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How to Make Compost with Worms

Updated on August 31, 2012

the wormbox

Worms ate my garbage, is what you will be able to say when you put a worm composter in your kitchen. Worm composting or vermiculture is an ideal way to dispose of kitchen vegetable matter, that you would otherwise toss in the garbage. Or if you recycle, an indoor compost box can save you a trip into your backyard on those cold winter or rainy nights.

An indoor worm composting bin will turn your kitchen scraps into odour free nutrient rich organic material that you can use in your garden or in small amounts add now and then to your houseplants.

You can buy a ready made composter or build one. To build your own you will need, a wormbox, redworms, bedding material and kitchen scraps.


You can use a wooden or plastic garbage can or storage box. Be sure to drill 3 holes (1/4”) in the bottom for drainage. As the worms eat your garbage, moisture is produced so you will need to place a container to catch this liquid, or one morning you will find an unpleasant puddle needing your attention.

This liquid is great for your houseplants so do not toss it away.

Cover the drainage holes with small rocks or gravel, about one inch of gravel at the bottom of the box will do the trick. Cover the gravel with a screen.

Moisten the bedding material. This can be shredded leaves, sawdust, newspapers or peat moss and fill the box about 2/3 full. You can add a ½ cup of finished compost to speed the process along at this point, if you wish.

Now it is time to add the worms which you can order from a number of sources. Red worms are what you need not earthworms. There are a number of good online red worm suppliers out there, and if you do not want to build your own composter they can sell you worms and worm bins.

Cucumber peel, melon rinds, lettuce and coffee grounds are favourite foods.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to bury the scraps in the bedding in order to avid attracting fruit flies.

Over time the bedding will disappear, and the box will become full of worm castings. You can harvest the casting by placing fresh bedding and fresh scraps in just one spot, and when the worms move in you can remove some of the castings, which you can then use on your houseplants or out in your garden.

Be sure to keep the wormbox 2/3 full and your worms and your plants will be very happy.

setting up a composter

worm composting

making a bin


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    and a good book it is.

  • johnr54 profile image

    Joanie Ruppel 9 years ago from Texas

    "Worms Eat my Garbage" is actually the title of one of the classic books on composting. Composting with worms is cool because you can do it year round indoors if you want, putting a Can o Worms in the kitchen is not uncommon.