|Fill cleaned plastic bins with water and let soak for a few hours|
|You can see how I did the holes in the bottom of the drawers in this picture.|
|Arrange cardboard in your drawers anywhere light might come in.|
3. Once I had the holes in the bottom of the drawers I cut up a cardboard box and line the clear plastic with it anywhere I thought light might come in. Worms don't like light so giving them a dark drawer to live in will make them happier and less likely to escape.
|I shredded enough paper to fill the drawer 1/3 when wet.|
|The paper bedding is moist but not soggy.|
6. This damp paper bedding was left overnight (I wanted it ready before the worms arrived) to allow all the pieces to come to an even moisture level. The next morning I added a little more water since the top felt drier than when I went to bed. I had a couple handfuls of soil to add to the top since worms need "grit" to help digest what they eat. I'm holding off on adding food until I'm sure I created a proper environment that will aid their reproduction. My fear is that if I add food before the worms are acclimated to my bin then the food will start to rot and attract other pests.
|Closeup of moist paper bedding with a handful of soil on top.|
8. The last step in the setup of a worm compost is just to maintain it. Check it regularly to see that the moisture is appropriate and the temperature is right. It is recommended that you feed them your kitchen scraps about once a week. Remember that worms are basically vegan and won't eat any meat, dairy, or fat and adding these things will cause a foul odor and attract pests.
In the coming weeks I will post more on this topic. I plan to give more info on the length of time it takes to establish my vermicompost as well as time to complete one bin. I would like to observe what the worms prefer to eat and give instructions on making a "holding bin" from mostly recycled materials. The holding bin will give me a place under the kitchen sink to store food scraps for the worms without letting off odor.