Quality organic compost worms are important to us, why?
So how does it work?
Use Woodchips for your Worm Bin
A great alternative to coconut husks and cardboard
Woodchips in your Worm Bin
This video shows my Compost Worm Setup. I have a 55 gallon plastic drum, covered with plywood & a hole on the bottom. The compost worms are covered with cardboard to keep the moisture in. I just added several inches of woodchips that have been aged for over a year. Over the summer it has proven to be a great way to keep the compost worms hydrated & a great alternative to cardboard.
You bought worms, now what?
Worm Bin Placement
Your worms should be in a rodent proof container that allows liquid to drain through the bottom. I have used plastic totes with drilled holes in the bottom, a plastic blue 55 gallon barrel cut in half with plywood covering the top & a drain on one end. What ever you use, place the bin in a well shaded part of your yard or in a cabinet. Compost worms do not like the sun!
What Do They Eat?
You can feed your compost worms just about anything. They love cardboard / shredded paper (soak with water before putting in bin), coffee grounds, vegetables, tomatoes, banana peels, etc. You do not want to feed them citrus, oils / fats, dairy, meat (because raccoons or critters might come).
Compost worms are very low maintenance here is my year round routine in Seattle. During the winter, I make sure they have plenty of bedding material (I use composted chicken coop wood chips). You can use shredded paper, newspaper (don't use shiny magazine paper).You should monitor the bin bi-weekly to make sure the material is not too dry / wet. Occasionally in the summer I do a quick watering.
Once the material you put in the worm bin has been consumed, it should turn to a black compost and smell like soil. A great way to harvest is to put food on one end of your bin so that the worms will migrate away from the compost.
Compost tea is a liquid fertilizer utilizing compost worm vermicompost in an aeration water container. It maximizes the beneficial microbes in which you can water plants. It can be as simple as putting some vermicompost in a 5 gallon bucket with aeration stones for a few hours.
Garden Top Dressing
A great organic fertilizer for your garden is using the compost worm vermicompost. In Seattle I use the vermicompost for plant containers, and my garden beds. I will sprinkle vermicompost around my plants and cover with a wood chip mulch. It is a great addition to the soil and will feed your plants.
How to raise Compost Worms In Seattle Video.
Compost Worm Products
I've used the Worm Factory worm bin in the past, it is easy to assemble, and upkeep. It has 4 trays that are stack-able. You put the newest material on the top tray, worms migrate up through the stack and then you can remove the new compost from the lower tray. The worm juice also collects at the bottom, which you can create some compost tea or spread around the garden.
If you want a great material for the worm bedding, you can use coconut husks. I would recommend to get them a little damp before putting in your worm bin. The worms love to utilize this material for bedding.