DIY Worm Bin- the frugal way


Being big fans of composting, our next step was to add worms.  I was looking at worm bins on Amazon and was saddened to see the high prices.  Not wanting to pay an exuberant amount of money for a home for worms, I decided to see if there was a frugal solution on Pinterest.  I was not disappointed!  This whole worm set up cost under $15 (not including the worms themselves).  I bought three small tote bins and drilled drain/air holes in the bottom and top sides.  I put a good layer of shredded newspaper in the bottom of one bin for the worms to start out in.  The newspaper needs to be damp for the worms.  Not dry and not soaking, but damp like garden soil is deep down.  I ordered worms online and after they were shipped to Texas first, they finally were forwarded to Arkansas.  When I opened the package of worms, I was dismayed to see a whole bunch of dried up dead ones.  Thankfully once I unwrapped the layers I found the majority were still alive.  The live worms went straight into the bin with the damp newspaper.  I then covered them up with more damp newspaper.  I put the box of dried worms in the chicken coop.  The ladies sure had fun pecking and eating the dead worms.  At least they didnt go to waste and the chickens got some extra protein.  Back to the worm bin, I placed a lid under the bin (so if anything drips or crawls out, it is contained in the lid) and another lid on the top.  Man, these worms did NOT want to stay in the bin!  They crawled out and went everywhere.  Finally I had to take the lid off and put the bin under a light.  Worms hate the light so they will dig down into their bedding and hide.  The package had warned that the worms would be “restless” for the first few days, but I was not expecting them to be everywhere!  Once they finally calmed down under the light for a few days, I was able to start adding table scraps.  Lots of coffee grounds, banana peels (they really like it when the peels are cut up) and whatever else I had from the kitchen.  If the scraps seemed too dry I would spritz with water.

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I am now pleased to say that our worms are growing and thriving!  They can double their population in just a month.  Hubby is excited at the thought of having lots of worms on hand for fishing.  Worms dont do well in the freezing temps, so until recently we had them in the camper.  Now that the weather is warmer, they are outside in the shade.  We have now added the second bin on top of the first.  The worms will transition to the second bin once they are done with the bottom bin.  The castings (aka worm poop) that are left in the bottom bin will be a huge help on the garden beds.  Once we remove the bottom bin to take to the garden, the second bin will then become the bottom bin and the process starts all over.  I think someone could make this with only two bins.  I got three because thats what Pinterest recommended but so far I have yet to need a third bin.  So technically this project could be under $10 if you only had two bins.