water every week (or else their castings will be stiff)
-remove any "dead" worms that happened to have fallen out while you were checking on your worm bin
How do I keep my worms alive? You can feed them vegetables like cucumbers, lettuce, and carrots as well as an apple - but don't overfeed either. Ensure there's a good amount of organic material in their new home because, without enough dirt and compost, your worms will die.
How big should my worm bin be? A six-to-eight-inch deep, three feet long, and two to the four-foot-wide container is a good size for most households with lots of yard waste. They can't eat pet feces - only vegetable scraps or other food given by their human friends.
What do I put in the bottom of my new worm bin? The first thing you want to add after choosing an appropriate container (see above) is some newspaper pieces that have been soaked overnight in water. This helps make sure the bedding stays damp and provides more surface area for composting worms that need oxygen! You also might want to cover it up with dirt before adding any organic material, so worms don't find their way into your bedding.
For how long do I keep my worms in the bin? As a general rule, you should harvest your compost every two to three weeks to start decomposing and releasing methane gas which is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide! After that, keep adding organic material as needed until there's only about an inch or less of space left on top.
How often do I remove my worm castings from the bin? If using kitchen waste, then once every few days will be sufficient. Still, if using lawn clippings, they need to be removed weekly because these tend to have more leaves where bacteria can live without oxygen and produce smelly ammonia fumes.
What are some other things I should know about my worm bin?
- Don't let the castings get so wet that they start to smother themselves and rot.
- You might want to put a cover on your bin if you're keeping it outside because this will help retain moisture in the bedding, keep out pests such as raccoons, rats, or opossums and release heat from decomposition more slowly. However, if you live where winters are cold, put some straw over your compost pile for insulation.
- Worms don't like sudden temperature changes (e.g., coming straight from freezing outdoors), so be sure not to store them under heated floors or leave them outside overnight during winter months when temperatures drop below 40°F/0°C.
- Worms need oxygen, so if you're keeping them outside or in a basement where fresh air doesn't circulate well, then consider getting an aquarium pump or light misting bottle to keep the bedding moist and provide some ventilation.
- In case of too much moisture build-up (e.g., from heavy rains), worms can drown, so be sure not to mulch your worm bin with plastic bags, which will act like water pools above ground level. You may want to place bricks on top of the open side of your containers for this reason as well - especially if you live in areas near sea level that are prone to flooding during winter storms.
- You have to remove the worms before you can harvest their castings. This is done by placing a layer of newspaper or cardboard on top of your bedding and then using a bucket and scraping out with either hands or spoons until all the worms are removed.
There is a lot that goes into starting and maintaining a worm bin. You have to ask yourself if the benefits outweigh the amount of work it will take to have an operating worm bin successfully. They are amazing creatures and can do amazing things for humans, animals, and other plants!