Step 2 in How to Vermicompost
How to Make a Vermicompost Bin
Any sturdy container can be used to vermicompost, as long as it is chemical free. Rubbermaid type storage bins (usually 18-27 gallon size) are probably the most commonly used, and work great. Other possibilities include Styrofoam, wood or metal boxes. Wood is certainly the most "green" material. Keep in mind, however, that wood will eventually rot, and it is heavier to move around.
If your container doesn't come with a lid, you can use a burlap sack just as easily, and you won't need to drill air holes.
1. Clean the container, if needed.
2. If using a fitted lid for the container, you will need to drill air holes. Drill two or three rows of 1/8 inch holes for ventilation. The holes should be 1 to 2 inches apart, around the perimeter of the bin, starting about 3 inches from the top.
Note: Worms need air to live and do their work. If they don't get enough oxygen, they will be sluggish.
3. Following the same guidelines for #2 above, drill holes around the perimeter of the lid (if using one).
4. Drill about a half dozen holes in the bottom of the vermicompost bin (near the center) 2 inches apart. (These are for drainage.)
5. Cut a piece of cardboard (can be part of an old box) to cover the bottom of the vermicompost bin. Lay it down inside. This will slow drainage and help retain moisture. (Moisture is critical for the health of vermicompost worms.)
Note: The cardboard will eventually disintegrate and be eaten by the worms.
Note: Elevate the bin at least a few inches off the floor, to allow drainage and ventilation. We suggest either:
A. Place the bin on top of five gallon buckets (with the bucket beneath the drainage holes). The buckets will offer enough support, and will collect the "compost tea" that occasionally drains out.
B. Place the bin on top of concrete blocks or bricks. Place a small bucket underneath the drainage holes to capture the "compost tea."
Other things to think about:
- The larger the container, the more compost you can produce in each batch. (However, there's no need for bins deeper than 24".) Worms are surface feeders and don't usually burrow any deeper than 20".
- Worms are sensitive to light. So, the lid should block out as much light as possible. (They'll come to the top to feed less, if the light bothers them. This will slow down the composting process.)
- Larger bins can be quite heavy when full of vermicompost. Consider this when choosing your container size, or else harvest the compost before the bin gets too heavy.
Next: See - How to Vermicompost - Step 3
Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.