Part of my worm bin composter is finished. This really is a very simple project that anyone can do at home. To complete this part of the composter it only took about 30 minutes which also included the time to gather the materials and to put them away. Since the weather outside this week is terribly cold this makes a good indoor project to help ease that gardening itch.
I found the basic idea at the Washington State University Extension service. Their site demonstrates a two tray compost bin but if you look the commercially available worm compostering systems have 3-5 expandable sections. I decided to start small and I prepared three plastic containers. The total cost of these was around $15-$18. Your cost may vary due to your local taxes, our sales tax in TN is higher than most.
I followed the instructions and used a 1/4 inch bit to drill about 20 holes in the bottom of the three containers. This was easy work but tedious when you consider that I drilled somewhere around 60 holes between the three boxes.
The next step was to take a 1/16 inch bit and drill in air holes around the tops of the containers. Just like us the worms have to breathe! I drilled two rows of air holes along the top. I wasn't sure how many to holes to make. In the end I probably drilled 30 or more air holes on each side of the containers.
The last step in this part of the process was ventilating the top lid. I used the 1/16 inch size bit and drill a bunch of holes. Bunch is a technical term that really means "I have no clue since I didn't count but it seemed like a lot."
Here's how they will fit together. One bin on top of the other. These particular containers will hold up to 10 gallons of compost and worms. Once the worms finish with the yummy compost in the bottom bin they will work their way up to the next bin by traveling through the 1/4 inch holes. Then I can remove the bottom container and allow the second bin to take its place. Each week to week and a half our family produces enough green compostable kitchen scraps to fill a 3 gallon nursery pot. I'll give the worms what we can then put the rest in our backyard compost bin.
I need to rig up a way to catch the liquid runoff from the worm bin. That will be my next project with the worm bin but it will have to wait until warmer weather. The garage is just too cold to work in right now!
Of course you could always try the store bought worm bins but the homemade kind will definitely save you money and should be just as effective!
Labels: compost, vermicomposting