The wind kicked up on my day off  so I am tending to things indoors.  No problem: I have my indoor projects to fuss over. The seeds that I started under lights and in the AeroGrow are doing well.

Four dahlias sprouted. Dahlias are one of my favorite flowers, and previously I planted them using expensive tubers. What a joy to find that seeds sprout nicely.

The most fun, though, is my newest project: the worm farm in my downstairs bathtub. I ordered a bag of 1000 red wigglers from Amazon.  Red wigglers are the premier composting worm. They reduce all kitchen scraps to high quality, balanced fertilizer. It’s okay to put them in an outdoor compost pile when the weather is more stable; however many people simply create indoor bins with lots of bedding. The worms thrive.

I read about worm farming online, and I have a Kindle book. It is easy and inexpensive. Below is an explanation of how I set up my worm bins.

Step One: Buy bins. I  selected 10 gal plastic bins. Do not use clear plastic bins! I purchased four bins for approx $5 each. To get started I used two of the bins and all four lids. The other two bins will rotate in when the others need cleaning.

Step Two: Drill holes in bins around the top edge,  on the bottom, and on two of the lids  (about 15 evenly spaced around the bottom and lid, about every 1 inch or so around the rim.You can see the drill holes in the following 3 photos.

Rim Holes

Bottom holes

Lid holes

Step Three: Fill about 3/4 full with bedding. I used shredded mail and misc paper.

Dry bedding

Step Four: Sprinkle dry bedding with water and add 2 cups  soil (worms need the grit to digest properly). I also added 2 cups dry grass.

Adding moisture using watering can

Soil and dry grass ready to go into bins.

Step Five: Add about 1 cup of kitchen scraps (no animal products like meat or dairy) in each bin, mix up

Bins with soil, dry grass and kitchen scraps

Step Six: The fun begins!  Open the box of worms and add 1/2 to each bin (place on top).

Shipping box

Worms in bag of peat moss

Worms on top of bedding (they are not too photogenic)

Step Six: Put the extra two lids (no holes) in the bathtub (or wherever). They act as drip trays.  Place bricks on top to keep bins elevated (air flow is critical). Put bins on top of bricks, snap lids with holes on top!

Lids without drill holes in bottom of tub, bricks on top

Finished worm bins in the tub, resting on bricks

Step Seven: Open lids and are check on worms after a few hours. If any are trying to escape, leave the lids off and turn on the room lights. Worms move away from the lights. Once they get settled into the bedding and have proper moisture, food and air, they won’t try to get out….this is a first class worm resort.

Step Eight: Maintenance. I check on them every few days. I will add food scraps every 4-5 days and check moisture level.  If it seems dry I will sprinkle on more water.I could put them in the garage, but their optimal temperature range is only 50-70 degrees, so it seems easier to keep them in the tub year round, right near the kitchen.

Step Nine: Harvest From my research, I understand that in a few months all of that bedding and the scraps will be recycled into garden gold. I will keep you posted.

Other tips:

  • Do not set up the beds on your kitchen floor like I did. It was a watery mess when I was done. I let it all dry overnight and then swept everything up.
  • Read as much as you can before starting (search terms: vermiculture, worm farming, red wigglers, worm composting, vermicomposting
  • There is no smell from all this…worms do a great job. However, over watering and overfeeding would lead to rot and odors. The key to success is finding that balance.
  • Red wigglers are supposed to be excellent fishing worms too! I hope this worm farm will also improve my fishing success.

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