My Worm Bin

April 15, 2007

I picked up my worms yesterday. I decided to buy 1 lb. of red wigglers for $45 CDN instead of 1/2 pound for $25 CDN. I bought them at the Ottawa Organic Market from The Worm Factory. Here’s how I got them home and happy.


  • 3 Rubbermaid Roughneck Totes, 37.9 L, 24 x 16 x 8 3/4″, with lids from Canadian Tire
  • 1 piece of bristol board with a 1/2″ piece cut off
  • tape measurer
  • Sharpie marke
  • double-sided tape
  • scissors
  • drill
  • 1/4″ Brad point bit
  • 1 lb red wiggler worms
  • 1 Ottawa Citizen newspaper
  • a spray bottle
  • a handful of used seedling soiless mix
  • 2 cups of chopped up vegetables and fruit: broccoli, avocado, green onion, green grapes, corn kernels, celery

The Holes:

I measured 1/2″ along the top of a piece of bristol board, drew a line and cut the strip off with a pair of scissors. I used it as a ruler to help guide me to make the dots on the bins. As I held the strip horizontally, I measured 1 1/2″ intervals along the top of the strip and marked it with the Sharpie. On the bottom, I indented the measurements by 3/4″ and then marked the 1 1/2″ intervals.

Using double-sided tape, I taped down the paper strip and put dots at all the measured intervals with the Sharpie.  Drill your holes using a 1/4″ Brad point bit.

The Bottom Bin

There are no holes on the bottom of this bin as it catches the leachate that drips down from the middle and top bins. The only holes in this bottom bin are drilled into the top 5″ of all four sides of the bin.

The Middle Bin

This is where the action first starts to happen. Initially, you only need to start off with two bins: the bottom and the middle bins. The bedding, worms, soil and rotted food go into the middle bin. As this bin fills up with worm castings (from the bottom to the top) you will eventually need to place the top bin on top of the middle bin. More on this later. The bottom holes of this bin allows air circulation from the side holes of the bottom bin. The middle bin has holes drilled into the bottom and the bottom 1″ of all four sides of the bin.

The Top Bin
After five or six months, depending on your feeding schedule and the voracity of your worms, you will need to place the top bin onto the now-filled middle bin. When you place this bin on top of the almost-full bin, take out any leftover compost from the top of the middle bin and put it in the bottom of the top bin. Make sure the top of the compost in the middle bin is smoothed over to ensure full contact between the bins. The worms will crawl through the holes of the bottom of the top bin and after a few weeks you can harvest the middle bin as it will not have as many worms in it. The top bin has holes drilled into it like the middle bin.

The Lid
The lid is comprised of two Roughtote lids, stacked on top of each other. The bottom lid had a 6″ x 12″ rectangle cut out of the top. Two wooden squares, made with 1″x2″ wood pieces, sandwich a fine mesh piece to cover this hole. This keeps out all the bugs and flies (if there are any). The top lid covers this meshed lid to keep out the light.

More Pictures

Here is my 1 lb of worms.

Can’t see them in the bag for all the shredded newspaper.

Here’s the middle bin nested in the bottom bin.

Shredding the newspaper by hand.

Spraying it with water.

Here’s the worm food.

Chopped up for easy consumption.

Add a handful of soiless seedling mix.

Add the worms.

There they go!

Spread the tasty worm food.

Cover them back up with a layer of moistened newspaper.

Put the lid on askew and place under a strong light in the basement. The light will stay on for a couple of days while the worms get used to their new home.

Check on them twice a day to see if there are any escapees. I had two worms in the bottom bin in the first two days. Just scoop them up and nestle them under the bedding in the middle bin.


One Response to “My Worm Bin”

  1. […] drill bit and eyeballed the holes about 2″ apart, way less precise than when I had first drilled the bins. I used a kitchen knife to cut off the sharp, excess plastic created from drilling the holes and […]

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