When it comes to starting up your vermicomposting system there are four main components to consider: 1) Container (worm bin), 2) Bedding , 3) Waste material, and 4) Composting worms. 1) Containers. There are a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing the worm bin you want to set up. If you are the handy type you may want to build your own creation, or if you don’t mind spending the money perhaps you will opt for a ready made system. As you can see i use recycle bins that the council use. This is not their intended use but it is my own interpretation of recycling. Any similar sized container can be used. I have bigger and smaller systems as you can see in the other photos. Most store like Wilko supply them. You will have to avoid clear plastic tubs as the worms do not like light.
Some things to keep in mind when you choose your container – 1) Light penetration, 2) Surface area vs depth. An ideal bin will be opaque (ie not allowing in light) and will be relatively shallow.
Red worms (and earth worms in general) are very sensitive to direct light – it can lead to considerable stress and even death if they unable to escape from it.
As far as depth goes, you don’t need to worry too much about exact dimensions but you definitely do want to put more emphasis on the surface area – this allows for greater oxygenation of the bin and also allows the worms to spread out more.
I tend to keep 2 or 3 small indoor bins at one time, plus an “overflow” bucket (for excess food waste. see photo above), thus making it much easier to ensure that balanced conditions prevail and if things do not work out in one then i can rescue it with another.
There is nothing wrong with a single worm bin in the size range of a typical ‘green box’ recycling container. This size of bin should be large enough to provide both buffering capacity and waste-processing potential for a typical household (especially if you use an overflow bucket and/or an outdoor composting heap as well).
Another important thing to mention is aeration. If you are using a typical green box type of bin its not a bad idea to drill some holes in the lid (optional but it keeps the rain off) and along the sides prior to adding your bedding/worms etc. This allows for more air flow in and out of the bin. If you have your bin sitting on some sort of tray you may even desire to drill a few holes in the bottom of the bin – a great way to ensure bin contents don’t get too waterlogged and it will collect the leachate (run off)
Enough for now. BEDDING. To follow