Vermicomposting for everyone – even in classrooms

TheGardenLady received these questions about vermicomposting from Ashley –

I have recently started a barrel composter. It is a modified 55 gallon foodsafe drum/barrel that is working nicely. Can I add worms to this? Because it is off the ground they will not enter natually, and I have been hearing so much about the benifits of worms. I would just love to join in on all the fun. I have yet to read or hear of someone trying out this method; though I’m sure there out there…any thoughts?

Worms are a benefit to composting, so congratulations for wanting to start this excellent endeavor. Some schools are now teaching students how to do Vermicomposting. There are many excellent sites on the computer to learn Vermicomposting. Two sites for teachers that you can use to learn how to start this type of composting are here and here.

When you understand that the requirements worms must have to live and be productive are moisture, air, food, darkness and warm but not hot nor freezing temperatures you will see that a drum/barrel composter may not be the best environment for the worms because it may be too deep for the worms to get adequate air. And I wonder how happy the worms would be when you turn or rotate the barrel.

But that shouldn’t stop you from buying or building a box for worms. You will need a box that is no more than 16inches deep with a tight fitting lid and air holes. Then you will have two composting bins – your drum/barrel bin AND the bin with your worms. Two more excellent websites to explain how to build your bin and get started with Vermicomposting are here and here.

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