Producing Worm Castings for Your Garden
First and foremost determine the size of the garden you wish to work. This will determine the size and
number of worm composting bin(s) you will need. The more bins you use the more castings you will produce.
Over a period of two to six
months 1 -2 pounds of composting worms for use in flower pots or a small garden area of 4 ft x 8 ft can be furnished with
worm castings and compost using a converted plastic tub, barrels cut in half lengthwise or one of many commercial worm bins
These bins should be set up with bedding of any combination
of peat moss, soil, shredded organic kitchen scraps (no meat or dairy products), paper, cardboard, essentially any biodegradable
material can be composted using worms. The smaller the bin, the more time you will have to spend monitoring and maintaining
the bed, being especially aware of the food & moisture levels as well as quantity of worms appropriate for the space provided.
(If you crowd the worms they will not grow and reproduce well.)
gardens will require much larger worm beds to be maintained. We recommend building 4X4 or 4x8 beds using inexpensive and easily
obtained materials such as landscaping timbers, cement blocks, metal siding, old bathtubs, wood pallets, old freezers or refrigerators;
essentially any material that can “contain” the worms. Ideally you want your bed to be at LEAST 12” deep.
If you have your beds on the ground you do not need to line the bottom. However, if your area is prone to nuisance critters
like moles or armadillos, you may wish to use a plastic or metal screen on the bottom of your beds.
The bed should be started with any materials readily available like composted yard waste (that has "cooled down"),
leaves, small branches, shredded paper and/or peat moss; halving with an access to animal manures – sheep, cat, dog,
rabbit, cow, horse is ideal. (Be certain that they have NOT been WORMED recently.)The moisture level should be 70 –
80%. This is especially important to monitor on outside beds. An easy test is to pick up a handful and squeeze with the strength
of a good firm handshake – ONE- TWO drops of water should come out. NO more, No less!
We suggest you use at least
3-4 separate bins. You will have a “spare” to work from should you be invaded with ants or have other problems
with a bed. Four bins work well, allowing 1 each for: “new waste” to allow it to break down; the second bin for
it to break down 3-6 months introducing an additional 3-5#’s worms and allow another few months to let the worms create
the soil you want; the third bin then becomes the first bin with new material and yard waste. As the worms work the compost
you can transfer from one bin to another to start the process over again.
We are often asked “how
many worms do I need?”
The best answer is “When
do you want to begin using the composted soil ?”
· The more worms you start with the quicker the process will work.
will double or triple their population in 90-120 days if all the conditions are RIGHT.
· The bigger the garden area you have the bigger the worm beds need to be to support it.
· All worms will compost, but the larger the worms, the more they will
*************If your worms are crawling out
of your beds or dying off, it's not the worms' fault, there is something wrong with your beds. The most common errors are:
over feeding (inviting ants and/or flies), moisture levels too high or low, bed is over populated, temperatures are extreme
hot or cold.
Should you have any questions we are always
happy to help.