How to start composting indoor worms
Composting worms is one such idea that’s been around for centuries, but for many home gardeners, it’s a new concept. For more information on composting worms, check out our friends’ website at www.redwormfarms.com. This article will specifically show you how to get started with indoor worm composting. The worms speed up the composting process and it’s easy to start indoors.
The worms eat leftover food, which turns into compost when they pass through the worm’s body. This nutrient-rich compost is harvested and used as food for plants. The process recycles food waste, improves soil structure, and promotes plant growth and production.
Learn how to start an indoor worm composting system in your home to help your garden grow better.
Use 2 containers
You will need 2 containers for the worm composting – one to hold the worms and the other to hold a nutrient-rich liquid that drains from the worm compost.
The lower container should be shallow and larger than the upper container. The smaller container will be placed inside the larger container. A lid is not needed for the lower container, but you will need a lid for the upper container.
Two plastic bins are often used to hold worms and their liquid “worm tea”. Recycling used bins or similar containers for indoor worm composting will be ideal.
Prepare the containers
Drill a hole 1 inch to 2 inches from the top of the uppermost container on each side for air circulation. Drill four 1/8 inch holes near the bottom corners of the container to allow liquids to drain.
Cover each hole on the outside of the container with a piece of vinyl shielding and glue in place with waterproof glue. Let the glue dry completely before continuing.
Place the taller container inside the shorter container. Do not drill holes in the shorter container.
Tear small strips of newspaper (black and white printing only) and cover the bottom 3 inches of the larger container.
Sprinkle 1 pound of soil on top of the newspaper. It can be potting soil or garden dirt, as long as it is chemical-free.
Sprinkle water on top and mix the ingredients. Newsprint and the floor should be damp, but not soggy.
Add worms. Do not feed the worms for 2 days so that they can adapt to their new environment.
Feed the worms
Store leftover fruits and vegetables in a small, lidded container and feed the worms once a week. Save any leftover food, such as leftover vegetables and fruit, bread, tea bags, coffee grounds, and cereals, and place them in the container. All food waste is good for worms with the exception of dairy, fatty and meat products.
Once a week, pop the lid off the top container and create a hole in the center of the worm compost with a garden trowel. Place a handful of shredded newspaper in the hole then place any food scraps on top of the newspaper.
Cover any leftover food with more dirt to prevent odors. Do this weekly until the container is full of worm compost.
Using Worm Compost
When the container is almost full of worm compost, start feeding the worms on one side of the container rather than in the center. This will attract the worm to that end of the container, so harvesting the worm compost will be easier.
When the worms are on one side (about 2 weeks), harvest the compost from the other side of the container and use it to feed indoor or outdoor plants. Sprinkle the worm compost on the soil to give the plants an organic, nutrient-dense meal.
The “worm tea” that collects in the lower container can be harvested and used at any time. Use full strength worm tea on outdoor food plants, dilute worm tea with water at a 50/50 ratio to feed houseplants.