Helping The Planet: Backyard Food Composting # 1

Many food scraps can be composted right in your backyard with Worm Composting in a home made bin.

Worms turn kitchen scraps into high-quality compost for your garden. Worm compost, also called vermicompost is rich, so you can use less than regular compost. Build a worm bin or buy one locally at some nurseries and garden centers, find one online, or make your own worm bin out of a large plastic tub.

To make a worm bin:

  1. Buy a tub with tight-fitting lid.
  2. Make small air holes in the sides using an ice pick or small drill.
  3. Drill small holes in the bottom for drainage.
  4. Add shredded newspaper, kitchen scraps, and worms.
  5. Learn how to manage your worm bin

Plastic storage bins make great worm bins!  Ultraviolet light is toxic to worms, so bins should be made from an opaque material.  Bins should be 8-14 inches deep and have a snug fitting lid to keep out rodents.  Drill 1/4 inch holes in the bottom and sides, 5-7 inches apart, to provide ventilation and drainage. If you are using a utility knife to make holes, cut out triangles ¼ inch or smaller.

bin1The rule of thumb for bin size is one square foot of surface area per pound of food wastes generated each week.  Plastic bins keep compost moist.  Add a layer of shredded paper or spent hay  after each feeding to keep the bin from getting too moist. Add water when needed but not too much.

Sources for Worms and Worm Bins

You can buy worms online at a good cost. AESL will have more information on how to build and or buy a variety of systems in future articles. Be sure and sign up for free articles sent via e-mail on all these subjects.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

August 24, 2009 at 04:08 PM

Thank you!!! We have been wanting to do one of these and now we know how.

August 24, 2009 at 06:08 PM
– In reply to: jagrm


We will have more info. later but compost is easy to make.

August 24, 2009 at 06:08 PM

Can I use any type of worm?I I was thinking I could put my boys to work and have them dig up a few earth worms from the backyard-

August 24, 2009 at 06:08 PM
– In reply to: melysa

Yes but red worms are best, I got some if you need some.

May 04, 2012 at 06:05 AM

Thank you for the instructions! Now I can start working on my own worm bin.

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