How to Compost: Build a Coffee Can Worm Composter
Make a simple, inexpensive flow-through indoor worm composter using coffee cans. Purchase red wiggler compost worms online.
Harvesting the worm castings is easy. Place the worm container in a large bucket and pour rainwater through it. Do this until it runs pretty clear. Not crystal clear but do try to get all the poo you can!
Run that liquid through a sieve to collect any worms or eggs that passed through.
This makes a great start to perfect worm tea. And you didn't have to pick worms out!
In this tiny coffee can, my worms made more than enough castings to mix up over 15 gallons of tea!
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You Will Need:
3 Plastic coffee cans with lids
Small (not tiny) Drill bit
8, one-inch long wooden dowel pieces
Stones (to weight lechate collector)
Drill holes in one coffee can lid.
Drill several holes in two of the coffee cans. Leave the third can intact. This can collects the lechate.
Add wooden dowels to the outer ring.Push the dowels snugly into the holes so they catch the sides of the can they are stacked on.
The dowels keep the cans from sliding off each other. I am using plastic screw anchors because I didn't have dowels handy.
Layer one drilled coffee can with worm bedding.
A suggestion is moist,
The addition of a sprinkle of healthy soil gives the worms food and helps to jump start the composting process.
Set the filled coffee can in the center of the three cans. This is where the worms go.
When the center can has been composted start adding bedding and food to the top can. The worms will go through the holes in the bottom of the can and into the fresh bedding /food.
Remove the moss balls from the finished compost. They contain lots of eggs. Place them in the new compost.
Sift the finished can to remove leftover worms and stray egg casings. Use the castings to make worm tea or add them directly to the garden or flowerpots.
These moss balls will be the preferred habitat for egg laying. Mine were literally speckled with eggs less than a week after I placed the worms in the container. They love moss and can be found in the balls every time I turn the bin.
The moss balls retain a good amount of moisture without getting sodden. If you're afraid of disease and pests, try boiling the moss for several minutes before adding it to the container.
Note the eggs in the moss ball. There are several eggs attached to the moss. They cling firmly and the entire moss ball can be removed and placed in fresh litter. My worms lay most of their eggs in the moss, not throughout the bedding and food.
Happy worms make lots of poop. These castings are just right for houseplants, aquarium plants and garden vegetables and fruits.