What do I use for a red worm bin.

Written by Matthew on August 18th, 2010

What makes a good worm bin or worm composter? How do I construct a worm bin or farm? These are questions I get asked commonly. Well there are many good worm bins and worm farms on the market. Lets see here…

  • Can-O-Worms
  • Worm Factory
  • Worm Factory 360
  • Vermi-Hut
  • Best Worm Inn
  • Tumble Weed Worm Farm Inn
  • Gusanito Worm Farm
  • Worm Inn

And about a gazillion others. Most of these work well and are atractive and easy ways to keep worms. However, the truth of the matter is that worms don’t need a mansion. Haha, if I ever design a worm bin I think I have found a good name.

Introducing “The Worms Etc Worm Mansion”

Ok, just kidding. For real though the worms don’t care so much so you simply need a container that is a manageable size. Be practical here. Remember that it will get heavy as time goes on so you don’t want anything bigger than you can handle. Sides about a foot deep are ideal, but anything between 6-24″ works. An ideal container is a 15 gallon rubbermaid tote. “Wally-world” carries these. Red wiggler worms typically only use the top 6″ and surface area allows for air to penetrate the worm bin so wide and long is better that a deep container.

I know many people that have gone through lots of trouble to cut holes and then patch over with screen and then mount a container below and tons of work. This is great is you want to take the time and have the skills and tools to do that, but I find that as long as you are careful and don’t over-water and feed the worm bins this is not necessary. Drilling some small holes to allow water drainage and aeration is helpful.

All in all keep it simple. The whole beauty of worm composting is its simplicity. Try and reuse a container that is otherwise going to end up as trash. Try and be creative, get the kids involved and see if they can think something up that maybe you didn’t think of. Most of all let it be fun!

 

8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Wendy says:

    Hi Matthew,
    Just found your site. Thanks for all the great info! I’ve been worm composting for a few years and loving it!

    A friend was asking about worm composting, so I wanted to find a good site that would answer questions. I’m sending her yours. Thanks for being a resource!

    Thanks also for emphasizing simplicity. I love my Rubbermaid bin. :)

    Wendy

  2. ray says:

    if i use the rubbermaid totes for a bin, what temperatures do i need to protect the worms from

    thnx
    ray

  3. Matthew says:

    Keep them between 32 and 85 and they will survive. Closer to 70 the better.

  4. Greg says:

    Hi Matthew,
    What is the ratio of bedding to food in a worm factory 360? I’m wondering if I’m giving them enough bedding. I lay moistened newspaper on top of the trays. Enjoy your site. Thanks.
    Greg

  5. Matthew says:

    The more bedding the merrier for sure. I am not sure of an exact amount and that is likely to depend upon what you are feeding them. Usually about 50/50 works well, but many people use a lot less.

  6. Mike Spieth says:

    I have 2 55 gal drums with my 2000 worms in. The drums contain 1/2 topsoil and 1/4 cow manuer. Our temps here in Indaian can drop to 10 below. What conserns do I have and do you have any ideas? I was thinking about digging a hole 6’wide, 4′ long and about 4′ deep. Placing a garden cloth through out the hole and filling it with the dirt and worms. Will this work? Thanks for your time. Mike

  7. Matthew says:

    Yeah that should work ok, Worms only feed on top 12″ often times, so not much need to make it deeper than that with the exception that they will bury deeper to avoid freezing. So I would suggest making deep enough to get below the frost line. When you feed them in the future you can a a few inches of pure manure on top at a time, as the topsoil is not necessary for composting worms. Now this is only if you are using a true compost worm.

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