1.Start the worm-bed by
shredding 1-inch strips of newspaper,
to fill the container.
2.Soak the shredded strips of
newspapers with water.Squeeze
out the excess water and fluff-up the wet newspaper.Place the fluffed-up wet newspaper into the container.The container should be one-half to three-fourths full.
In a well lighted area or outside on a sunny day
empty the worms on top of the shredded newspaper (making sure the
light or sun is shining down on the box).The worms will quickly go down into the bedding material
because they don’t like the light. (If the area isn’t well
lighted the worms won’t go down into the bedding and they might
crawl out).Once they
go into the bedding they will start making their new home in the
bedding moist, but not wet, then;
4.Add a little soil over
the bedding material.Worms
need soil or sand to digest their food.Wait for about 7 days before adding other food to the worm
bed.The worms need
to become acclimated to their new environment for the first
What kind of container is best?
Almost any type of container can be used for housing worms.A medium sized worm box can process more than five pounds
of food waste each week.
You may already have what you need to make a worm-bed.My experience has proven that wood containers are best but
not necessary. Find an old wooden crate, a sturdy wooden box, a
plastic storage container with a top, even a wash basin or an old
toilet bowl will do.Whatever
you use, your worm box should be shallow.Red worms like to live near the surface where they can
A Container that is 12 to 18 inches in depth works well, depending
on the number of worms you start with two to three square feet of
surface area is best.
Usually one pound of
worms is enough to get started.One pound is between 800-1200 worms.
Your worm bed should also have a tight fitting lid and holes
drilled in the bottom for ventilation and drainage.
type of worm is best for vermicomposting?
Red Worms or (Eisenia fetida) are the best type of worm for
composting food waste.These
worms are surface worms and stay in the top 18 inches of the
soil. A CLOSED CONTAINER works well to confine the worms and and
keep the process going.
2. Worms are easy to care for but they require food, moisture,
oxygen, and a dark place to live.
3. Adult worms produce three cocoons a week and each cocoon will
contain at least three baby worms and sometimes ten or more.
4. Every three months the worms should be harvested or separated
from the castings.
What do you feed
one week you can start adding fruitor vegetable scraps
of any kind. Peelings or rinds from apples, avocado skins and
pits, banana peelings, berries, cantaloupe rinds, carrots,
(worms don’t like citrus as much as other fruits), cucumbers,
grapes, green beans, greens of any kind, lettuce leaves, melons
and melon rinds, onions, pears, pineapple, potatoes, tomatoes,
or, strawberries, etc.
also like brown and green leaves, small amounts of grass
clippings, straw, hay, yard trimmings, cow and horse manure,
rabbit droppings, peat moss, and even sawdust, wood chips and
mulch are great for Vermiculture.
worm bed should never smell sour. If it smells sour then add
calcium carbonate, crushed egg shells, dirt, sand, or more
newspaper.Usually if the bed smells sour it’s too wet.
love fruit and vegetable trimmings but their mouths are very
is a good idea to put the worm food in a blender to liquefy it.
The worms will be forever thankful.
Is there anything
you should not feed worms?
1.Do not feed the worms cat or dog poop because they eat meat products.
Do not feed them meat or dairy
dairy products like milk, cheese, eggs whites or yokes will sour
and attract rodents.Egg
shells are fine to crush and feed to the worms.
3. Don't Overfeed
a harmonious environment
The worm bed should be moist but not wet, fluffy not
compact. If the
environment is off balance they will migrate out of the
container to a more comfortable home. Also if they don't
like their food or it gets to acidic they will migrate out.
You can herd the worms like cows by placing food in different
locations in the worm-bed. So if you want to harvest the
worms from one area place food in a different location, the
worms will migrate to the area where food has been placed.
worms will migrate if the pHs balance is off. If the bed
is too wet, too acidic, too dry, too hot or too cold the worms
will migrate to a more comfortable area. I have seen them
migrate in mass numbers.
High tech worm-bed box
The high-tech worm-bed box was designed to provide a sustainable
living environment for the worms. It was designed using
recycled material for an environmental grand entitled, "Vermiculture
Composting Demonstration and Re-utilization Site at LandLab"
an environmental program at the California State Polytechnic
University, Pomona, California in 1994.
The design allows the life cycle process to regenerate as worms do
the work by pushing castings (wormpoop) and cocoons through the
screens to the ground below. When the cocoons hatch the life
cycle process begins regeneration in the soil beneath the
worm-bed. This life cycle is the process of things being born,
living, dying, and being reborn again.
Adding Vermicompost to soils aids in erosion control, promotes
soil fertility, and stimulates healthy development in
plants. This is nature's way of recycling and keeping the
earth in balance.
This worm-bed has four removable partitions for easy access for
feeding and harvesting. The bed is 36" high (about
waist level) this reduces stress on the back and legs from
bending. It allows the person working with the worms, to do
so with less effort. It also helps reduce the work load when
harvesting the worms.
To purchase the plans for this High-tech Worm-bed Box, worms, wormpoop,
grant research, as well as Adopt-a-Worm Observation Chamber and
other ideas go to the Shopping Cart.