Why would anyone want to raise worms?
There are tons of worms everywhere already!
Underneath the potted plants on the patio, below that cardboard box you left out on the driveway, every time you stick a shovel or a trowel in the dirt, worms!
You want worms in the earth, right, improving the soil in the garden?
Yes, of course, but sometimes you also want worms in containers, bins, farms, working specifically for certain purposes, such as:
composting your household kitchen waste
making worm castings for fertilizing your plants
making worm tea fertilizer
composting other waste like rabbit droppings
The last reason, to put under the rabbit hutch to compost the rabbit poo, is the reason I started my worm bin.
Here’s how I did it:
I drilled holes in the sides and one in each corner of the bottom of a rubbermaid bin and filled the bottom of the bin with shredded newspaper. Since I’m going to leave mine open at the top to catch droppings, I really didn’t need to drill holes in the sides, but I did it anyway. There might be times when I need to put the top on.
Next, I added a small flake of rotting straw. I broke it up and spread it around over the newspaper.
Thirdly, I put in a shovelful of regular garden soil. This helps get the composting process started and provides needed grit for the worms digestive system.
I sprinkled in enough water to lightly moisten the newspaper. Here’s everything all layered and ready to go.
Now comes the fun part. I ordered this bag of worms for about 20 bucks. You can also get them from a bait shop or someone local who sells or provides worms.
When you order from Jim’s, you get to choose the option of picking up your worms at the post office. I decided that since I would be home on delivery day, watching for the mail, it wasn’t necessary. If you think your worms might sit out in a hot or cold mailbox for a prolonged period, you probably want to pick yours up at the P.O.
I heard the mailman and went down to meet him.
“You have a package,” he said.
“Yes,” I said. “It’s worms.”
“Thanks for telling me,” he said, expressionlessly, as he handed me the box.
“Thank you,” I replied, accepting the proffered package.
Open the bag and dump out the worms. Hold your breath and wait and watch for wiggliness. You want lots of wiggles.
My shipment was very wiggly.
Watch if you like wiggly worms. Don’t watch if you don’t. At first I was annoyed by the sound of the leaf blower next door, but came to embrace it as a worm soundtrack.
Regular garden worms don’t like to live in bins like this. They will always go back to the soil. Red wiggler worms, aka Eisenia fetida, are adapted to bin life.
If I wanted to catch worm castings “tea” I will need to put a bin without any holes in it underneath this bin.
Since I keep the bin underneath the rabbit hutch, the top has to remain off so the droppings can fall into the bin. I began with moist contents, and the rabbit urine and drips from the rabbit water keep it moist. It’s also almost completely shaded. I also put in some kitchen compost at the beginning when the droppings were just getting started.
It’s been a couple of weeks and the worms seem very robust. It seems to be working well so far. I’ll let you know how it goes as I get further into this experiment.