Vermiculture Basics to start a Worm Bin

Setting Up:

Begin with 6” of bedding and 1” layer of feedstock (don’t cover entire surface), cover with more bedding and moisten. Adding 1-2 handfuls of soil is OK but not mandatory. Add 1-2 lbs of wigglers to 1 square foot of surface area of bin. This means square foot of SURFACE area, not depth.

Worms/New Bed/New Environment:

Worms are definitely Not Hungry in the beginning. Leave a light on the first few days to keep them contained in their new bin, preventing escapees. WAIT until feedstock is eaten before adding more. Worms will continue to move upward as more feedstock is added.


Lots of food in bin will heat up the bed.

Ammonia is most deadly to the worms from Chicken manure.

Salt is deadly from Swine manure.

Foodstocks can be high in salt. DO NOT add salty food.

Do not compost higher than 3 feet as the bedding will get too hot.

Ideal Environment:

Water frequently and lightly or mist top layer. Maintain moisture at 60-90%

Worms should have moist, glistening skin

Temperature range is 55-83 degrees F

Worm Bin should Not stink. Healthy bin will smell like the forest, clean and earthy soil….Wonderful.