Wondering how to start composting at home? To begin your worm composting activity, you will require a worm bin, bedding and food to be placed inside the worm bin, and of course composting worms like the blue worms (Perionyx excavates). Worm bins can be purchased or you may want to experiment making it yourself. Bedding and food can be made simply with old shredded newspapers and other organic materials like cardboxes, office paper, toilet rolls, peat moss, dead hair, old vegetables and leaves, fruit scraps, crushed egg shells, tea bags, coffee grind and manure from grass and plant eating animals like cow, horses and goats. Compost worms can be purchased at your local worm breeder, or at some gardening nurseries.
There are many worm bins currently in the market that are specially made for worm composting. Such systems are the Can-O-Worms worm bin which is by far the most professional and popular system among home owners. There is also the VermiHut worm bin which essentially does the same job of housing the compost worms and its castings, but is much smaller and more suitable for small home owners who have less daily waste.
The Can-O-Worms worm bin is the most recommended system for home worm composting. Made of plastic, it is light, compact, neat and large enough for a family’s daily produce. It is also odorless which means that it is suitable for both indoors in apartments as well as outdoors for houses with a garden or backyard. This system consists of rings which are stacked on one another. Start by putting the composting worms and its food in the lower section, gradually moving up when each section is full. The active worms will eat its way up to the top, leaving its nutrient rich castings at the bottom, thus making it easy to harvest the castings for use as fertilizers. There is also a tap at the bottom for you to collect the leachate easily, which is excellent for use on plants. Each Can-O-Worms worm bin can easily house thousands of worms (4-6lbs), even more if used optimally.
Many garden enthusiasts create their own worm bins at the start. Worm bins can be made from your normal plastic container or home Tupperware, basically any pail or container big enough for you. For outdoor gardens, you may want to create a worm bin from treated wood as it can absorb moisture better than containers, making the environment better for worms to live and feed in. If you want to start with your own containers, drill plenty of holes around the worm bin to provide sufficient air flow. Compost worms are like any living organism, requiring oxygen and food to survive. Drill the base of the container too so that leachate can be collected at the bottom with a tray, to be used as a plant spray or fertilizer.
The amount of worm population your worm bin can support is about 1lb (450g) of worms to square foot of surface area. The depth of the worm bin is usually irrelevant because compost worms are surface dwellers and tend to live and feed near the surface. However, you should of course ensure that the worm bin is sufficiently deep to give the worms room to burrow in, especially since they shun light. A deeper worm bin also means that you can store more worm castings before you harvest them for your gardening use.