How to Build a Worm Farm in a Container


While you can buy fancy ready-made worm containers with stackable sections made of plastic or wood, worm farms can also truck right along in a simple container. With a plastic tote available for under $10, you can provide the worms with a safe and adequate living quarters conducive to the herd keeping busy making compost and reproducing its numbers. Building a worm farm in a container ranks as a do-it-yourself project with a lot of positive environmental effects for a little time and expense.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic storage tote
  • Drill
  • 3-inch hole saw
  • 2 soffit vents, 3-inch size
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Bedding materials
  • Bucket
  • Spray bottle
  • Measure your storage tote to ensure that it is 8 to 14 inches deep, which will provide sufficient depth for the bedding materials.

  • Drill a 3-inch hole using a hole saw in the middle of each end of the tote, centered horizontally and vertically on the end surface. Insert a 3-inch soffit vent in the hole by pressing it into place. Drill a dozen 1/4-inch holes in the bottom of the tote for drainage.

  • Assemble bedding materials such as shredded office paper, torn cardboard, non-glossy newspaper, straw, coconut fiber or coir or rotted and rinsed horse manure. Soak these in a sink or bucket of water for 15 minutes to an hour. Allow the materials to drain until they are about as wet as a dampened sponge. Place the materials in the bin to fill it around halfway to the top. Add a handful of soil to provide grit for the worms’ digestive systems.

  • Add chopped vegetable scraps to the bin in a pocket hidden 2 inches under the surface. Allow the food to rest in place for a week, becoming moldy to provide the worms with the fungi and bacteria they eat off the surface of decomposing food.

  • Add to the worm farm 1 lb. of worms obtained by mail order from a grower. Tip the worms out of their muslin shipping bag onto the surface of the bedding, lightly spritzing them with water from a spray bottle to rehydrate them after their journey. Return the lid to its place so they can explore their new home in darkness.

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